For the first time in Massachusetts, we’re proud to announce the arrival of Enlightenment Wines, from Clintondale, NY. Artist/musician Raphael Lyon (Mudboy) started this project a few years ago as an extension of his home experimentation with fermentation. While the base of many of his recipes is honey and cider, these concoctions (potions?) stray from our common perception of mead, and actually drink more like wine. Using a range of fruit and botanical ingredients and a varied arsenal of winemaking techniques, Lyon achieves an absolutely unique result with every wine. He uses all local ingredients and rarely uses any sulfur. Production is scant, with batches ranging between 84 and 350 bottles.
An 84-bottle batch made from local wildflower honey and well water. Bottled unfiltered and un-sulfured, Raphael suggests shaking this one up a little.
C.A.S. II – Sparkling Apple-Cherry Honey Wine $32
Fizzy by méthode ancestrale (non-disgorged), this is shockingly refreshing and guzzl-able.
Rubacuori – Apple-Elderberry Honey Wine $25
Sicilian rosé? Some kind of magic going on here.
Saturnalia – Honey-Apple Wine $25
Naturally infused with lemon verbena, this takes a half hour or so to open up, but when it does, the botanical quality really comes through. Mixologist alert!
Saint Crimson – Black Currant Honey Wine $25/375mL
Described as a black mead, you might mistake this for crème de cassis. Kir anyone?