Last weekend I attended the North Dakota Grape and Wine Association’s annual meeting in Bismarck, ND. New this year was a people’s choice wine contest. There was a commercial wine and a hobbyist amateur wine competition. In each there were three categories; red grape wine, white grape wine and non-grape wine. My good friends at Tongue River Winery swept the commercial competition winning all three categories. Well deserved, I might add.

Since I am not yet licensed for commercial production I entered wines in the hobbyist competition. One wine, my Cranberry Melomel, garnered enough votes from the attendees to win the people’s choice award for non-grape wine. I like this wine but I am a little partial. It’s nice to know that others also appreciate your efforts. I made this wine in 2011 from honey and store bought fresh cranberries. You may know that the term “melomel” refers to a honey wine (mead) that is fermented with other fruits. This wine was made not too sweet with just a little bit of sweetness to lift the fruit flavors of the cranberry. It is light and refreshing. I’m looking forward to seeing how it ages. I also entered my experimental white grape wine, ES-5-4-71, into the white grape category. It didn’t win but I did receive some nice comments about it.