… some people call me Anna. I have an unhealthy obsession with Ancient Rome and Byzantium. I spend time I need to be doing Latin homework cutting intricate felt appliques for a tunic for one of my best friends fighting in Crown, and not even for me as consort. I’m perfectly okay with this. My boyfriend, some Norman guy, spent his day pounding out fake coins and brewing beer. Welcome to the SCA, make sure your tray tables are in their upright and locked position, because its going to be a wild ride.
I hope that all of the fine people I’ve met in passing up here in the Boston/Providence area are safe. Let’s get some much needed sleep.
That is probably the worst movie/history pun crossover in the entire internets. Anyways, we have wine!
First you gotta sanitize those bottles. We may be making Roman wine, but we don’t need Roman germs.
Then you make your boyfriend put the carboy on the counter for you.
Once you siphen into the bottling bucket (best money ever spent, ever deal with bottling out of a carboy? Ung.) separate off the small batches of infused wines. Here is the Retsina with pieces of pine resin in the bottom, and the Rhosatum, with dried roses in a bag infusing in the pickle jar. These should be bottled by the end of the month. Pliny says to leave the roses in there for 3 months, but I’m assuming he meant fresh. I’m using dried, so I’d rather monitor what this is going to do and the flavor I’m going to get before creating a mess.
I also separated my portion off for the Conditum Paradoxum, the spiced wine from Apicius. After gathering my ingredients, it all went into the pot for an hour on low heat to steep. The pine resin melted fast, which got me worried, but it was fine.
Once that was infused with the rest of the wine, it was strained and bottled. Here is the Conditum in the bottles next to the unaltered muscat wine I made.
So, being the brave soul I am, I tried the Conditum in the period style, using warm saltwater to dilute it, as the straight liquor is extremely sweet.
From Familia Annae to yours, EU!
Bottling and infusing the wine today! Excited! Pictures to follow in tonight’s post.
In the end, I will have the following:
2 gallons of “Ancient White” Muscat wine.
1 gallon of Conditum Paradoxum (spiced wine from Apicius.)
1 gallon of Rhosatum (rose wine from Pliny the Elder.)
1 gallon of Retsina (resined wine.)
I’ve found a couple different redactions of the Conditum Paradoxum. I have one written down in my brewing journal (this is a must-have for anyone who brews as much as I do. I conjure up recipes and write them in, and track my progress on existing projects) but I found a different approach online I may go with instead. The basis of the drink is that you take a base wine, Apicius doesn’t say what color though both reds and whites were widely consumed by the Romans, and you make a must of honey, saffron, mastic, bay leaf, black pepper and dates. I don’t have any mastic, so I’m subbing in cinnamon. Plus, with my Retsina, I didn’t want to overdo it with that flavor. I *DO* have plenty of pine resin to work with, so that is still an option.
The rhosatum is getting treated exactly as Pliny says: put rose petals in a bag, put it in the must, close the sucker up and then let it sit for 3 months. I’m assuming he means fresh petals, and I’m using dried, so I’m going to be monitoring the color of the liquor and making sure nothing goes funky in there. If I stop the infusion early, I stop it early. No big.
The Retsina doesn’t have a clear cut recipe. I’m more or less trying to re-create a flavor profile than an actual recipe. Originally, Greek and Roman wines got the resin flavor from the use of pine resin as a sealant on the amphorae. Being that I don’t have an amphora, (I’ve looked, they’re expensive to get made) I’m cheating and tossing an ounce of resin in the wine and letting it age a month. If this works out, I’ll bottle the wine and seal the top of the bottles with resin like wax as a nice touch.
I’m going to let the wines bottle age a minimum of 3 months, so my first bottles should be ready by Pennsic War, at least of the Conditum Paradoxum (which I plan to panel with hot seawater to dilute it with!)
More updates today as it comes, live, from Black Dolphin Brewing!
Same as the old blog…kinda.
All the content is the same, but I’ve moved it from Blog.com to WordPress.com for several reasons.
1: WordPress has more to work with.
2: Blog.com gets practically no search engine exposure, no matter how much you SEO the thing.
3: Blog.com has NO customer service. None. No technical support, and they barely update their own sites. I purchased a domain through them for my author blog, now at http://ofsummerandwinter.wordpress.com, and I accidentally let it expire. When I renewed it, the domain did not get re-attached to my blog. So, after trying to fix this, I contacted their tech support, and got no answer. For weeks now. I sent them a tweet . I posted on their Facebook. Nothing. They provide no emails for anything, and come to find out, my domain is locked, and registered to a company in Germany, and I cannot unlock it to transfer it. So I’m out $18, and relatively pissed that neither of my sites were getting traffic anyway.
4: Ads. Ugh.
Therefore, I am now on WordPress. I have no idea why I even bothered with Blog.com other than to try something new. Please stay away from them. WordPress is the superior platform for these types of sites.
One of the first pieces of Roman clothing I made was the stola, or, overdress of a matron. I was married at the time and it seemed like a good idea. I wish I could find pictures of the construction of it, because as far as a “tube dress” goes, it was a pain, being that i made it to almost-period specs, and it’s about twice my height clocking in at 8 full yards of this sassy red linen, and I still didn’t get the neckline right. I’m planning to make another one, um, eventually. With a proper institia, more on that as it comes and I can do more research on what it should look like exactly.
Here’s my first Roman garb EVUR. (I think this was 2008?) That white chiton still hasn’t softened.
And here it is as a stand-alone garment, which is how I wear it more often, however in that case, it is NOT a stola, just a form of a peplos without the peplum. I do plan on fixing the neckline eventually, because this is such lovely red linen, I’d hate for it to go to waste, especially at a whopping 8 yards in one dress. At least it fits better now that I’ve, uh…filled out.