Just a quick note on how the quick mead turned out: the pyment finished, cleared, and was bottled; the "traditional" mead was still cloudy as of Monday. I'm visiting with family (I hope everyone's Thanksgiving is/was well); we've cracked one bottle of the pyment.
Overall, I'd call it a mixed success. It came across as an off-dry red table wine. Its concord grape character was still quite evident; the honey was very subdued. I will absolutely have to do this again with "good" wine grapes--perhaps Riesling for a white; maybe a nice Cab-Sauv for a red. It will, I'm sure, end up even more wine-like. I'll probably sweeten it a bit further on the back end, as well: make it semi-sweet, and it will probably bear a strong resemblance to the Georgian wines I'm so fond of. If I did a bit less back-sweetening, I think it would have more of a wine character, despite the concord grapes.
One area that I'm simply amazed: it dropped absolutely crystal clear, "read a newspaper through it" clear, and all that in under a month. It's the most beautiful ruby red... Photos will be forthcoming after I get home, next week.