Friday, April 29, 2016

Mead indeed.

Honestly, I cannot even think the word mead without my head being filled with visions of warty peasants in dimly lit, smokey taverns - full of wenches and wolfhounds - rambunctiously sloshing around mead-filled pewter tankards. Mead, sometimes referred to as 'nectar of the Gods', is made from fermented honey and is perhaps the oldest alcoholic drink known to man.  (I daresay Saint Bede drank mead.)
Traditional mead, simply honey, water and yeast, can be dry, sweet, still or sparkling.  With the addition of fruits, grains, herbs and spices mead is known by some other names.  For example; Braggot is made from honey and malt; Cyser is made from honey and apple juice; Pyment is made from honey and grapes and, germane to this post, Metheglin is made from honey, herbs and spices.  (Shakespeare refers to metheglin, along with malmsey, in Love's Labour's Lost.)
All the meads I have ever tried have been quite wine-like and have been packaged in wine-like bottles.  Nectar Creek, a mead produced in Corvallis, Oregon, is packaged in beer-like bottles which had me wondering if the contents would be more beer-like.  (Now, where did I put my pewter tankard?)  Chicory and Sting were two very different meads - the first a traditional mead, the second a metheglin, I suppose. They drank more wine-like, but with beer-like alcohol (ABVs of 5% and 6.2% respectively).  The Chicory was extremely honey-ish on the nose, with a little floral component mixed in, and felt like it had a bit more mouthfeel than the other. The decidedly-ginger-ale-reminiscent Sting had subtle, earthy undertones of honey.  Both meads were ever so slightly effervescent, and both were lacking in acid (for my taste).  I couldn't drink a lot of this stuff.  But, (not unlike the fad for the so-called, in the USA, hard ciders), mead is very trendy right now, so I reckon a fair amount of folks are drinking it: the creed of mead.


Thud said...

I'll give them a go when over,I think you will find that the venerable Bede drank Newcastle brown.

Vinogirl said...

Thud: Hee, hee, nothing wrong with having a bottle of 'dog' now and again.