Irish Meade – honey wine, a gift from the Gods
“At last Gandalf pushed away his plate and jug – he had eaten two whole loaves (with masses of butter and honey and clotted cream) and drunk at least a quart of mead – and he took out his pipe.” – John Keats
One of the joys in life is celebrating weddings. I had the humble and wonderful opportunity to participate in hosting a wedding reception for two close friends – Danielle and Jim. Jim is a true Irishman. We enjoyed several varieties of whiskey that I will write about in a future blog. The focus of this blog will be the wonderful variation of honey wine that we used to toast the happy couple – Bunratty Irish Meade (www.bunrattymead.net).
Bunratty Meade is a fortified wine made from white wine with honey and herbs. Like many items, the origin of meade (or mead as it is also referred to) has been noted as early as 3000 B.C. in ancient Greek, African, and Chinese cultures. Mead can be made to varying levels of sweetness and generally has an alcohol level of anywhere from 8% to 20% per volume. Some mead is made with hops and is distributed by breweries. Mead is usually classified as a wine.
The Irish custom of toasting a bride and groom with mead come from the tradition that apparently mead possessed powers of virility and fertility, and the lucky couple was to drink it for at least one full moon past the date of their wedding. This is believed to be the origin of the word honeymoon.
Positivevines Helpful Hint: Ancient Greeks referred to the Mead as the “nectar of the Gods” because it was believed that honey was dew that came from the heavens and collected by bees.
Bunratty Meade is pleasantly sweet. It has a pleasant balance of herbs and honey without being overpowering. We enjoyed our toast with wedding cake. I would have thought that having the sweet wine with a sweet cake would be too much but, it wasn’t. Bunratty Meade is best served cold. I might even recommend a little ice, especially if you are drinking it alone. Since this wine has a honey basis, I would think that it might also be good warm as a hot drink on a cold evening.
Bunratty Meade averages $16 for a 750ml bottle. Go to your local wine store and get a couple of bottles to share with friends after dinner.
Remember to drink what it is that makes you truly happy and always think positively!