May 10, 2019
Although you may have only heard of it in stories of King Arthur’s round table and of Vikings’ feasts, mead is a beverage with a buzz that you should know about. Unlike wine, where grapes are the key ingredients, with mead, it all starts with honey.
Sometimes called the “drink of the gods”, it is arguably the oldest alcoholic beverage in the world and dates 4,000 years in Europe and over 9,400 in Northern China. The basic mead is simple: honey is mixed with water and fermented with yeast. From there, each mead brewer has their own recipe for what makes their style unique – and they can work on their own schedule since local honey is available year round. Available in both still and sparkling versions, mead can be as sweat as a first kiss or as dry as an economics lecture.
When you start with raw honey, a batch of mead takes about 2 months to create – and can be drunk right away – or aged to your taste.
Buy BC: Eat Drink Local program participant, Meadow Vista Honey Wines has been making mead since 2009 in the Okanagan. They are licensed the same as a BC winery and their mead must be made with 100% BC ingredients. Their signature mead is Bliss - a lighter style that is crisp and approachable. It can be paired with food or enjoyed on it’s own – depending on your palate or the occasion.
While still a small part of the overall wine industry, the popularity of mead is surging in popularity with history buffs to hipsters getting onboard – and is becoming more available on wine lists across the province. It’s worth a try – because there is a mead for every palate.
Ask your favourite sommelier for their mead pairing with your next dinner out to a BC restaurant. If you are in Kelowna, make a special visit to Meadow Vista Artisan Farm Winery – 3975 Springs Road – and make sure you take the time to taste a flight.