Mead wine speaks to explain Mead wine, what is Mead wine and how is Mead wine made.
Mead is an alcoholic drink made from honey and water by the fermentation of yeast. It’s alcohol by volume content nay range from a mild ale to that of a very strong wine. It is known as honey wine and may be dry, semi sweet or sweet.
Depending on local traditions and recipes the wine may be brewed with spices, fruits or grain mash and it may be flavoured with hops which will produce a slightly bitter beer like drink. The wine is an ancient drink and is recognized throughout Europe, Africa and Asia and is known as the ancestor of all fermented drinks.
The earliest archaeological evidence for the production of mead wine dates to around 7000 BC. Pottery vessels containing a mixture of mead, rice and other fruits along with organic compounds of fermentation were found in Northern China.
The English word mead derives from the Old English medu, from Proto-Germanic meduz. Slavic med / miod , which means both "honey" and "mead," (Slovak, Serbian, Macedonian, Croatian: med vs. medovina, Polish 'miód' pronounce [mju:t] - honey, mead) and Baltic midus, which means "mead," also derive from the same Proto-Indo-European root (cf. Welsh medd, Old Irish mid, and Sanskrit madhu).
Mulled mead wine is a popular drink at Christmas time, where mead is flavored with spices (and sometimes various fruits) and warmed, traditionally by having a hot poker plunged into it.
Some mead wine retains some measure of the sweetness of the original honey, and some may even be considered as dessert wines. Drier meads are also available, and some producers offer sparkling meads. There are a number of faux-meads, which are actually cheap wines with large amounts of honey added, to produce a cloyingly sweet liqueur.
Mead wine can be distilled to a brandy or liqueur strength. Krupnik is a sweet Polish liqueur made through such a process. A version of this called "honey jack" can be made by partly freezing a quantity of mead and pouring off the liquid without the ice crystals (a process known as freeze distillation), in the same way that applejack is made from cider.
Types of mead wine:
Acan — A Native Mexican version of mead.
Acerglyn — A mead wine made with honey and maple syrup.
Braggot — Braggot (also called bracket or brackett). Originally brewed with honey and hops, later with honey and malt — with or without hops added. Welsh origin (bragawd).
Black mead — A name sometimes given to the blend of honey and blackcurrants.
Capsicumel — A mead wine flavored with chile peppers.
Chouchenn — A kind of mead made in Brittany.
Cyser — A blend of honey and apple juice fermented together; see also cider.
Czwórniak — A Polish mead, made using three units of water for each unit of honey
Dandaghare — A mead from Nepal, combines honey with Himalayan herbs and spices. It has been brewed since 1972 in the city of Pokhara.
Dwójniak — A Polish mead, made using equal amounts of water and honey
Great mead — Any mead that is intended to be aged several years. The designation is meant to distinguish this type of mead from "short mead" (see below).
Gverc or Medovina — Croatian mead prepared in Samobor and many other places. The word “gverc” or “gvirc” is from the German "Gewürze" and refers to various spices added to mead.
Hydromel — Hydromel literally means "water-honey" in Greek. It is also the French name for mead. (Compare with the Spanish hidromiel and aquamiel, Italian idromele and Portuguese hidromel). It is also used as a name for a very light or low-alcohol mead.
Medica — Slovenian, Croatian, variety of Mead.
Medovina — Czech, Serbian, Bulgarian, Bosnian and Slovak for mead. Commercially available in Czech Republic, Slovakia and presumably other Central and Eastern European countries.
Medovukha — Eastern Slavic variant (honey-based fermented drink)
Melomel — Melomel is made from honey and any fruit. Depending on the fruit-base used, certain melomels may also be known by more specific names (see cyser, pyment, morat for examples)
Metheglin — Metheglin starts with traditional mead but has herbs and/or spices added. Some of the most common metheglins are ginger, tea, orange peel, nutmeg, coriander, cinnamon, cloves or vanilla. Its name indicates that many metheglins were originally employed as folk medicines. The Welsh word for mead is medd, and the word "metheglin" derives from meddyglyn, a compound of meddyg, "healing" + llyn, "liquor."
Morat — Morat blends honey and mulberries.
Mulsum — Mulsum is not a true mead, but is unfermented honey blended with a high-alcohol wine.
Omphacomel — A mediæval mead recipe that blends honey with verjuice; could therefore be considered a variety of pyment (qv).
Oxymel — Another historical mead recipe, blending honey with wine vinegar.
Pitarrilla — Mayan drink made from a fermented mixture of wild honey, balché tree bark and fresh water.
Pyment — Pyment blends honey and red or white grapes. Pyment made with white grape juice is sometimes called "white mead."
Półtorak — A Polish mead, made using two units of honey for each unit of water
Rhodomel — Rhodomel is made from honey, rose hips, petals or rose attar and water.
Sack mead — This refers to mead that is made with more copious amounts of honey than usual. The finished product retains an extremely high specific gravity and elevated levels of sweetness. It derives its name, according to one theory, from the fortified dessert wine Sherry.
Short mead — Also called "quick mead." A type of mead recipe that is meant to age quickly, for immediate consumption. Because of the techniques used in its creation, short mead shares some qualities found in cider (or even light ale): primarily that it is effervescent, and often has a cidery taste. It can also be champagne-like.
Show mead — A term which has come to mean "plain" mead: that which has honey and water as a base, with no fruits, spices or extra flavorings. Since honey alone often does not provide enough nourishment for the yeast to carry on its lifecycle, a mead that is devoid of fruit, etc. will sometimes require a special yeast nutrient and other enzymes to produce an acceptable finished product. Sima - a quickly-fermented Finnish variety, seasoned with lemon and associated with the festival of vappu.
Tej — Tej is an Ethiopian mead, fermented with wild yeasts (and bacteria), and with the addition of gesho. Recipes vary from family to family, with some recipes leaning towards braggot with the inclusion of grains.
Trójniak — A Polish mead, made using two units of water for each unit of honey.
White mead — A mead that is colored white, either from herbs or fruit used or sometimes egg whites.
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