Missouri’s Take on Mead

December 03, 2014

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Missouri wineries like to do things a little differently. With more than 125 wineries, you’re sure to find wines as unique and authentic as the people making them. The grapes we grow aren’t mainstream, but they sure are delicious. Many wineries in the state go a few steps farther from the beaten path making a variety of fruit wines and meads. Mead, often called honey-wine, is a beverage created by fermenting honey with water, and frequently fruits, spices, or grains. There are countless different types and styles of mead, but the defining characteristic is that the majority of the fermentable sugar comes from honey. Mead can be still or sparkling and ranges from dry to sweet and everything in between, even spicy!

Mead can be dated as far back as 2000 BC and is considered to be the ancestor of all fermented drinks. While descriptions and evidence of mead can be found in the history of numerous cultures, it gained much of its fame due to its popularity in central Europe. Mead is featured in numerous Germanic myths and stories about the Viking era from which many popular authors such as Tolkien, George R.R. Martin and Neil Gaiman have drawn inspiration. In Gaiman’s acclaimed novel, American Gods, mead is referred to as the drink of the gods.

Modern mead made by Missouri wineries holds up to the lore, winning national and international awards. Several wineries have made their mark offering a variety of styles and flavors of mead and a winery opened recently with the sole focus of making mead, called The Leaky Roof Meadery in Buffalo, offering four unique meads that are slightly carbonated and intended to be enjoyed by the pint.

Pirtle Winery in Weston boasts a plethora of awards for their Mead, Effervescent Mead, Blackberry Mead, and Raspberry Mead. Pirtle’s Mead pairs beautifully with cheesecake and spiced pears while their Raspberry Mead is the perfect addition to brunch.

7Cs Winery in Walnut Grove offers seven different kinds of mead ranging from the traditional Clover to After Burn featuring a surprising kick from jalapeño peppers. They also offer seasonal favorites such as pumpkin. 7Cs hosts a Mead Fest and Renaissance Fair every Fall to celebrate the beverage and the era that made it famous.

Windy Wine Company in Osborn produces several styles of mead: Wildflower (made with 100% raw Missouri wildflower honey), Campfire, Chipotle, Sparkling Hopped, Golden Griffin (made with Missouri clover honey), and Gingerbread Mead (made with Missouri dark honey).

Seasonally, Wenwood Farm Winery offers a Legacy Mead, made with a fragrant, sweet white grape and honey blend. Legacy is their Spring seasonal wine and is released the last Saturday in April at their Redbud Fest.

Honey is a celebration of springtime’s arrival. Toast the warmer weather and new season with a glass of Missouri mead.

Missouri mead pairs well with Spring!