Daniel Eddy, For FLORIDA TODAY
March 10, 2015
Until Global Climate Change makes grape-growing in Ireland feasible, the only real wine to pair with a Celtic holiday like St. Patrick’s Day is mead, or honey wine.
It’s the original wine, predating grape wine.
Mead is the source for the term “honeymoon,” where the newly wed couple were given enough matrimonial honey wine for one full moon cycle, since it also is said to enhance fertility and virility.
The root for the word “medhu” is the same in all Indo-European languages, giving credence to mead being the original fermented beverage, even predating beer. In Europe there are records of mead production going back to 2,000 BC. The Brythonic-speaking bard, Taliesin, from about 550 AD, wrote the poem “Song of Mead,” which includes the line: “Mead distilled sparkling, its praise is everywhere,” showing that multiple styles of mead go way back.
Currently, we tend to think of mead as sweet wine, and since it’s sourced from honey, that makes sense.
My first mead was Bunratty Meade, made in the castle of the same name. This Irish mead was a little drier than what is more commonly available here, reminiscent of dry apple cider.
Full Story: Cheers! Think mead for St. Patrick’s Day