Written By: Joseph Winn
With the holidays here and Christmas approaching, the opportunity to throw a traditional festive dinner presents itself to a food lover like me. Not just a family dinner like the honey hams my mom makes, but a feast right out of a King’s court. One particular old-timey treat that I’ve always been curious about is mead, a classic honey based ale or wine associated with pre-modern times. Chaucer’s Mead is a California wine made from real honey without any artificial flavorings, and its taste and warmth filled my desire for a fun bit of ancestral tradition.
The honey used in Chaucer’s Mead wine is a mixture of alfalfa, sage and orange blossom varieties. Once poured, the wine itself reflects light with a clear light yellow color and the taste of the wine is sweet like honey, as well as like a dessert wine. What makes this mead so fun is the spice packet attached around the neck of the bottle. Just a sniff of the packet will bring thoughts of Christmas to my mind. The packet itself is packaged with instructions on how to prepare the mead over a hot stove. The instructions recommend heating the wine and spices for 5-10 minutes, but I have tried Chaucer’s Mead both hot and room temperature, and they are both interesting. If you’re going for that authentic fantasy then the heated preparation is best.
- Made with real honey
- Includes spice packet and instructions
- Not an expensive wine
- Photo on the bottle adds to the old-time feel
- Award winning
- Available through Amazon, but not available in every store
- The more authentic spiced version requires preparation time
- Not an ale version of mead
- Not for the kids
I do realize that some people who are just as much a closeted renn faire dork as myself may be looking for a heartier ale sort of mead and this Chaucer’s wine is certainly not the answer to that. If you’re willing to venture out to your local BevMo you may find the type of mead you’re looking for. Many whiskey makers have gotten into the current trend of honey based alcohol and produced their own honey flavored whiskey or honey based liquor. What you choose may depend on how authentic you want your drink and how much you prefer real honey over the artificial honey flavorings that many of these other options use.
For myself, a person who is more a pursuer of different tastes than a great wine connoisseur, Chaucer’s Mead works as a treat for family and friends. It’s a hot drink to go with your winter meal and it provides a topic of discussion. I would give it a try if you’re curious to what a mead may taste like or if you just want that warm feel of a grand feast.