Wineries of America
MEAD is an alcoholic beverage produced by the fermentation of a mixture of honey and water. With fruit and spices added as flavorings it is called by different names: melomel, metheglin, pyment, cyser and others. It is typically clear with a slight gold tint and an alcohol content of between 7-22%. A wide variety of types can be produced ranging from a very dry and light mead similar to more traditional grape wines; a sweet and heavy-bodied type; and, a sparkling mead resembling a sparkling white wine.
Until the late middle ages both mead and sparkling mead were highly popular beverages, especially in northern regions of Europe, where wine grapes could not easily be grown. As the importance of honey was displaced by less expensive sugars in the late Middle Ages, mead was gradually displaced by less costly beers and ales and to a lesser degree by imported wines. It was always sought after for medicinal value and was prescribed even to royalty.
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