Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mead in the Movies

If you have never heard of mead, don't feel bad, neither have a lot of people. Mohamed hadn’t when he dictated the Koran. A very entertaining film about Vikings gives us some insight into this. The 1998 film The 13th Warrior, is about an Arab ambassador named Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan who is sent to make contact with the barbaric Vikings of the North in 922 A.D. Only moments after finding the Vikings, a sorcerer sees a vision and chooses 12 Vikings to travel farther north to fight their flesh-eating enemies. She then says that a thirteenth warrior must be a foreigner and Ahmed, whom the Vikings call “Eben,” soon finds himself on his way to fight a formidable enemy. After a gruesome battle with the enemy, one of the Vikings, who was very skeptical of “Eben” in the beginning, offers his new brother in arms a drink from his horn flask. “I cannot, taste neither the fermentation of grape nor of wheat” says Ahmed. The Viking bursts out laughing. “What, why do you laugh.” Says “Eben,” “honey, its made from honey” says the Viking and the Ahmed takes a long drink of the nectar of the gods.

Many of the examples of mead in the movies, which come to mind, involve Vikings and medieval battles with rough and tough characters downing large mugs of mead. Movies like Robin Hood Prince of Thieves and Beowulf, as well as the one that I’ve described above, are the most prominent. These depictions are entertaining, but they do not do mead justice. Mead can be made in many different ways, with different amounts of alcohol and varying degrees of sweetness but it is not just a drink for warriors and Vikings.

The meads that Hidden Legend Winery produces will amaze your senses. While the Vikings probably would love them, they can also be enjoyed by kings and queens or anyone who appreciates fine wines. The layers of flavor will keep you sipping once you have tasted this mead and you won’t be able to get enough. The meads at Hidden Legend Winery are made in much the same fashion as a grape wine. They are about 12.5% alcohol and have 2.5% residual sugar. While these are not bone dry, they are certainly not the syrupy sweet meads that you might imagine if you’ve never tried mead. These meads have the mouth feel of a dryer wine with a hint of sweetness and an aroma of honey. It is the honey that gives mead its sweet flavor and not a bunch of residual sugar. If you haven’t tried mead then these are the perfect meads to start with. If you are not really a wine drinker, don’t let that stop you from trying mead because it stands on its own. If you like wine, you will find something recognizable in these meads and appreciate a fine honey wine.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Chokecherry Mead

A chokecherry is a wild berry that is mostly unknown in modern times but grows in most regions of the United States. They grow across the continent except in the very Deep South and way up North in Canada according to online encyclopedias like Wikipedia. The chokecherry is full of antioxidants and loaded with proteins and oils which Native Americans put great value in. Native Americans were well acquainted with the chokecherry and ate it regularly. They often crushed the berries and made patties that were then dried in the sun. It was so common among the Cheyenne and Blackfoot that their word for the fruit was simply “berry.” You can read a lot more about the chokecherry at wildfoods.info.

Hidden Legend Winery blends their award winning Pure Honey Mead with their chokecherry wine which is made from fresh Montana grown chokecherries. Hidden Legend Winery’s Chokecherry Mead has won a gold medal two years in a row now, in two separate international wine competitions. It won best in region and gold from the Northwest Wine Summit in 2008. This year, the winery’s Chokecherry Mead won a gold medal from the Tasters Guild International Wine Judging 2009.

The interesting thing about these gold medal wins is that both of these competitions are traditionally geared towards grape wines. This speaks volumes for the sophistication of the meads produced by Hidden Legend Winery. If you have apprehensions about trying mead or have tried meads that tasted like watered down honey or honey flavored beer, you don't have to worry about that with these meads. Hidden Legend Winery puts a lot of effort into producing fine table wines from honey and native North American berries.

Hidden Legend Winery is selling three packs of their Chokecherry Mead at a discounted price, with free shipping, for the whole month of June. This is a perfect opportunity to try this gold medal winning Chokecherry Mead and experience what the judges at these wine competitions discovered. You won’t be disappointed.