Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

mead, a fermented alcoholic drink, called hydromel in France and Honigwein or Met in Germany, made from honey, which, it is claimed, pre-dates either wine or beer. Monks kept bees for candlewax and any surplus honey was fermented into mead. The dissolution of the monasteries meant the virtual demise of mead-making in Britain. Since the Second World War, some larger companies have marketed a mixture of wine and honey as mead, but the tradition of genuine mead-making persists. Grape mead is grape juice mixed with honey before fermentation.