The Southwest Wine Center made a mead for the first time. One of the YC enology students was interested in how to make mead, so the director of the program said, why not? They ended up creating a Morat, which is a mulberry mead and falls under the category of a melomel, a fruit based mead. Two types of mead were created, a still version, and a sparkling version created with carbonation added. The Morat was created with 100% Arizona Desert Wild Flower Honey from Northern Arizona and Mulberry Juice. This off-dry mead was fermented in stainless steel, aged in Neutral American Oak, has 12% alcohol, and 1.5 % residual sugar. It has a light cranberry rose color, a delicious flavor and reminded me a tad of Kool-Aid. I was partial to the carbonated version. They suggest pairing it with salty and fatty foods such as aged parmesan cheese, noodles in a butter sauce or Manchego cheese. When exploring honey-based wines, lead with this mead!
I frequently talk about our award-winning meads in Arizona. The question is: What exactly is Mead? Well at its most basic level it is honey, water and yeast and is one of the oldest fermented beverages in the world. Two locations in the Verde Valley feature the Mazer Cup award winning meads from Superstition Meadery. Our wine college also just created a dry mead, which I have not had the opportunity to sample. You’ll find meads from very dry to very sweet. Though I tend to like dry wines, I’m enamored with the delicious sweet meads from Superstition. They create unique flavors such as Tahitian Honeymoon-vanilla, Hera’s Orchard-apricot peach, Desert Monsoon-prickly pear, Marion Berry, and Peanut Butter and Jelly. So try an Arizona mead and you’ll be talking about it too!
Arizona is renowned for having some of the best mead in the world! What is Mead? It’s a fermented beverage made from honey and one of the oldest fermented beverages in the world. In areas of Northern Europe, were it was too cold to grow grapes, mead was made instead. Superstition Meadery, located in Prescott Arizona has won numerous Gold and other medals at the Mazer Cup, since their founding in 2012. Some of my favorite of their Meads include the Tahitian Honeymoon. (the word Honeymoon, originated in England where the newlyweds would get a full supply of mead to last for a moon cycle) Marion, Date Night, and PBJ; yes, Peanut Butter and Jelly! Meads like wines, can be fermented from dry to sweet.
In addition to offering custom wine and beer tours, I frequently include mead tasting. On Wednesday, I took guests to the State Bar in Cottonwood and they were thrilled with their Mead tasting. In Sedona, I take guests to the Art of wine which has a fabulous Mead flight also.
Yesterday, while touring the Southwest Wine Center, at Yavapai College, I was surprised to see that they are also making a mead. Theirs will be fermented dry. This is their first attempt at this new endeavor and I look forward to sampling it.
So, when you are taking our private, customized wine and or beer tour, we’re thrilled to also have you experience the best mead in the world.
Sue Schurgin is the manager of Sedona Wine and Beer Tours. She is studying for her CSW and sommelier certifications.