Last night we had a wonderful experience, drinking the Melaurea Mead Methode Traditionelle, mel is the Latin word for honey. The production of mead, honey wine, can be traced back to 6,500 to 7,000 BC in Europe and Asia; making it humanities earliest recorded alcoholic beverage, older perhaps even than wine. Mead is intimately intertwined with our culture and its echoes can still be heard in traditions such as the honeymoon. South Africa’s earliest San people pioneered mead production using honey-water mixtures they found in hollow trees after rain. The Melaurea Mead Methode Traditionelle made from organic African honey, it is a truly great drinking novelty.
Made by Matthew Krone, whose family pioneered Méthode Cap Classique in the Tulbagh Valley, this is a first in South Africa. He really enjoyed this project. Fermented in the bottle for a period of 6 months using Champagne yeast, it is a new riff on mead, turning it into a premium product. The honey used is chosen for its floral and aromatic attributes, water and the yeast create this magical drink. The method then used is classical Champagne, after disgorgement, a classical champagne cork is plugged in and the traditional wire muzzle attached to keep the cork in place.
Bottled in a clear Champagne bottle with an elegant simple label and a paper strip over the cork and muzzle to show it off. In the glass, it is a pale golden straw colour with lime green flashes. The tiniest of bubbles rushing to the top to form a crown around the edges of the glass. The aromas are of fynbos floral honey, delicately smoky. The palate is broad and in the middle the bubbles are beautifully interwoven with the floral notes and some forest floor after rain umami whiffs and flavours. Clever to ferment this in the bottle which adds so much to the wine. It is dry in classical wine terms as it has just over 2 grams of residual sugar whereas anything up to 5 grams is considered dry.
This is a great sundowner wine, perhaps with a little poppy seed cracker. We had it with a pork shoulder casserole with Granny Smith Apples, mushrooms and potatoes and it worked like a dream. Roasted Duck Breast basted with honey would also be a fine match.
Read more about Melaurea Mead Methode Traditionelle – www.melaurea.com