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These Are The Best Food Pairings With Mead
What sort of food pairings with mead work best, you wonder? After all, it’s a wine but it’s made with honey, so shouldn’t that make it a dessert wine? That would be a natural assumption to make. But it would be dead wrong.
Mead comes in many different varieties, and each variety and indeed each example of each variety is going to have its own unique best food pairings to go with it.
But how do I figure out what mead goes well with what food?
We’re going to show you how to pair mead with food, and also what kinds of mead go well with certain types of dishes. That way, you can start selecting meads that will pair wonderfully well with food and enhance your enjoyment of both!
The Rules For Wine Pairings Apply Fairly Well
- If you know the basics about wine pairings, food pairing with mead is actually not far behind. A lot of the same rules apply.
- Dry goes with dinner, sweet goes with or can be had as a dessert.
- Sparkling mead should be enjoyed on its own for the most part, as a refreshment during hot summer days, a celebratory tipple or as a palate cleanser between courses.
- Dark fruity and spiced meads go with dark foods, so save melomels made with dark berries, cherries and other dark fruits, red grape pyments or mulled meads for dishes such as steaks, chops, barbecue, stews, other heavy red meats and savory dishes. The darker, earthier flavors combine well with those of the darker, heavier meads just as such dishes pair well with fruity, balanced red wines like merlot, cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir or for that matter dark beers such as porters, stouts, or dark German beers such as dunkel, schwarzbier, dark altbiers and bocks.
- For lighter fare, such as fish or chicken, lighter meads are better suited and especially dry ones.
- Dishes that fit between chicken and fish and savory meals such as beef – such as pork, lamb, veal or venison – the best pairing are those that fit between dry, light meads and dark meads that compliment steaks and chops, such as our Wild Choke Cherry Mead.
- Spicy foods are best paired with fruity meads, as the sweetness of the fruit will compliment the zing, and so on.
Know Your Mead Varieties
Just as a person should know a bit about varietals of wine or beer for pairing with food, a person should likewise learn about mead varieties to know food pairings with mead. Again, if you know roughly how to pair beer or wine with food, you’ll get a feeling for mead pairings by knowing a few mead varieties.
Here are a few:
- Honey mead: this is a straight honey wine, the foundation upon which all other meads are built. Mead comes in sweet, semi-sweet and dry varieties.
- Dark honey mead: dark honey meads are made with, well, dark honey. They are much like typical mead, but with darker, more savory flavors – such as our award-winning King’s Mead.
- Cyser: Cysers are meads made with apple juice but mixed with honey and fermented, much like a fruit wine. Apple cysers are light, refreshing but surprisingly well-bodied.
- Melomel: Melomels are meads made with fruit, of which cysers, pyments and other varieties given names when made with specific fruits are examples of. The fruit determines the profile. The darker the fruit, the darker and more savory the flavor. Thus, cherry, blueberry or blackberry melomels will be on the darker side.
- Metheglin: Metheglin is spiced mead, much like mulled cider or wine.
- Pyment: mead made with grape juice. The darker the pyment, the darker the mead’s flavor will be – much like wine made from grapes.
- Red Mead: made with redcurrants.
- Rubamel: mead made with raspberries
And so many more!
If you find a mead of a strange type, look it up. You’ll be able to find what its made out of and that will likely tell you what food pairings work best.
Just Drink Mead You Enjoy
Another thing to bear in mind is your own palate, what you like – and a mead that tastes good with food, whether or not it fits conventions of what should go well with what food, is the best food pairing with mead for you.
Remember, it’s about enjoyment of mead and enjoyment of food; if you don’t like a mead that should go well with a particular dish but find you do enjoy one that maybe shouldn’t, drink the one you like! Keep track of the meads you drink and the foods you eat with them. Try keeping notes on what pairs up well with what. Your taste buds are the ultimate guide to food pairings, so don’t neglect them.
Want to learn more about mead and food pairings? Try reading up on the topic with “The Art Of Mead Tasting And Food Pairing” by Chrissie Zaerpoor. This book is the ultimate guide to mead and food pairing, and for the serious mead aficionado, is not to be missed! You can try to find it in stores or you can order it online from us, along with some delicious meads to start pairing with foods yourself!