I'm rather fond of mead, as I've noted before. While it's made from fermented honey, mead is very much considered a wine. Honey Moon meadery in Bellingham, Washington makes their mead in a funky refurbished glass factory. They use local blackberry and fireweed honey. They make their meads (and melomels, traditionally made by infusing mead with fruit or other seasonings) in small batches, so that while there are a number of meads available in bottles, there are also several that are only available in the Bellingham tasting room.
I recently stopped by Honey Moon's tasting room. I had a sample of their current offerings. For a dollar per 3 ounce glass, Honey Moon encourages customers to try the current offerings. On my recent visit, I sampled:
- Lovers Mead
- This is very much a traditional mead. It's very light, a pale champagne. the aroma is fragrant, but not overpoweringly honey-scented. The flavor is sweet, but not overpowering. This is a good starter mead, and would go well with food, or as a dessert wine for a cheese or sweet course.
- Orange mead
- Technically, this is a melomel, made by infusing mead with orange and tangerine peel. It's a slightly darker gold, with a distinct aroma reminiscent of orange blossoms. The citrus note is apparent but not overpowering. I'd like to try cooking with this, in terms of a reduction or a glaze. It's a lovely dessert wine as well.
- Wassail Mead
- This particular mead was originally a seasonal offering for the holidays but it proved so very popular that it's available all year round. It's mead flavored with cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon. This is a robust mead, one that would be equally lovely served as is or heated. The flavor is intense without being overpowering.
- Midnight Blue
- Midnight Blue is a melomel infused with blueberries. It's a lovely light garnet-purple in color, with an intense bluberry odor. It's slightly more noticeably alcoholic in flavor but it's very much like bottled summer.
- Rhubarb Mead
- This is a light amber in color, and very very different. Were this to be offered to me without any explanation, I'd think it was an exotic dry dessert wine. This is quite frankly my favorite of the meads I've tried, ever, and I'm more than a little disappointed that it's made in such very small batches that it is only available in the tasting room.