Mead vs. Wine: How are Mead and Wine Different?

Is Mead a Wine?

Mead is not technically a wine, mead has it's own alcohol category, although the process of making mead is most like winemaking.

Mead is made from fermenting honey, water and yeast. While wine is made from fermenting grape must (mashed grapes) and yeast. Wine is typically a catch all term for any alcohol made from fruit or honey, but most typically refers to grapes.

Beer’s brewing process, ABV level, and flavor palate make it easy to distinguish. But there’s no denying that mead and wine seem to play in the same ballpark.

The key differences between wine and mead are ingredients, but we'll review more differences!

The Differences in Mead vs. Wine

1. Mead Ingredients vs. Wine Ingredients

Like the above distinction with beer, an easy differentiator is in base ingredients. Mead comes from fermented honey, while wine comes from fermented grapes. Ironically, grapes can be used in a mead recipe for specialized flavor, and honey can be mixed in with a batch of wine.

2. How Does Mead Taste vs. Wine

Sure, mead can be dry, semi-dry, semi-sweet, or sweet just like wine. But the two drinks still have their own taste profiles and complexities.

Wine typically has a stronger alcohol taste than mead. If you had to compare the taste of mead to a wine, it's most comparable to a Moscato.

There are several different types of mead, each one with its own unique twist on the basic honey, water, yeast recipe.

3. History of Mead vs. History of Wine

Or, histories. Both were probably made by accident way back when, but their histories differ. It might surprise some to know that mead was the drink of choice in the Middle Ages.

Wine would go on to surpass mead in popularity, but the world’s oldest beverage has made a comeback in recent years. Some attribute this to popular shows like Game of Thrones. We attribute this to something else: Mead is undeniably delicious.

4. How Long is Mead Good for?

Mead stays good for years if closed, we recommend drinking sparkling meads within a year. A mead that plays on the sweeter side of life can actually last longer once opened than a bottle of wine. Because of the higher amount of sugar from the honey, it stays preserved (with appropriate storage), sometimes for years.

Most wines, on the other hand, have a shelf life of a few days once opened before they start to sour (with the exceptions of port or sherry). Wine is typically best enjoyed between 3-20 years.

Lifelong “Wino?” Give Mead a Try!

However, if you are in fact a life-long wine fan with little mead-tasting experience, it’s worth trying.

The differences are there, but given the similar crafting process (fermentation) and nuanced flavors that both drinks succeed in providing, chances are that any Winie of the world could easily become a Meadie.

Ready to give mead a try? Let us help you out!

About Us


We started Batch Mead in 2019 to leave our Silicon Valley tech careers and pursue our real passion, MEAD!

We love locally sourced honey, apples and other ingredients. We focus on small batches to keep taps rotating and deliver delicious meads and hard ciders.

We believe mead is an experience, and our tasting room reflects all the notes of that ideal experience.

We recently won Best in Show from the San Diego International Beer Festival (2020, 2021 & 2022)! As well as several other wine, beer & mead awards!

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