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

All this talk about mead, wine, and beer might raise the question: How are they different?

Technically speaking, mead isn’t wine or beer, it’s in its own category. Traditionally mead is fermented from just honey, water and yeast.

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.

Here’s how you can think of them as separate drinks.

The Differences

1. 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. Flavor Complexities

Sure, mead can be dry, semi-dry, semi-sweet, or sweet just like wine[JW1] . But the two drinks still have their own taste profiles and complexities.

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

3. Track Records

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. Lifespan

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 up to a month.

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).

Lifelong “Winie?” Give Mead a Try!

Full disclosure: We might’ve just made up the term “Winie” 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!

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