Last Saturday, after completing my Chicken Ranch presentation to the Red Hat ladies, I went by the 3rd Annual Texas Mead Fest, held at Rohan Meadery just outside La Grange. The Wife and I went two years ago, when it was also held at Rohan Meadery, and had a great time. Last year it was in our back yard, at Texas Mead Works in Seguin, but we missed it because of a wedding. Meridian Hive Meadery out of Austin. I've never heard of them before, but they had interesting meads listed on their blackboard. I had to give them a try. The mead had a nice reddish color and had a nice, fruity bounce in the mouth, like a good sangria, only lighter. Honey notes were subdued, and with an alcohol content of just 6.7 percent, it would appeal to anyone from the 80s who went nuts for wine coolers. And I don't mean that as an insult. This is a nice, easily drinkable mead that's perfect for a hot summer day when a higher alcohol content is a liability. Enchanted Manor Winery, the folks who supply the official Texas Renaissance Festival mead. I confess I've had this before, and knew what to expect. Bochet is made by cooking the honey until it turns almost black--it's reduced and carmelized--and the result is a sweet, robust body with a creamy mouthfeel and rich, complex flavor. I've toyed with the idea of attempting one on my own, but fear of botching things has made me reluctant to take the plunge. Maybe this winter I'll work up the nerve... Dancing Bee (our favorite from 2012), Griffin Meadery, Darcy's Vineyard or Thorin's Viking Mead (actually, Thorin was a no-show as far as I can tell, but we'll give 'em some love anyway). Mead is fun. It's historical. It has all the diversity of wine, if not moreso, and I suspect meaderies are becoming the new boutique hobby that wineries were a decade ago. And I can't say I can complain.
Chicken Ranch Central