Friar Tuck was on to a good thing and he knew it. Overindulgent perhaps but the taste of his favourite beverage, mead, is one I could easily get used to.
While driving though the Margaret River region of Western Australia, hubby and I were faced with the difficult task of choosing which of the 100 or so wineries we would visit. Decisions, decisions!
Around almost every corner another winery beckoned but we couldn’t visit them all. The long list of unfamiliar names on a tourist brochure offered no clues as to the best; however one name, being a meadery rather than winery, stood out from the rest.
“What’s a meadery?” I asked. Hubby was more informed. He recalled a black and white television series from the mid-1960s called Robin Hood, in which a good friar indulged heavily in the honey wine. Not a bad pick up for a lad of about 10 years of age.
Blackwood Meadery, located in Karridale 25km south of Margaret River, was modest in size compared to surrounding wineries but very welcoming with sweet aromas drifting from the gardens.
For just $2 each we could taste a variety of dry to sweet meads, as the host filled in the blank details on the beverage.
Mead is wine made from honey rather than grapes and can be traced back at least 5000 years to Nordic legends. During these times the bee was held in high regard as honey was considered the giver of life, courage, strength and wisdom.
One legend claims that mead was the reason behind the word “honeymoon”. Supposedly, a Northern European tradition says a bride and groom were to drink mead every day for one month after their wedding, which was intended to increase virility and fertility.
Moving on to Hamelin Bay Wines and Briarose Estate we found a convenient way to stock the wine racks at home with Margaret River wines and meads was to buy cartons of 12 bottles, which were usually discounted and free of freight charges for bulk purchases.
For extra variety, we could also buy one bottle at each of 12 different wineries and ask the final winery of our choice to freight the carton home to Maryborough, Qld … where a bottle of 2005 Blackwood Mead is waiting to be opened on Christmas Day.