• What is Mead?
Mead is a drink made from the *fermentation of honey*. It's the oldest alcoholic drink known to man. References to it can be found in the Bible, the Koran, and throughout history. Fruits, herbs, and various spices were often added to mead to give it even more flavor, and to impart what were believed to be medicinal qualities to the brew.
In the Middle Ages, honey was used as a sweetener, a medicine, a preservative and a basic ingredient of mead. Even though sugar was first extracted and refined sometime before 2000 B.C., little sugar was available in Europe until the 14th century. Instead, honey was used by confectioners to mix with fruits, nuts, herbs, and spices. In ancient Gaul and England, the flavor of poor-quality wine was concealed by the addition of honey and spices (mulled wine). Honey itself was so valuable that it became an informal medium of exchange.
• What makes Magpie Mead different from other mead?
Mead is mead, right? WRONG! While all mead has to be made from honey, it can be made from honey AND other additives. Magpie Mead is made from ONLY pure Grade A honey. Magpie Mead contains NO SUGAR, NO CORN SYRUP, and NO PRESERVATIVES! When fruits are used in Magpie Mead, they are REAL FRUITS, no artificial colors are used, And NO ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS!
Can't I buy Mead?
A number of things can stop you from buying mead. First on the list is your age. If you're not 21 you are too young to buy mead! And no, it doesn't matter if your parent or guardian lets you drink.
The other problem may be where you live. All states have their own laws regarding shipping of alcohol. You may live in a state that refuses to live in the modern world, and restricts shipping. As more state come around, they will be added to the list. If you do not live in one of the states we ship to you can always come for a visit and a tasting.
• What is that stuff on the bottom of the bottle?
Most mead, will contain small amounts of "stuff". This will usually be in the form of fruit proteins, pollen, royal jelly and other products of the beehive. Over time, some of these tiny particles can settle on the bottom of the bottle. Since Magpie Mead is made with a minimum of filtering, you may occasionally find some sediment on the bottom of the bottle. The sediment from Strawberry and other fruits may contain things like anthocyanins and ellagitannins. These fancy words are just other names for antioxidants. Antioxidants have been shown to help protect cell structures in the body and to prevent oxygen damage in all of the body's organ systems. When drinking a mead with some sediment on the bottom of the bottle, Magpie recommends inverting the bottle a few times before drinking to mix in the sediment and to make sure you get the full flavor and any possible antioxidant benefits.
can I come for a tasting?
Since Magpie Farms is a working farm, the winery doesn't usually keep regular hours. It is highly recommended that you call in advance of dropping in.
Currently Magpie Farms is open by appointment only.
Please call 607-639-4400 to schedule a visit and tasting.
• When is it best to drink mead?
Mead is best enjoyed how you enjoy you life; as a nice chilled glass by the poolside on a hot summer's day, or perhaps at your next social gathering as the perfect choice for that special toast.
And mead is the perfect compliment for any meal. From Chicken, to Beef, to Fish, there is a mead that will go with every dish.