By Fergal Gleeson
Despite global warming, winemaking in Ireland is strictly for romantics and hobbyists. However as far as back as the Middle Ages monks have been making mead (honey wine).
You can buy mead in speciality Celtic stores or online but drinking mead in a medieval castle in Ireland feels much more authentic.
15th century Bunratty Castle, in Ireland’s south west is one of the country’s best preserved castles. You can enjoy mead as part of a banquet complete with ‘Game of Thrones’ style gigantic knife for carving your meat.
The mead is consumed along with medieval fair such as spiced parsnip soup and spare ribs.
Fact: The honey based drink has powers of virility and fertility! Well so they said anyway. Counterintuitive for an alcoholic beverage but who was I to argue with a grinning man in brightly coloured pantaloons.
In days of yore the bride and groom drank mead each night until the first full moon which is the origin of the term “honeymoon”.
Tip: Have your party piece ready! One guest is locked in the dungeon at each banquet. If it’s you, you’ll have to ‘sing for your supper’ to be released!
Adapted from ’50 Top Wine Experiences’ from Gourmet Traveller Wine