About Honey Wine

Mead is considered to be among the oldest of alcoholic beverages.

What is mead?

Mead is a wine that is made from honey instead of grapes.

How does that work?

Alcohol (the kind you can drink) is made by yeast consuming sugar and converting to alcohol.  With a traditional wine, yeast gets its sugars from grapes.  With beer, yeast gets its sugars from the starches in malted barley.  With mead, yeast gets its sugar from honey.

Isn’t that sweet?

It can be, but does not have to be.  With many sweet wines, the sweetness is achieved by adding sugar after fermentation is complete.

With our meads, the sweetness is achieved by adding more honey after fermentation.  Dancing Skeleton’s meads range from completely dry (no sweetness) to dessert level sweetness.

There can also be a perception of sweetness brought on by certain factors (such as characteristics of the oak that the beverages are aged on), without having any sugars present.

I see different flavors of mead.  How does that work?

We use different kids of honey, or honey varietals to get different flavors.

How can you have different kinds of honey?

If you take a bee hive and place it in the middle of an orange grove, the blossoms on the orange trees are going to be the primary source of nectar for the bees.

If you move that same bee hive to the middle of a blueberry farm or a raspberry farm, suddenly the bees have a different flower to get their nectar from.  Thus, the honey will be different.

North America alone has over 300 different honey varietals.

So is it “mead” or is it “honey wine”?

Both.  A common reaction we get when mead is introduced to people is “I don’t like beer.” The perception is that mead is in the same category of beverages as ales and lagers (both are beers). Thus, for clarity Dancing Skeleton’s products are referred to as honey wine. But it is perfectly accurate and acceptable to refer to them as meads.

Mead is licensed and taxed as a wine in the United States.

I see some meaderies using fruit, spices, etc.  What’s up with that?

When using fruit with meads, the beverage can either be a hybrid of a mead and a fruit wine (sugars from the fruit add to fermentable sugars), or can be a mead that is flavored with fruit post fermentation.   These are both referred to as a melomel.

There are other sub-categories of meads, depending on whether you are using spices, nuts, hot peppers, etc.  Each has its own name.  You can learn more about mead here.

Dancing Skeleton specializes in traditional meads.  This is a mead where only honey, water, and yeast are added.  Thus with our meads, the honey is the star of the show.  We are very proud of what we have accomplished by highlighting flavors of the different honey varietals we use.

Currently the only exception to our lineup of traditional meads is our coffee mead, It’s Eight O’clock SomewhereClick here for more information.

Dancing Skeleton Meadery
Sapulpa, OK