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MEAD v. Honeywine. The term wine comes from the word vine implying grapes. how many of you prefer the term 'honey-brew' as it is scientifically more accurate, and does not promote the illusion that grapes are involved?
Honestly, I don't like any term other than "mead" and it's variants sich as melomel, metheglyn, etc. I use wine to describe it to people who have no idea what it is. I tell them that it's like wine, except we use honey rather than grapes. Sometimes that's the only way to explain it.
I despise the word honeywine, but it seems to help the clueless "get" it. Honey-brew may be more accurate but I think I'd still have to explain what it is (Ignorant Masses - "Umm, a honey beer?")... and that's right back to honeywine for the clueless.
For those who don't know what it is, I tell them... "It's fermented Honey".
As far as I'm concerned (Stubborn Revisited); Using a term to discribe something or to mean something other then its intended use, serves only to muddy the water, making it difficult to be clear and exact.
Wine is A liquor or beverage prepared from the juice of any fruit or plant by a process similar to that for grape wine; as, currant wine; gooseberry wine; palm wine.
Beer is A fermented liquor made from any malted grain, but commonly from barley malt, with hops or some other substance to impart a bitter flavor.
Mead is A fermented drink made of water and honey with yeast, etc.; metheglin; hydromel.
To brew is To boil or seethe; to cook. To prepare, as beer or other liquor, from malt and hops, or from other materials, by steeping, boiling, and fermentation.
By Definition; mead is neither beer nor wine, and it needn't be brewed.
This is my opinion, I understand not everyone thinks this way. It's the way I see it.
I know what you mean. To the uninitiated "mead" doesn't convey any real meaning. I usually tell the person "It's like a wine, only from honey instead of wine grapes." "Mead" is the best term to use, since mead deserves its own category, apart from wine.
Historically speaking, mead has aways been referred to as mead. There are a number of varients in the Indo-European language group, all stemming from the hypothetical proto-Indo European word "Medhu." In other words, mead has aways been mead.
The fermentation properties of honey are distinctly different from the wine grape, enough so that, again, mead deserves its own category.
But yeah, when talking with someone who has never heard of mead, I find myself saying things like "It's kind of like a wine, only made from honey instead of grape." A first taste of a good mead will do the rest. ;D
Personally I do prefer the term Mead, but I have no problems with the term Honeywine. It is acurate term for people who do not know what mead is. Honey-brew implies beer, which a lot of people already think that mead is. The term wine all by itself does refer to an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting grapes, but it can also be used as a qualifier when combined with oither words. Such as elderberry wine, strawberry wine or dandelion wine; none of which contain any grape juice.
On another note, honeywine has been used historically for hundreds of years and it is part of the history of mead. I use the term mead first and resort to honeywine if the person I am talking to has no idea. This usually opens the conversation up to allow a more detailed explanation. I promote mead every chance I get and will use all the tools at my disposal. If it helps people to understand the drink I am passionate about, then I think that is great!
I guess it all comes down to personal preference and terminology. To each his own.