Brimming Horn's newest release Cytherea has its roots in a 3,000-year-old wine known as Commandaria, or Cypriot Manna, as it used to be called. It was a back-to-back Best of Show winner in the Mead Free or Die and Meadllenium competitions as a home entry, and this is the first time it is available to the awaiting public.
Cytherea, the lady of Cyprus, is named after the Greek goddess of love and beauty, otherwise known as Aphrodite. First described by the Greek poet Hesiod in 800 BC, Commandaria would be drunk at festivals celebrating Aphrodite on the Island of Cyprus where she was thought to have been born from the sea foam. During the Crusades, Commandaria was served at the 12th century wedding of King Richard Lionheart and then commercially produced by the Knights Templar to supply the European royal courts and pilgrims heading to the Holy Lands.
So why did mead maker Jon Talkington decide to take a 3,000-year-old wine and turn in it to the velvety-smooth mead Cytherea? He said: "As a history and wine lover, I've always been fascinated with older styles of dessert wines from Greece, Hungary and Italy. After trying Commandaria wine many years ago, I had to make a mead that was similar in flavor to honor its history. I combined buckwheat honey, grapes, figs, and raisins, and oak aged the mead to mimic the flavor profile of one of the best wines I've ever tasted. I had to name this mead appropriately, so Cytherea seemed fitting."
Cytherea is a sweet and bold mead made from dark buckwheat honey, grapes, raisins and figs, then aged in oak barrels for months, imparting a lovely vanilla and caramel note to the finish.This beautiful dark amber mead was released May 4 for $26.99 in 500ml German ceramic bottles, and is available on www.vinoshipper.com.
Also recently released is Showcolatil, an 8 percent lightly carbonated session mead based around an Aztec/Mayan chocolate drink and made from honey, cocoa, vanilla beans, chili peppers, cinnamon and allspice. Modern-day drinkers can enjoy its rich and spicy flavor without the ritual sacrifice!