Kinsale Mead has won the Irish Food Writers’ Guild Drink of the Year award from the hard working and astute writers at the Irish Food Writers’ Guild.
“It’s such a boost to get this kind of recognition and appreciation for the care we take to make the best possible Irish meads at Kinsale Mead Co.,” said Kate Dempsey, co-founder.
In 2019, Kate and Denis, inspired by the legends of Ireland’s Wild Geese, wanted to explore the potential of their mead further by barrel ageing it. The IFWG Award is for their Wild Red Mead – Merlot Barrel Aged, a three year-old off-dry mead with tart Wexford blackberry and juicy cherries, aged for twelve months in Bordeaux wine casks. This mead showcases the creativity, innovation, determination and attention to detail put into every drop of their honeyed elixir. This mead may well have influences of Spain and France, but to taste it is to experience a contemporary expression of the original wine of Ireland.
“We are absolutely thrilled and humbled and truly grateful,” said Denis Dempsey, co-founder.
2020 was a challenging year for the duo as direct sales were impacted, meadery tours were limited and tastings, food festivals and other promotional opportunities all ceased. They responded by creating virtual Online Mead Talk & Tastings zooms, a fun, laid back evening with intriguing insights into the history of mead in Ireland and the importance of mead in Irish food culture, held in high esteem and value.
While they’re waiting for this year’s batch to mature, they suggest trying the original Wild Red Mead now. It’s silky smooth and slides down like a big hug of fruitiness. Or why not try the new, semi-sweet, Irish Wildflower Mead, full of the flavours of the West Cork hedgerows in the summertime. This comes with a free pack of wildflower seeds, basically a tiny meadow in the post. Whichever mead you choose, they’re excited for everyone to share their love and passion for all things mead.
Now in their 27th year, the IFWG Awards celebrate local heroes who have brought joy to the lives and tables of so many, before and especially during COVID 19, but whose commitment to producing great food and drink will endure long after the pandemic.