I recently was lucky enough to be invited to a private local mead tasting at eat @ Cane Bay on a day the restaurant was closed for business. Wanda Wright, owner of Wright Apiary and local mead artisan, asked myself, Katherine Pugliese (eat @ Cane Bay and the St. Croix Food & Wine Experience), and Roger Shepard (Premier Wine & Spirits) to sample her meads in preparation for her attendance at upcoming food and wine shows.
Meet Wanda Wright. Local beekeeper, honey producer, mead artisan, owner of Wright Apiary, and all around amazing and wonderful person. Wanda is an eternally youthful soul with a big smile and a heart to match. She gives the best hugs! And the flavors of her meads reflect the love that she puts into them.
For those of you who may not know what mead is, it is also known as “honey wine.” It is fermented honey and water, and the flavor can range from sweet to dry, depending upon the age and the ingredients added to the mead. Meads may be still, carbonated, or naturally sparkling, and they are served at all temperatures, from room temperature to chilled.
Wanda adds local fruits and spices to her meads, and she has six different varieties available – carambola, suriname cherry, mango, yellow plum, passion fruit, and guava. It is important to note that these are not flavors – the mead carries only the lightest essence of flavor from each of these ingredients. Rather, each added fruit juice to the original honey prior to being created into mead adds notes of distinction to the final product. You can read the notes on the final tasting sheet for each variety.
Wright Apiary meads are recommended to be served at room temperature or slightly chilled, before or after dinner. They make a delightful drink just for sipping while watching a beautiful St. Croix sunset as well.
Wanda gave us some interesting facts about mead, such as “mead has been enjoyed for centuries by nobles, notables, and ordinary people, but especially by lovers, honoring their union in a month long celebration, punctuated with drinking “honey wine,” giving rise to our modern day tradition of the honeymoon.” Mead truly is a drink of love!
If you’d like to purchase and try Wright Apiary meads, the best way to find them is by contacting Wanda Wright directly. She can be reached at (340) 277-6727, or (340) 718-2142. Wright Apiary honey (not mead) is also sold at ARTfarm, which you can find on my map of St. Croix farmers markets and farm stands.
I hope you get a chance to taste these wonderful meads, as I was fortunate to do, and enjoy a bit of St. Croix love. And as Wanda says – “Bee Kind!” Thank you Wanda, for caring for your bees, for St. Croix, and for making these wonderful products for us.