Mead in Manhattan

This local honey-based wine is creating a buzz

Nathaniel and Thatcher Martin want to change the way you think about mead–if you think about it at all, that is. Most mead–the honey-based brew beloved by Vikings and ubiquitous at Renaissance Faires–is typically a high-alcohol, syrupy sweet concoction best sipped slowly and in small amounts. But the brothers behind the new Manhattan Meadery have a different target audience in mind: serious wine drinkers.

Already avid home brewers, the Martins began experimenting with locally sourced maple syrup and honey in their beers. They then decided to try their hand at honey wine, and liked it so much that they launched a full-scale operation, using honey from the Finger Lakes' Tremblay Apiaries for their first run of 200 cases, which they're calling Brooklyn Buzz.

Brooklyn Buzz tastes less like the nectar of the gods and more like a crisp, dry white with pleasantly floral aromas. Served chilled, it's better with dishes like roast chicken, fig-based appetizers or cheeses like Manchego and Pecorino than dessert courses or Norse explorations. In fact, while the Buzz does have a bit of a honey kick, says Nathaniel, most people are surprised to find out what this mead is made of.

Brooklyn Buzz is available for $13 (for 750 ml) at Astor Wines & Spirits, 399 Lafayette St. (at E. Fourth St.), 212-674-7500 or astorwines.com