But J Michael Hackett, who began the production of Lindisfarne Mead on the island (population: 180) in the early 1960s, was well ahead of his time. In July this year, the Lindisfarne "original" mead won a silver medal in the Los Angeles International Wine Competition and, after a decades-long export struggle, sales in the United States are growing. Lindisfarne Mead just passed the two million bottle mark.
At first sip, I'm wary of an overbearing sweetness. A quick sniff is a little discouraging, but in the mouth, Lindisfarne Mead is very different. Though not quite as sweet as a dessert wine, it's refreshing and smooth, with a slightly sharp aftertaste.While the original mead remains Lindisfarne's best-selling, Walwyn-James and the team are developing others. One of these is a golden-coloured, spiced version made with cinnamon and cloves. It's distinctly warmer than the original, with a cinnamon punch almost like a gentler mulled wine.
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