I am buzzing with excitement as I can’t wait to tell you about our new drink, called Melina. The name is derived from the Greek word for honey, “melit”, so perhaps it is not a surprise to learn that it is a honey wine. It is made by a Scottish artisan who only uses two ingredients to craft this wine - honey and water – and a touch of yeast alchemy to make this incredibly complex elixir. It has no artificial flavourings or sulphites and has an APV of 17%.
Honey wine is one of the world’s oldest drinks, but our version is modern and a truly refined complex taste that is lingering and though-provoking. So perhaps think of mead, but for the 21st Century sophisticated palate of a fine wine connoisseur.
I fell in love with Melina at first sip. However for a second opinion, I asked my good friend Claire Blacker, a Master of Wine, for her thoughts. Thankfully, she is also a huge fan. She believes that Melina works well with sweet and savoury food, and her top tip is to serve it in a large wine glass, slightly chilled, with cheese or as an aperitif.
Claire says “Melina has a delightful complex taste which turns into a rich textural silky feeling in your mouth, like a soothing balm. I loved the beautiful deep golden tones which are really rather charming.” She highlighted textural richness, aromatic complexity and a great length of flavour on the palate, which she often associated with the wine of quality.
I instantly knew that we needed to bring this wine to our customers! I could not keep this amazing wine all to myself, especially because it goes so beautifully with fine cheese. I personally think of Mélina as a wine that is on par with the best dry sherries, white ports, and sweet wines of Jura, like Vin Jaune. So here are my three top recommendations for cheeses to pair with it.
La Tur - This is a unique delicious soft cheese made with cow's, goat's and sheep’s milk blended together to create a melt-in-your-mouth texture which is rich, velvety and creamy. This cheese pairs well with a glass of Melina, as the sweet honey notes cut through the richness of the cheese, while the zingy qualities help lift it to a new level.
Appenzeller Edel-Wurzig - This artisan Swiss cow's milk cheese has a deep and complex flavour courtesy of incredible Alpine milk which is rind washed with a secret recipe brine, infused with wine and spices. The purple label Appenzeller (aka Edel-Wurzig) is matured for a minimum of 9 months, so the rich texture is aromatic, sweet and nutty with a wonderful crunch that works perfectly with Mélina.
La Peral - A medium-strength Spanish artisan blue cheese with a moderate bite but excellent complexity. It is made in a remote area of Asturias in northern Spain from cow’s milk using traditional methods. The cheese is matured to allow the flavours to become rich and distinct, so it has a dense creamy texture, a hint of nuttiness and a salty blue bite, which works beautifully paired with the honey wine.
I would love you to try Mélina and fall in love with it like I did. So be sure to pop into our Haddington shop or order online and try a glass yourself, or perhaps a few friends and a stunning cheeseboard!
The Cheese Lady x
P.S. To make your first sip of Melina all the sweeter, I'd love to offer you 15% off your first order of it. Use the code MELINA15 when you order a bottle of Melina or a "Bonnie" Scottish Cheese Selection featuring Melina.