I am not a Viking, and neither are you (at least as far as I know). This is good, since we’d look silly in those funky helmets. But we can all drink like Vikings at The Spillover in Coconut Grove. Hopefully with only minor pillaging afterward.
The Spillover, like several other restaurants in the Grove, has teamed up with the Coconut Grove Business Improvement District to launch “Wine Flight Wednesday,” during which patrons can try a wine flight or a bottle plus an appetizer for $33. Goes without saying that Poppin’ Bottles is in favor of discounted wine flights.
Much like Miami Spice, the special runs through August and September, those gorgeous South Florida months during which we huddle indoors and long for merciful death rather than have to go outside to get the mail or walk the dog. Wine Flight Wednesday aims to break us of this habit.
Many of the offerings are intriguing (Panther Coffee features a cold brew-infused Prosecco, and how can a marriage of coffee and wine be anything but revelatory?) But when we saw The Spillover had a mead flight with a conch appetizer, the decision was made. Probably due to some subliminal advertising I was exposed to 100 years ago when the University of Florida forced me to open a book by Chaucer in order to obtain a degree.
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Here are the things you need to know about mead:
▪ It is made from honey, not grapes.
▪ It is sweet.
▪ I don’t like sweet wine.
▪ But the Vikings considered it medicinal, and I am all about living a healthy lifestyle. Also, it’s got to taste better than Robitussin.
We learned if you think of mead as a dessert wine and not a main course wine, you just may like it. Though maybe not all of it. But here’s what we tried.
African White Cape Fig Mead (Makana Meadery, South Africa): Ever have fresh figs drizzled with honey? That’s exactly what this tastes like, only in liquid form. How sweet is it on a scale of 1 to 10? 11. Buckle up.
Desire (Moonlight Meadery, New Hampshire): Definitely getting some Dr. Pepper vibes here. No fizz, but a dark berry/cherry/currant flavor. Smooth and shockingly easy to drink, Desire is one of the most popular choices at The Spillover, where you can order mead by the bottle or glass.
Apple Pi (B. Nektar, Michigan): This mead tastes just like what it sounds like: apple pie with a fair helping of cinnamon. With a slab of vanilla ice cream, it would be amazing. But did I mention sweet?
Vikings Blod (Dansk Mejoid, Denmark): You want to be careful with this traditional mead, which comes with flavors of hibiscus and hops. It’s 18 percent alcohol. You do not want to suffer the results of overindulgence, warns Spillover general manager Colin Speer, who is a gleeful fountain of knowledge on mead, its history and what’s to like about it. “It will be the worst hangover you’ve ever had in your life,” he promises. Duly noted. We sipped carefully and liked it a lot.
Spillover, also famous for its ciders, serves on tap two hydromels — mead made with water — that are not as heavy as the meads on the flight, less like a dessert wine and more like something that pairs nicely with your fish sandwich or shrimp and oyster po’ boy. We recommend the Pollination.
So the moral of the story is: If you like sweet wines, you’ll like mead. If you don’t like sweet wines, you should try mead anyway because life is short and surprises are fun, plus don’t be a chicken. Anyway, who doesn’t want to feel like a Viking for a few minutes?
Other participating restaurants in Wine Flight Wednesday: Atchana’s Homegrown Thai, Bice Bistro, Boho, Greenstreet Cafe, Jaguar & Peacock Garden, Le Bouchon du Grove, Peacock Garden Cafe, Spartico and 33Kitchen.