When it comes to the wine served at a modern medieval banquet there are usually several choices. Sometimes the chosen venue will be happy to cater for modern tastes irrespective of whether there are any relevant, historical connections. However, it is more usual for the wine to have a medieval association of some kind.
Medieval Wine & Drink History
The wine that was drunk at a banquet in 12th-15th century Europe was usually whatever was in vogue at the time. In the 400 years that the medieval era spans, here are the main alcoholic drinks that were popular:
- mead – honey fermented with water, fruits and spices (also with hops in late years)
- hippocras – wine mixed with sugar and spices, highly prized by the rich and nobles. Reported to be the favourite drink of the infamous Gilles de Rais in France.
- ale – sometimes drunk at banquets but less favoured by the rich and nobles and more popular amongst the poor
It is not easy to give a detailed assessment of what wine you should expect to be served at a medieval-style banquet today but, generally speaking, it will proabably be a modern day version of one of the above 3 alcoholic drinks.