News / The Diaspora

Ethiopian-American’s book places second at 2015 Gourmand World Awards


Ayele Solomon with a bottle of Bee d’Vine and his award-winning book  Molly Oleson


he Celebrated Story of Honey Wine, a book by The Honey Wine Company, placed second in the “Best Wine History Book” category at this year’s Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Yantai, China.

This is the second Gourmand Award for the San Francisco based meadery, which has won the “Best Drinks History Book” award in the United States earlier this year.

“The book is superbly written and put together – witty and informative,” said Ethiopian-born Ayele Solomon, founder of The Honey Wine Company.

The 47-page illustrated book recounts the recorded history of the honey wine or t’ej as it is known in Ethiopia.

“The glossary has over 170 languages to say honey wine; about 70 of these languages are Ethiopian languages and many of the others are other African languages. This linguistic evidence indicates that honey wine is a very ancient beverage and one that is deeply embedded in Ethiopian culture,” Solomon said.

Honey wine consumption was once widespread he says, but currently Ethiopia and Eritrea consume 95% or more of the world’s honey wine. This is a situation he wants to change through the book and the recognition it’s receiving.

“Six people worked on this slight book, so it is gratifying to receive outside recognition for all our hard work. The stories present the universality of honey wine and we’re hoping that readers will sample honey wine – preferably our brand, Bee d’Vine – after they’ve read the stories,” Solomon told Gizeyat.

His widely-acclaimed honey wine, Bee D’Vine, is made of the latest fermentation science, raw local honey and pure spring water. It comes in “Brut” for those who fancy drier wines, and the “Demi Sec”, a semi-sweet wine for those preferring slightly fruit-forward wines.

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