Tea Meets Wine

Disclaimer: Please drink responsibly.

So, there’s wine and there’s tea and, as the popular saying goes, never the twain shall meet. Or shall they? To be quite honest, the notion of blending wine and tea isn’t a concept that sounds very appealing to me. But I could be a bit biased since I’ve never been much of a wine drinker.

As I noted recently in an article on this blog I wrote about tea in France, tea and wine have recently begun to come together thanks to a certain bit of terminology that tea experts have borrowed from the wine industry. That’s sommelier, of course, and you can read more about tea sommeliers in some of the articles that have been published at this site.

While there’s something that seems a bit odd about combining wine and tea, I guess ultimately it’s not all that different from using any other type of ingredient to flavor tea. Except that the end result in this case will have a little bit of a kick. Turns out that as I began to look into this notion a little more, it wasn’t quite as unusual as I thought.

I ran across one tea merchant who offers a kit that’s said to facilitate the process of blending tea and wine. Though it appears to be not much more than a jug with a filter in the spout to filter out the tea leaves after they’ve been “steeped” in the wine. At their web site, another tea seller offers some suggestions and instruction for wine and tea mixers. They don’t offer any gadgetry for making this happen but simply recommend steeping a teaspoon of tea in about six ounces of wine. They don’t mention filtering out the tea leaves afterward, but I’d recommend it.

If you’d like your tea and wine assembled ahead of time, then you might try the cleverly named Teavine. The makers of this one boast that it’s made with only three ingredients – Organic Green tea, Organic Honey, and White Wine. And it comes in an eye-catching bottle, to boot.

I’ve never tried mixing green tea and red wine, and I probably never will. This old newspaper article that suggests doing this apparently offered the suggestion in a tongue in cheek manner (I hope), given the health benefits that have been alleged for both. Last up, and perhaps just a bit off the topic, here’s a book I hadn’t run across before that tells about the origins of Chinese tea and wine.

See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.

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