Tea is a perfect way to start any morning and wine is great with dinner or for a relaxing evening with friends. But what if you could combine the two? After all, wine and tea have a lot more in common than you might think.
Each grape or tea leaf is influenced by its growing conditions, soil, rainfall, harvesting, and even production. Then, they’re both lovingly fermented to create a delicious, unique liquid made for sipping.
They also have subtle complexities and flavor notes within. Savoring a cup of tea, for example, is a lot like savoring a glass of wine — you breathe it in, sip with as much air as you can, roll it around your mouth to let the flavors express themselves, swallow, and wait for the lingering notes left on your tongue.
Together, they can create the perfect undiscovered pairing.
The Tea And Alcohol Love Affair
With so many similarities, it’s not surprising that mixologists and chefs have created infusions of tea and wine after years of combining tea with alcohol.
Over the years, tea-infused liquor has become popular enough that most liquor stores carry bottles of various flavors. For example, a common recipe is soaking four tea sachets in your liquor of choice for anywhere between four and eight hours.
Now, tea is becoming more common in wineries while vintners are experimenting with wine and tea blends for bottling.
Wine And Tea Infusion Combinations
Think subtly. Like pairing cheese or chocolate with wine, the idea is not to overwhelm either one, but instead, to bring out the hidden flavors in both beverages. You want the flavors to complement, not overpower, each other. (Also, avoid using lower quality teas which have heavier flavors compared to quality leaf.)
The best wine and tea combinations come from loose-leaf teas. Here are some outstanding options:
- Oolong is the most versatile. It has such a depth of flavor that it can combine with the richest of reds or the lightest of whites.
- Green teas pair well with white wines.
- Rich, full-bodied reds combine with black teas that have a dark, caramel, or malt flavor.
Making Tea Infused Wine
It starts with your favorite bottle of wine and a quality loose leaf tea. It’s really that easy!
- 2 bottles of your wine of choice
- ¼ cup loose leaf tea
- Cheese cloth
- Glass pitcher with a lid or plastic wrap for covering
- Large spoon for stirring
The night before:
Add the two bottles of wine to the pitcher. Pour a bit of boiling water over the tea leaves to start the process. Do not soak the leaves. Just pour water over them. Add the wet tea leaves to the wine. Stir.
If you are using a white wine, transfer to the refrigerator. Similarly, if you’re using a red wine, transfer to a cool place. (The best temperature for red wines is 70F degrees.)
The next day, strain the wine through cheesecloth. Then, add the wine to a blender and blend for 30 seconds — this aerates the wine and allows it to open up quickly.
At this point, you can add the wine to a decanter and set aside OR slice fresh fruit and add it to the pitcher of wine and refrigerate until you’re ready to enjoy.
Wine and Tea Infusion Additions
1 bottle of sweet wine like a French Riesling
1/8 cup Iron Goddess of Mercy Tea (oolong)
1 ounce rose petals
2 organic vanilla pods
Mix together and place in the refrigerator in a glass pitcher overnight. Strain it through cheesecloth the next day. Serve chilled.
Sultry Cacao Infused Wine
1 bottle of late harvest Pinot noir
1/8 cup English Breakfast Tea
2 Tablespoons cacao nibs
1 Tablespoon cardamom pods
2 Ceylon cinnamon sticks
Mix together and place in a glass pitcher overnight. The next day, strain it through cheesecloth. Run the wine through a blender for 30 seconds and add to a wine decanter.
The duo of wine and tea not only tastes great, it gives your body, mind, and spirit a lovely boost. These wine and tea infusions will be the ideal dinner companion. The night is yours — these wine and tea combinations will only help enhance it!