Tea is probably one of the world’s most go-to beverages. A cuppa in the morning with breakfast, afternoon tea time or a calming cup of tea before bed. In this day and age, there is an infinite variety of teas. Basics such as your green tea, breakfast black teas etc. Tea blends where a mix of teas from different regions and varieties are blended together to exude a more alluring and complement cup of tea. Over the years, tea blends became more intricate and complex. Toffee, Bergamot, mango, hot chili are just a few of the many modern day flavours to be infused with these teas.
Wine on the other hand has been around for way longer – at least 6000BC. As the human palate grows and explores so does the types of food wine pairs with – cuisines, bar snacks, chocolate, cheese. With all of these modern flavours from two massive worlds, comes exciting opportunities for teas to be infused with wine! Tea infused wine(amongst other alcohol) has been generating much interest in the past few years. The thought and aim is to accentuate notes for both wine and tea in one drink.
Getting bored at home with your wines? How about a little out-of-the-box experiment.
Just a few guidelines for you to start your own tea infused wine blend:
- For wines and tea, it is recommended to stick to mid-tier quality blends. We love using Gryphon Tea as they have a beautiful range of flavoured blends that packs the right amount of impression on your palate and nose. Perfect to be paired with wide range of wines. (Higher quality/ rare wines and teas should be enjoyed on its own) Lower tier teas and wines may not allow for a great complement for flavours as they tend to be faint and not as fragrant.
- Use about 6-8 tsp of tea leaves per bottle of wine. We experimented with 2/3 of the bottle and used 1 sachet of tea leaves.
“Similar to pairing wine with food it is important to pair complementary notes together. “
- Similar to pairing wine with food, whites/rosé generally goes with lighter tea – green, white and maybe blue teas, fruity light teas and certain light oolong/rooibos (most oolongs are heavy-bodied so be careful which you use). Although a tricky pairing would be an oaky Chardonnay due to its buttery and medium bodied finish.
- Reds typically pairs well with darker and heavier-bodied teas such as breakfast black teas, red teas, Chai, puerh etc.
Step 1: In a mesh strainer, briefly rinsed the tea leaves with hot water to open them up and remove any debris. We chose to let them sit for 20 seconds. Swirl, before pouring the water out.
Step 2: Use any pitcher of your choice. Pour the wine into the pitcher with the tea leaves. Mix thoroughly. Let steep overnight in the fridge or 8-10 hours. (We did this in the morning to enjoy the wine at night!) *Because its an overnight brew, the liquid remains clear and the you won’t find that bitterness of an oversteep-ed tea.
Step 3: If your leaves are not in a teabag, pour it through a mesh strainer to remove any loose leaves. Voila, Your tea infused wine is ready!
Our blend is a combintation of Ai Galli’s Pinot Grigio and ‘Pearl of the Orient’ by Gryphon Tea.
Ai Galli Pinot Grigio presents crisp and fresh with notes of golden apples. Strong hints of citrus and pears are present, so are notes of elegant minerals. Resulting in well-balanced bottle of Pinot Grigio.
Gryphon’s ‘Pearl of the Orient’ is a blend of Jasmine Green tea and rose petals. This light bodied green tea blend with subtle notes of rose is good to enjoy at any time of the day. Perfect for mornings, afternoons and soothing nerves in the evening. Perfect pairing with our white.
We were surprised at how harmonious these two blends turned out. There’s a faint note on the nose, dominated by the rose of the tea. Minerality of the wine still remains and it’s quite light. On the tongue, the taste profile has changed from a regular Pinot Grigio to:
- Slightly more tart. Dry with faded notes of apple, with a citrus finish. It has quite a short draw
- The middle and finishing is interesting. It develops from a tarte citrus front, to a jasmine dominant middle, and finishes with a Long drawn lingering note of rose.
On the nose overall, floral notes are most pronounced
Safe to say the wine was polished off almost right away! We did pair it with some lightly salted potato chips for an extra oomph!
We can’t wait for our next experiemental wine. In the meantime, we hope this blend gives you an idea on how wine and tea can be elevated to another level. Share this with your friends and family. Comment to let us know how your blends turn out!