Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tea and Wine

After working in the pet industry for more than five years I’ve made a drastic career change and jumped ship to the wine industry. Life works in mysterious ways. You may find yourself asking, what does this have to do with tea? More than you might think!  Over the last month and a half I’ve realized more and more just how many similarities the two beverages share. I don’t know nearly enough about wine just yet to go into full technical detail but I’ve got the basics down.

For starters wine and tea contain tannins. The same component that gives black teas their astringency also gives red wines their mouth puckering tartness. Both wine and tea can be oxidized and fermented (depending on the type). Terroir has an affect on taste with wine just as it does with tea. The descriptions of flavor profiles are also very similar. The other day I was unpleasantly surprised to try a red wine that tasted like bad puerh (you know, the kind that tastes like a barnyard smells). Having a background in tasting tea has been a big help in tasting wine because a lot of terminology is the same. On the flip side, I have a hard time getting past the alcohol to truly taste the wine. Thankfully that isn’t an issue with tea.

For a viewpoint on this topic from someone who actually knows what he’s talking about, check out Wojchiech at Polish Wine Guide. He’s written two articles so far and has a third one coming soon.

1 comment:

  1. It's funny, I can see the connection between tea and wine, but I've always been more of a beer person, and I think it was beer that got me more seriously into tea.

    I generally drink much more tea than beer, and I've always been interested in trying new teas, but I think it was getting into craft microbrews and learning about their production and the different styles of beer that made me want to learn about and start thinking about tea in the same way.

    Wine? Not sure why I've never been into it...maybe I'm put off by wine snobbery. I actually think I've shied away from microbrewed beers lately because I've come into contact with a lot of beer snobbery as well. Now I'm content with Yuengling. And with wine, I can have an opinion on it,but I never remember what I'm drinking...seems just too much to learn and I'm less interested in it because I drink it so much less often.

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