Are you into your dry whites? Prefer something fruitier and fuller bodied? Perhaps something sweeter, with light astringency and lingering after taste … We’re talking tea here – of course!
I’m guessing it’s not often that people find themselves deliberating over whether to have a glass of wine or a cup of tea. But tea and wine have more in common than what you might think. Think less about that milky cup of Earl Grey you have in Nana’s lounge room, and more about the enchanting world of Asian whites, greens, oolongs, blacks and even pu’erhs.
Let’s have a look at some of what they have in common …
1) Tea and wine are highly specialised natural products that are influenced very much by terroir ('the taste of the earth'), and which are a creative expression of the individual tea or wine maker.
2) There are geeks and connoisseurs. There is a mystique, infiniteness and elusiveness of wine and tea that give rise to the appreciation of the finer points of the products, the ways to taste them, ways to describe the experience they bring, and the ways to enjoy them.
If you want to geek out, go to our Tea Info pages.
3) The drinking experience. As with wine, with tea we assess the aroma, visual aspects and flavour profile, working with a colour and weight spectrum.
We talk about hints, notes, finish and mouthfeel. Floral, fruity, citrusy, smoky, earthy, peaty, woodsy, sweet, astringent, full-medium-light bodied, chocolatey and muscatel are also commonly used to describe tea!
Suggestions from the Tea Drinker to the Wine Drinker
Full-bodied slightly fruity white: Pai Mu Tan or Yunnan White
Light and citrusy: Yunnan Green, Jasmine Silver Needle
Sweeter whites: Joy Mt Oolong, Orange Blossom Oolong
Light reds: Orchid Nectar Oolong, High Mt Black
Heavier reds: Hong Shui (Red Water), Yunnan Spring Tips
After dinner: Big Red Robe, Shan, Wild Purple