Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sweet Tea....for Grown Ups

In my old age (ha ha) I'm trying to be more adventurous when it comes to food & drink. More recently, I've wanted to learn a lot more about wine. I've never really been a beer drinker (can't stand the taste of the stuff) so wine seems the other obvious option.

When I was in my early 20's, the only thing I knew about wine was what I learned drinking White Zinfandel with my room mates. (That was back when I thought spaghetti consisted of spaghetti noodles & a jar of spaghetti sauce...) As I've gotten older, especially more recently, I've tried to expand my experience with wines. Thanks to my sister I even found a red wine that I liked. I'm also surprisingly impressed with the knowledge my niece possesses about wines & pairings. Of course, she does own a restaurant and is married to a master chef. That could have something to do with it. Lately I've discovered that at World Market you can try all kinds of different wines from around the world, a lot of them at pretty decent prices. It's a good way to try new things without breaking your budget.

So the other day when I walked into my local World Market, a display right near the front of the store caught my eye. I zeroed in on the words "Sweet Tea" because I am a tea drinker--a sweet tea drinker. I'm talking the sweeter the better...Southern style, so sweet you can feel your tongue curl. (Okay, maybe not THAT sweet, but I do like mine pretty strong!) Imagine my surprise when I looked closer at the display and discovered it was actually a wine! Olde Savannah Sweet Tea. I paid my $6.98 (on sale!) and brought my new found purchase home.

Tonight seemed like a good night to try it--no kids at home and I'm in a relaxed mood. So I pulled out my favorite rabbit ears (wine opener people.....just a wine opener) and got a wine glass out of the cupboard. It was only then that I realized that this bottle has a screw-off cap. Okay, no big deal--I've had some good wines before with screw-off caps. Heck, I've even had some good wines out of a box.

When I poured it into the glass, it was a little odd. Only because it is in fact the color of sweet tea. I could see that in the bottle, but when it was actually sitting in the glass it hits home. It's hard to pick up a glass that looks like it has whiskey in it and expect to taste wine. Another thing--it has a distinct smell. This is a problem for me because I am big on smell. Of all my senses, my smell is probably strongest. I can't be around people with strong perfume and can smell b.o. a mile away. I don't know how to describe the smell--some reviews I've read say that it smells like perfume. I can't say I'd wear it. Maybe it's more like a cologne. I don't know, but it has a distinct smell.

So the time for tasting was here. I don't know what I was expecting....maybe sweet tea? Again, I'm having a hard time describing it. Doesn't exactly taste like wine...doesn't exactly taste like sweet tea...definitely had an aftertaste. Maybe something a little medicinal? I can't say it hated though. I also couldn't say that I loved it. I don't know if I'll finish the bottle. I've read it should be served very chilled, over ice, with a slice of lemon. Well I did have it chilled, although I didn't put it over ice and didn't happen to have a lemon handy. Maybe next time I'll try it that way and see if my opinion changes. If you're feeling adventurous, maybe you'll want to try it for yourself.

One last thing I thought was's made in California. I really thought it would have been from Georgia with a name like "Olde Savannah", or at least some other southern state...


Ben said...

Here in Georgia, we like our tea made w/ sugar and our wine made with muscadine grapes. No self respecting Georgian would have Sweet tea wine! Now Sweet Tea Vodka is another story all together! :-)

Jane said...

Oh Ben, you're going to have to tell me about Sweet Tea Vodka! ;)