You’ve had iced tea. But have you tried ice wine tea? The name isn’t necessarily very descriptive of what it is. It’s not wine, and it’s not really even tea. So what is ice wine tea, and why is it on our list of teas?
Is ice wine tea alcoholic? Can I allow my kids to drink ice wine tea? Read on to learn more about this tasty beverage and its health benefits. It’s big in the US, so the emphasis here is on the US drinkers, but in time it might become popular in the UK too.
What’s Ice Wine Tea?
Well, first you’ll need to know what ice wine is. Visualize a fully ripened, frozen grape. It’s frozen through to the center. Now, imagine that you press that grape. What comes out? Water! What’s left behind is the “good part” of the grape. The acids, the sugars and, most importantly, the flavor. From that concentrate, wine is made.
Ice wine has become so popular in Canada and the United States that there are actually festivals to mark the beginning of “ice wine season.” And it’s not just New England. Even around the Finger Lakes, you’ll find celebrations of the drink.
It was only a matter of time, of course, before someone thought to combine ice wine with tea. The result? Yes. Ice wine tea. It’s a refreshing, sweet and unforgettable drink that’s made its way around the world. North America still proudly calls itself home to the drink. But it hasn’t quite attained the same status here in the UK, nor has it come close.
Is Ice Wine Tea Alcoholic?
Nope. During the process of making ice wine tea, the wine loses its alcoholic content. That may be sad for some, but it serves as consolation that ice wine tea retains its health benefits, even after the dealcoholizing process.
And ice wine tea is pretty good for you! You may be familiar with the health benefits of wine. And, of course, you’re likely familiar with the benefits of tea. Put them together and you’ve got a tasty, healthy tea.
The benefits of ice wine tea to your body include:
- Reduced blood pressure
- Lowered cholesterol
- Stress relief
- A possible reduction of diabetes risks
- Possible prevention of Alzheimer’s
- Bowel and gastrointestinal regulation
- Cancer prevention properties
Ice wine tea has a few other, lesser benefits as well. For instance, it helps to promote oral health. (Don’t forget, though: tea can stain your teeth, so be sure to brush!) Ice wine tea also contains antioxidants, polyphenols and amino acids, all which are good for your health.
So, while ice wine tea doesn’t contain alcohol and won’t give you a buzz, there are still at least a dozen good reasons to drink the stuff.
Ice Wine Tea: What Others are Saying
As you could probable guess, there are Canadian and North American companies that create, process and sell ice wine tea. There are actually too many to go into in just one article, but we’d like to give you a general overview of what others are saying about the tea.
First and foremost, the general consensus is that ice wine tea is delicious. You can buy it by the box of tea bags, or you can purchase it pre-mixed. Either way, ice wine tea reviews agree that you won’t be disappointed.
Other reviews centered around the health benefits of ice wine tea. Some who drank it said that they noticed a remarkable difference in their weight loss efforts. Others said that their doctors were impressed by the drop in cholesterol levels. And a few ice wine tea reviews stated that they found their blood sugar levels easier to manage.
There were a few negative reviews though, and those mostly referenced the taste of the tea. The negative reviews of ice wine tea said that the drink tasted like “grape flavored cough medicine.” We think there could be two possibilities: either the tea wasn’t a good brand or ice wine tea is an acquired taste.
Ice Wine Tea Recipes
You certainly can make ice wine tea on your own – if you know how to ferment grapes and make wine. But an easier solution if you’re looking forward to creating your own drink is to purchase pre-made ice wine.
When ice wine is made, it’s generally made in very small quantities. That, of course, makes it very expensive. However, it’s much less expensive to buy ice wine from a retailer than to actually grow grapes, freeze them and make wine.
Find an ice wine brand you like, then simply add tea. You can use black tea, green tea or white tea. You can even use a blend like orange pekoe.
Here are a few examples of ice wine tea recipes:
- 1 part orange pekoe tea with 1 part vidal blanc ice wine
- 1 part green tea with 1 part cabernet franc ice wine
- 1 part Ceylon tea with 1 part Veltliner ice wine
Use your imagination! You can also add a splash of juice to your ice wine tea. Try orange, pomegranate, or apple with green tea blends. Lemon, raspberry and mint work well with blacks.
Ice wine is naturally extremely sweet. You won’t need to add sugar to your ice wine tea – let the fruit sweeten it naturally!
An Important Note About Ice Wine Tea
You can purchase ice wine tea from retailers both in stores and online. These ice wine teas are non-alcoholic, and make a great summer drink, even for children.
However, if you choose to make your own ice wine tea, be very cautious. The heat from the tea is what presumably causes the ice wine to lose its alcohol content. Done incorrectly, your ice wine tea could still have some alcoholic content.
If you make your own ice wine tea, be mindful. Don’t allow children to drink your tea, and don’t drive after drinking it. Its alcohol content may be similar to that of, for instance, cold syrup. But the potential for drowsiness and even intoxication still exists.
To ensure that your tea is non-alcoholic, we recommend that you purchase it from a reputable retailer. In that case, everyone can enjoy the cool summertime drink.