December 17, 2008

Golden Star White Jasmine Sparkling Tea, $13/750 ml or $7/375 ml

No matter how exquisite your wine offerings are at the holidays, it’s always good to have something non-alcoholic on offer—extra points if it’s dry enough to match with food and more interesting than water. This tea expertly fits the bill. The pale yellow hue with its delicate bubbles suggest Champagne; the scent makes a flower lover swoon with its pure jasmine notes, the tea part of the equation keeping it from being too sweet. And that’s just the scent. Made from filtered water, white jasmine tea and a little organic cane sugar, the flavor is just as pure and elegant, just a touch of sweetness rounding it out. Poured into a wine glass, it’s easy to forget that it isn’t wine—with the bubbles and the smooth, restrained flavor, it acts like an exotic, elegant white. Lay in a supply for winter—it deserves to go beyond holiday toasts, to dinners of steamed snapper with ginger sauce or takeout sushi. —Tara Q. Thomas

Golden Star Tea Co., San Francisco, CA,

This first appeared in the Denver Post.

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