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Wine and Tea

Most tea comes from India but there's also a tea farm in Mississippi. We drink a lot of wine In New Orleans but we don't make a lot of it, except for the Ole Orleans winery in Central City.

If somebody was to ask you, “What do you know about brain chemistry?” you’d probably answer “Not much,” or even “Nothing.” well, it turns out you’d be wrong.

When you decide you need a cup of tea, or a glass of wine, and you prefer one kind of tea over another, or you avoid a certain type of wine because it gives you a headache, what you’re actually doing is adjusting the fine balance of chemicals in your brain - like dopamine, opioid peptides, serotonin, theanine, and glutamate.

We didn’t know any of this science when humans started drinking tea in, 2737 BC. Nor did we know it when animals first started drinking fermented fruits, reportedly 80 million years ago.

Although we might enjoy drinking wine and tea in the same way our ancestors did, we’ve come a long way with manufacture and distribution.

Tea

If you know anything about tea, you probably know it comes from India. Well, yes, a lot of tea is grown in India. But what you may not know is, tea is also grown in Mississippi. Brookhaven, Mississippi to be exact.

The co-owner of Brookhaven’s The Great Mississippi Tea Company is Timmy Gipson.

Wine

So now that you know tea comes from Mississippi, where would you least expect wine to come from? How about New Orleans?

Ole Orleans Wines was founded in 2018 and makes wine with labels like Tchoupitoulas Blanc du Bois, Ole Carrollton, and Vieux Carre Rose.

The founder of Ole Orleans Wines is Kim Lewis.

Whichever day of the week it is you’re listening to this, there’s a good chance that today or tomorrow you’re going to be drinking tea or wine.

More than half of Americans over the age of 30 drink at least two glasses of wine a week. And we consume 1.4 billion pounds of tea in this country, every single day. So, choosing to go into tea or wine production seems like a smart move. But being pioneers in those businesses, and finding new ways to operate in already entrenched marketplaces, comes with significant challenges.

See photos from this show by Jill Lafleur on our website. And check out more lunch table conversation about beer and groceries.