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Seeking an unusual wine...

TheScrappyTomato Apr 26, 2008 06:14 PM

Hi, I'm new to Chowhound but am finding the boards to be fun and interesting.

Years ago, here in Las Vegas, we had an Eritrean restaurant called The Red Sea. The food was incredible, and every time we ate there we had a bottle of a unique honey wine called 'Orit Tej'. I still have one of the empty bottles because I've never stopped looking for it since the restaurant closed. The label is gold and it says it is 'blended, processed, and bottled by Orit Tej Co.' in San Francisco. But Google comes up with nothing but one mention of someone drinking it in a restaurant on Haight Street. Frustrating!

This wine is nothing like mead, which makes me want to puke, or any other honey-type wines I have tried. So if anyone has any information on this wine, I would really appreciate it!

Thanks,
~~~Cyn

  1. k
    kairo Jun 16, 2013 02:27 AM

    Trying to do a little research on Orit Tej and I found your post here from a number of years ago.
    Did you end up finding it?
    I found some in a grocery store in Oakland California.
    Forget the stores name but it was at Perkins and Grand.

    1. j
      Jaybth Aug 2, 2011 09:35 AM

      I too have been searching for an Orit Tej that I first discovered at Addis Red Sea in Boston in the early nineties. The restaurant is still there, but alas they no longer carry this staple of Ethiopian beverages. My research has led me to produce my own. The recipe is simple, unfortunately one of the main ingredients will require special ordering to obtain: Gesho is a wood and leaf material that is used in the making of both T'ej (honey wine) and T'ella (beer). It is thought to contain a strong enough residue of wild yeast to naturally ferment into wine when added to honey water. There are different names for T'ej based on added flavorings- Yemuz T'ej is flavored with Bananas, Yebunna T'ej with Coffee, Yezinjibil T'ej with Ginger, so on. My search for whether Orit is a brand or style led me to this post. It's true, there is little for information. I found a book on Ethiopian cooking that has many great recipies including T'ej (and stores to obtain essential ingredients):
      Exotic Ethiopian Cooking: Society, Culture, Hospitality & Traditions, by D.J. Mesfin, (c) 1993, Ethiopian Cookbook Enterprises, 7409 Carol Lane, Falls Church, VA 22042.

      1. m
        Maximilien Apr 27, 2008 04:09 AM

        There's a starting point for you :

        http://www.ethiopianrestaurant.com/tej.html
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tej

        5 Replies
        1. re: Maximilien
          Strawman Apr 27, 2008 07:03 AM

          Go to www.winesearcher.com and search for "tej". There are a few available. I searched for your producer "Orit" and found nothing.

          1. re: Strawman
            maria lorraine Apr 27, 2008 11:45 AM

            Yep. Just search Google for "wine Tej" and you'll see a lot of entries.

            1. re: maria lorraine
              TheScrappyTomato Apr 27, 2008 12:42 PM

              See I hadn't thought of that--I thought that 'Orit Tej' was the whole name of the wine, not just 'Tej'. Will try that--thank you!

            2. re: Strawman
              TheScrappyTomato Apr 27, 2008 12:46 PM

              Thank you all very much! :D

              1. re: TheScrappyTomato
                Haile Yesus Jul 18, 2010 02:13 PM

                Hi I new also here in this grat web page, i´m living in México but my uncle is the producer of Orit tej, I will call him and I can give you his data. I was looking for diferents tejs in google when I remember my uncle's tej and I jus want to know what have google about it, and haha you are wrigth just your ask I found about orit tej.

          2. ChefJune Apr 27, 2008 12:52 AM

            What do you mean by "years ago?" three? twenty? have you googled "Eritrean wines?"

            1 Reply
            1. re: ChefJune
              TheScrappyTomato Apr 27, 2008 12:46 PM

              I'm sorry, I guess I should have been more specific! We visited this family-owned restaurant frequently in the mid-90s...but they closed around (not sure!) '96, '97. Seems the kids wanted their parents to retire and get out of the kitchen!

            2. Strawman Apr 26, 2008 06:48 PM

              Did you consider calling the restaurant and asking who their distributor is?

              BTW WineSearcher doesn't show it anywhere in the world.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Strawman
                r
                RicRios Apr 27, 2008 09:17 AM

                Search "Tej Honey Wine", plenty of hits.

                1. re: Strawman
                  TheScrappyTomato Apr 27, 2008 12:41 PM

                  Unfortunately the restaurant closed in the '90s. So that's out.

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