What is tasseography?

A.  The practice of determining the clarity of a wine by looking at it in a tastevin (shallow silver tasting cup).

B.  The practice of reading tea leaves to divine a drinker’s future.

C. The historic Burgundian practice of smelling and tasting vineyard soils to determine their merit.

D. The 16th century practice of tracing important trade routes for ships that carried wine and goods (like coffee beans and cacao) that could be made into expensive beverages.


According to Atlas Obscura, the early 20th century was a time of great fascination with the occult. In particular, tasseography (the practice of reading tea leaves) became so popular that fortune-telling tea cups were manufactured. From the outside, these often looked like elegant, normal, porcelain tea cups. But on the inside, they contained arcane symbols. Depending on where your tea leaves landed and the symbols they touched, anyone so inclined could tell your fortune. None of this has anything whatsoever to do with wine. Nonetheless, we at WineSpeed are convinced that the appreciation of tea and the appreciation of wine are correlated, and that the two manifest enormous similarities in their dependencies on terroir.

Get WineSpeed

Join tens of thousands of other wine lovers. Get each week’s edition of WineSpeed delivered to your inbox every Friday. It’s fast. It’s free. It’s the smartest way to stay up to speed on wine.
Email address
First Name
Last Name
Be sure to check your inbox to confim your subscription.