Once arrived in Sapa, tourists will be not only attracted by its naturally gifted beauty and its special tasty cuisine, but also elevated in the unique balmy taste of Tao Meo wine ( Meo Apple wine). Dipped with Meo apples, an apple type from the forest, Tao Meo wine is beautifully brown and has a specifically fragrant sweet taste.
In Sapa, Meo Apple trees grow freely on Hoang Lien range mountains. Meo Apple is the nature’s gift to people living on the upland area. Its original name is Sơ nTrà (Fructus Crataegi). People call it by the name “Meo apple” because this type of fruit tree is mostly grown up in the area where H’mong people live. “Meo” is another name to call H’mong people. “Meo” literally means “Cat”.Tao Meo is also called “Love fruit” because it’s taste is sour, austere and sweet like the tastes of life. In the late of spring (March- April), Meo Apple tree is in its white flower blossom and the fruits bloom in autumn. Therefore, from August to October, fresh Meo apples are always on sale.
This is a quite unconventional rustic wine. Meo apples bloom with the forest’s fragrancy, smothered by an upland’s sunshine and wind, have the taste of sweet and bitter. Meo apples are soaked skillfully and carefully. The liquid then is used to make the wine. The first taste you find in Tao Meo wine when drinking it, is the taste of a soft drink. The more you will drink, the more you get into ecstasy.
An old H’mong lady told once “Young couples who haven’t fallen in love with each other, surely will get addicted to each other after drinking Tao Meo wine together. And the crush is said to be like the sacrament of a forever love that they share sweet and bitter in life, like the tastes of Tao Meo wine they are drinking”.