If you have yet to explore our Georgian wine section at the shop, here is your chance! We are huge fans of Georgian qvevri wines – that is, wine made in the 8000-year-old traditional ways in the country of Georgia. Grapes, skins, and stems, are harvested and deposited into 500-2000-liter clay amphora vessels, or qvevri, which are then buried underground so the wine can age and soak up all the earthen goodness. The clay must be free of impurities, have the right amount of minerals, be porous (but not overly so), and alike to oak barrels, the clay's origins determines the taste of the wine (different kinds of oak - like American or French - impart different flavors to wine).
Here’s a passage describing qvevri from Alice Feiring’s wonderful book on Georgian wine, For the Love of Wine: “So it was the qvevri that first made wines safe for the seasons. It was an extraordinary fact to consider. The qvevri must have seemed like a magic pot that could preserve the wine through the dangerous summer months, when wine without preservatives or temperature control could easily be destroyed. Buried in the soil, the qvevri remained cool, keeping the wine stable and safe. The Romans and the Greeks masked the taste of spoiled wine with resins and additives, but in Georgia there was no need to disguise the taste; the wine was built to last. If true, Georgia truly was the beginning of wine civilization.”
Kosta (who grew up in Georgia!) is visiting to pour some new Georgian wines on Saturday, May 26th from 4-6PM. Read more about the Kosta’s line-up here!