Georgia on my Mind
Free tasting | Saturday, May 26, 2018 | 4-6PM
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. See you there!
2015 Didebuli, Alazani Valley | 100% Rkatsiteli, very light and refreshing off-dry white wine. Picked from the general Kakheti region, often much later in the season. Fruit forward, but very well balanced with Rkatsiteli's high acidity. Notes of dried fruit and candied citrus.
2015 Tbilvino Qvevris Kisi, Kakheti | An ‘amber’ wine that smells like fresh guavas and has a honeyed, nutty, long finish. The darker color is determined by extended skin contact on the wine’s juice. Tbilvino is based in east Georgia’s Kakheti, the country’s most important wine region. Tbilvino was established in a post-communist world and sold their first vintage to the public in 1999. Tbilvino is owned by brothers Zura and Giorgi Margvelashvili, and production is on the larger scale at around 4 million bottles annually. Tbilvino is sold mostly to Russia, other ex-Soviet countries, and China, and now we’re lucky to have it here in the Massachusetts market!
2015 KTW Saperavi, Kakheti | This qvevri red wine is made from the Saperavi grape variety and is cultivated in the village of Velistskihe in Eastern Kakheti. Complex deep purple color, with aromas of ripe fruit. Cherry and plum on the palette with balanced tannins and pleasant astringency. Slightly earthy and pairs perfectly with steak, lamb and gamey meats.
2015 KTW Ojaleshi Semi-Sweet Wine | 100% Ojaleshi aged in qvevri. A semi-sweet, ruby-red wine with aromas of ripe fruit and rose petals which finishes dry. Notes of strawberry and black tea.
2016 Bruale Saperavi, Kakheti | Saperavi means ‘color/dye’ and is the most planted grape variety in Georgia. Bruale’s Saperavi has a myriad of characterisitcs including smoked meat, tobacco, pepper, licorice, and dark chocolate. This is the newest Saperavi at the shop, and a must-try!