I am currently in Georgia on the EWBC post trip.
After a fantastic walk in the old part of Tbilisi and in the national museum we had a long wonderful lunch at Azarpesha wine restaurant where we got to share traditional food and Georgian wines. We had four kvevri wines and one traditional red wine, I’ll get back to them in a later post. Kvevri wines are wine made in a traditional way going back several thousand years in time in amphoras dug down in the earth. Here the grapes ferment with skin, seeds etc for a long time, sometimes up to six months or even longer. This gives wine with other tastes than ordinary wines has. When it comes to flavor I often describe the wines as dry white wines with dried fruits, nuts and herbs, but when it comes to structure, tannins and body its more like a red wine. They normally are in a slight oxidized style. The best are truly fantastic, though some might be difficult and rather harsh and over oxidized. I would say that these mainly should be drunken with food, for example something a little fatty, white meats, say chicken or veal. There are also red kvevri wines but as I said I’ll return to these in later posts.
Wine is in many ways an international language that brings winelovers together from all corners of the known world but its not the only international language. While eating and tasting wines at the Azarpesha wine restaurant our host and the owner of the restaurant Luarsab taught us about Georgian traditions. One of these is singing polyphonic songs and holding speeches. The songs and speeches brought us all to another level, hearing the beauty, love and feeling in the songs, hearing Luarsab talking about wine making, family, friendship, old and new helped at least coming closer to both my friends on the trip and to understanding the Georgian culture. The songs are warm, inviting and very touching, though I don’t understand the specific words I felt that I could understand parts of the meaning and soul of the songs – Many thanks to Luarsab for a great introduction to Georgian culture and cuisine.
I recorded two songs on video that I invite you to listen to them and hope that they bring you something as well. I’ll get back to the wines at a later point.