Georgia has a rich winemaking tradition. Archeologists have found pottery shards used for winemaking. The Soviet republic claimed to be the world’s oldest wine producer. White wines are the hallmark of Georgia that remain in contact with pips and stalks and ferment further in clay amphorae that are buried in the ground. Various parts of the world follow this trend, but the roots lie in Georgia.
Georgia uses qvevri or clay jars in winemaking. This was the traditional way to make wine but still used widely. The UNESCO has preserved these pots in the Intangible Cultural heritage list. So it makes it more important to taste the wine in Georgia. The diverse choices may confuse you, so have a look at some best wines that you should taste.
This red wine is semi-sweet and produced by Saperavi grapes. These grapes are cultivated in the Kindzmarauli viticulture area. The wine is ripe cherry colored and transparent with dominating berry and fruity tones. The velvety and pleasant tannins offer mild flavor and make it piquant, more balanced, and fantastic. Pair the wine with sweets, soft and spicy cheese, vegetables, seafood, or assorted fruits. Serve it at 10°C -12°C and store between 5°C and 16°C.
The wine is a yellow straw colored that gives a golden hue with a full glass. The lemon and melon aromas are perfect. On the palate, it is semi-sweet and medium bodied. The acid is surprisingly low as Rkatsiteli grape is high on acidity. The sugar overwhelms, and the wine feels clunky, complex, and layered. The flavors of cantaloupe, orange cream, candied lemon peel, white peach, honeysuckle, and mandarin orange wedges are present.
The aroma of dried peach, dried flowers, pines with the taste of a pear, and black tea are excellent. On the palate, it is firm, with a grip and full-bodied. Its vinification involves fermentation and aging for six months in qvevri. It uses skin contact for the complete aging period. The wine is food friendly and best paired with peach chutney or pork shoulder.
Marani Napareuli 2012
The wine is clean, bright, and ruby color. On the nose, there is slight alcohol. It tastes strawberries with a medium spicy finish. The wine is medium bodied with a blend of wood and black, red berry fruit. On the palate, the tight and smooth tannins along with medium acidity linger. Overall a pleasant and soulful drink that is excellent for family dinner.
Mujuretuli and Aleksandrouli grape varieties make Kvanchkara. These are grown in the Racha region. The ruby color wine is harmonious, delicious, and has specific fruity notes and varietal aroma. Pair it with smoked meat cuisines, and it is best served at 8 – 10˚C. The wine contains 11.5% alcohol. Store the wine at 5°C -16°C.
This red wine is semi-sweet and produced from Saperavi grapes. These grapes are produced in micro-viticulture zone Akhasheni. The wine is a dark red in color like pomegranate. On the nose, it is black plum and sweet cherry. The taste is well-balanced and velvety. Pair it with different desserts and ripe fruit. It is best served at 10°C-12°C. Store the wine at between 5°C and +16°C.
The wine has a perfect balance with good acidity and bitter note. On the nose, it is fruity, ripe pineapple and green grass. The aroma is beautiful, semi-sweet, fruity, nice, and fresh. The aftertaste is perfect. This is a light wine that is best consumable with churchkhela.
Orgo – Rkatsiteli 2014
The wine is medium-gold in color. On the palate, it is almost similar to beer with tastes of apple, peach, floral notes, and hops. Tannins are present but not overpowering. The lingering and bright finish makes it an interesting and appealing wine.
Mukado – Traditional Qvevri Mtsvane 2014
Pours amber and tawny hues, on the nose it is mature, nutty with honey overtones. It is well expressive, harmonious, and rich with pleasant and strong tannic. 13.5% of alcohol is present in this wine. The tones of yellow and matured plums are lavishly coupled with dried apricots. The flavor is long, dry, and plentiful. The privileged flavor perfectly combines with turkey, pork, and quail. A variety of seafood, French and Greek salads can also be paired with this wine. The wine is outstanding combination with Asian sour and hot flavors, spicy curries and pizzas. Enjoy the drink at 8 – 10°C.
Tchotiashvili – Rcheuli Qvevri Khikvi 2014
This wine is the product made from the Khikhvi grapes. These grapes are rear and oldest that is becoming famous, and producers are trying to make wines using qvevri in a traditional way. This wine is fermented in qvevri. It is well balanced with nutty and roasted on the palate and nose with a hint of dry fruits on the back. The wine is medium acidic.
This dry wine is the product made from the Mtsvane Kakhuri and Rkatsiteli grapes sourced from micro-viticulture area Tsinandali belonging to the Kakheti region. There is 12.5% alcohol by volume. The liquid is light straw and greenish with a dominant floral aroma. The tropical and citrus flower taste is present in its taste. The wine has medium acidity and aftertaste of ripe peach. Pair it with poultry, fish cuisines, cheese and vegetable salads. Serve it at 8°C and 10°C. +5°C and +16°C is the best storage temperature.
The wine is intense and rich that is pretty good after opening. The silky texture makes it a top tier wine that contains 14.5% alcohol by volume.
Pheasant’s Tears Saperavi
This is tannic and acidic and contains 4% Saperavi, which means dye. The deep color and firm texture of the wine is tart at the initial stage. On the palate, it is cherry, cassis, and nutmeg. The deep colored wine is stain worthy. Pair it with BBQ chicken.
Dakishvili Family Selection, Qvevri Amber Dry Wine, 2015
This wine is a perfect blend of Kisi, Rkatsiteli, and Mtsvane. It is vinified in qvevri. The color is glowing amber with an aroma of plant sap, nuts, mushrooms, and sweet curds. It is long, vivacious and supple with a rich wealth of apricot and walnut. It is soft, generous, plump and slippy tannins along with the well-rounded acidity.