Georgia Wines, No Not the State!

I realize it has been a while since I’ve posted anything new, but with Covid-19 and the fact that I’ve been barricaded at home working on my cookbook, it is understandable.

I have had the great pleasure of still making connections in the wine world, and wanted to introduce two new wines. Kindzmarauli, which is a semi-sweet red, and Tsinandali, which is a dry white wine. These two bottles were sent to me from Zurab Cherashvili, owner of Sada Wine Imports.

Now, I’m sure you are asking yourself, what am I talking about? Good question. I’ve never heard of these wines either until recently. Both are from Georgia. No, not the state, the European country. Quick geography lesson my readers. Georgia is north of Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.

I was fascinated to learn that Georgia is credited as the birthplace of wine. While doing some research, I read that archaeologists traced the world’s first known wine creation back to the people of the South Caucasus in 6,000BC. These early Georgians discovered that grape juice could be turned into wine by burying it underground for the winter. We all should be thankful to those people every time we raise a glass.

The first wine we tried was the semi-sweet red Kindzmarauli. It was light and sweet on the nose, but full of flavor once we tasted it. We discovered that it paired well with spicy food. For dinner this evening, we were having a lovely spice-rubbed duck breast with a mushroom gravy, and an arugula salad paired with cucumbers, tomatoes and citrus dressing. The wine went very well with our meal.

On the bottle, it states that it pairs best with cheese, desserts, and fruits. My husband said when he first tasted it that he would serve it with a cheese platter. It reminded him almost of a dessert wine. I could definitely see this being paired with either. You just have to make sure you choose the correct ones.

Overall, we really liked it. Having it with a spicy duck and arugula salad was quite different from what the bottle recommended, but that is what makes wine fun. You can experiment to your hearts content. There are recommendations, but no right or wrong. Always remember, in the end, the most important thing when trying a wine is whether you like it or not.

The next one we tried was the dry white Tsinandali. Once again, on the nose, it has a fruity quality. When we tasted it, it had a funky taste, and a very dry after taste. The bottle recommends that you pair this with fish and cheese. Luckily, we were having shrimp for dinner, so we were curious how it would taste with our meal.

The shrimp we made this evening was spicy, and cooked with onions, garlic, tomatoes, and red bell peppers. Once we had a few bites, we tasted the wine again. It’s character certainly changed. The funky taste mellowed out quite a bit, and the dry after taste didn’t linger as much. If you like dry white wines, this would probably suit you. Although the wine did pair better with our spicy shrimp dish, we just aren’t fans of dry whites. Again, everyone’s palate is different. That’s what makes drinking wine so much fun.

I want to thank my friend Zurab Cherashvili for sending me these two bottles to try. My husband and I have never tried wines from Georgia. We had no idea that they were credited with being the birthplace of wine. This certainly opened another door for us, and we would love to try other wines from this region.

Remember, when drinking wine, have fun and explore new regions. Don’t get boxed into one specific area. There are so many wines and so little time! If anyone is interested in additional food pairings, please feel free to contact me or go on Zurab’s website and order a bunch of their wines. Enjoy!

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