Monday, April 23, 2018

Happy St. George's Day, 2018.

In honour of England's patron saint, St. George, last night I imbibed in a Georgian wine.  (That's the country of Georgia, not the U.S. state.)  It seemed appropriate, as St. George is also Georgia's patron saint.
The 2015 Tbilvino Qvevris, made from the Rkatsiteli grape, is a wine produced in the traditional method that Georgian's have employed for God knows how long.  Some say 8,000 years.  The juice, skins, seeds and even some stems are fermented and aged together in amphora-like terracotta pots, qvevri, that are buried in the ground for up to six months.  The resulting orange, or amber, wine is quite tannic due to the extended skin contact.
The wine?  My WhiffsNotes are; a deep, deep gold in colour; not much on the nose, a bit of pear perhaps; thought I could taste the clay, probably the power of suggestion, and there was a creamy/honeyed element; low, low acid.  An unusual wine, but a wine style that I have been wanting to taste for decades.
I have been fascinated by the thought of trying a Georgian wine since 1989, when I remember watching Hugh Johnson's series on the history of wine, Vintage.  The first episode began in Georgia - the birthplace of Vitis vinifera.  The image that has stuck in my mind all these years, besides the grey, muddy Georgian day, was Hugh being served wine, ladled with a hollowed out gourd, right from a qvevri buried in the ground (think mud).  Hugh tastes the wine and then says, "It's like nothing I've ever tasted before, really."  I'd have to agree with him.
Happy St. George's Day to my family, friends, and anyone who loves England as much as I do.


Thud said...

Cry havoc and all that....less of the mud please.

Dennis Tsiorbas said...

Happy St. George's Day!
Cool post!
Was the terracotta glazed?

Thud said... but vino was when she finished the bottle.

Vinogirl said...

Thud: You, of all people, would appreciate the muddiness involved.

NHW: Don't know about the glazing, but I would assume not.