I'm new to wine-tasting and am taking the online class "ABCs of Wine Tasting". Ready for my first white wine tasting. They recommend 3 whites: a Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and a Riesling. I live in the country of Georgia, so it is difficult to find foreign wines. But there is a French-Georgian company that makes a Chardonnay-Mtsvane blend, and a Sauvignon Blanc-Mtsvane blend. The Chardonnay is aged in Oak 9 months and the Savignon 3 months. I also found a Reisling from Alsace. Hope it will work for comparison purposes.

I'll try it tonight with friends, so wines are in the fridge now.

This weekend, I'm going to a wine-tasting where they will compare 4 rare European wines with 4 rare Georgian wines, then follow with a 6-course feast with wine pairings. I'm looking forward to it. Wanted to take this class first to get a better idea of how wine tastings are done.

Have any of you tried any Georgian wines? What are your favorites?

Thanks!
Original Post
carolyn - I've tasted a number of Georgian wines. The thing about them is that for many years people liked the wines pretty sweet. I don't know anything about the industry or current trends, but at least in the US, the stereotype of Georgian wine is that it's mediocre and sweet.

It's an ancient wine area so I'm sure they can make wonderful wines but we don't get a lot of them in the US. Let us know how your tasting goes.
Thanks for answers! Surrounding countries like semi-sweet and sweet wines best, but now there are some good dry wines. Quality has been improving past couple of years with experts from other countries helping.

I'll certainly let you know how the tasting on Saturday goes. Excited about it!

There is also a wine expo here in Tbilisi this weekend. I'll be going on Sunday. Wines from all over Georgia as well as some international winemakers will be exhibited. I'll complete my tasting class tonight so I'll be ready!
Here are the wine pairs we'll be tasting tonight and then having with 6-course feast. Each pair features one rare European wine and one rare Georgian wine. Excited! I'll let you know which ones I like.

Loris Follador, Casa Coste Piane, Prosecco, Valdobiaddene Italy
Vicent’s Natural Sparkling Tavkveri Chinuri, Kartli (Georgia)

Chateau Musar, Blanc, Bekaa Valley, White Blend Obaideh, Merwah, 2005
Ramaz Nikoldaze’s Tsiska-Tsolikauri, Imereti 2010

Bernabe Navarro, Or. Benimaquia Tinajas, Alicante, Moscatel, 2012
Pheasant’s Tears Rkatsiteli, Kakheti, Georgia 2010

Alice & Charles Dagand, Trousseau Les Corvees, Trousseau Gris, 2010
Zura Topuridze’s Chkhaveri Red 2013 (Georgia)

Francesco Iuli, Barabba Barbera Monferrato Sup, Piemonte, Barbera, 2007
Jackeli Wines Saperavi 2011 (Georgia)

Dessert: flour-less mocha roll served with Chacha
1st Course: Leeks w/ Eggs in Garlic Vinagrette

Loris Follador, Casa Coste Piane, Prosecco, Valdobiaddene Italy
Vicent’s Natural Sparkling Tavkveri Chinuri, Kartli (Georgia) from Ateni Tsioni Gorge

The Italian wine was excellent. Perfect accompaniment to the Leeks & eggs. Crisp, dry, and medium-gold. Good finish.

The Chinuri was bland and tasted like slightly-flavored water.


2nd Course: Roasted Eggplant & Bell Pepper w/ Tahini — heavily flavored with onions, garlic, and other spices

Chateau Musar, Blanc, Bekaa Valley, White Blend Obaideh, Merwah, 2005
Pheasant’s Tears Tsiska, Imereti

Here the Bekaa Valley wine was too heavy/smooth for the spicy food. The Crisp, acidic Tsiska was an excellent pair. Cleansed the palate and left my mouth feeling refreshed after the oniony food. Enjoyed the combination. The Tsiska is a favorite. (I also love a 2012 Tsiska by Khareba winery — one of my summer favorites!)

34d Course: Pork in White Wine w/ Carmelized Onions

Bernabe Navarro, Or. Benimaquia Tinajas, Alicante, Moscatel, 2012
Pheasant’s Tears Rkatsiteli, Kakheti, Georgia 2010

The spanish wine excellent with the pork. When I first tried it (without food), I didn’t particularly like it, and then was surprised how tasty it was with the pork! I’m not an experienced wine-taster, and didn’t realize how much the food affects the taste of the wine (and vice versa). This wine was off-dry, smooth, but just crisp enough. Somewhat of a fruity taste that went well with the pork.

The Rkatsiteli was too acidic and sharp — even bitter.

4th Course: Dried Bread & Herb Salad w/ Strawberries and fresh cheese.

Alice & Charles Dagand, Trousseau Les Corvees, Trousseau Gris, 2010
Zura Topuridze’s Chkhaveri Red 2013 (Georgia)

This french wine was a delightful pair to the fruit & cheese & herb salad. A light, fruity wine. Delicious!

The Georgian Chkhaveri — well, tasted like a bottle of liquid smoke. Hated it.


5th Course: Veal stew in Saperavi

Francesco Iuli, Barabba Barbera Monferrato Sup, Piemonte, Barbera, 2007
Jackeli Wines Saperavi 2011 (Georgia)

The Jackeli saperavi was the best saperavi I ever tasted. Full-bodied, dry but not bitter, definite taste of dark earthy grapes, and nice long finish. Perfect with the veal stew!

Dessert: flour-less mocha roll served with Chacha An excellent Chacha — but after all the rest, just a sip was all I could take!
quote:
Originally posted by steve8:
quote:
Originally posted by Carolyn Rice:
Have any of you tried any Georgian wines? What are your favorites?


Yes. I've tried the Pheasant's Tears, Rkatsiteli orange wine. Quite unique.

We purchased this wine off a list at a fine restaurant here in Montreal, to pair with a plate of smoked Arctic Char (which it paired with beautifully). Very much a 'food wine', I would not have enjoyed it nearly as much on its' own.
quote:
Originally posted by Carolyn Rice:
1st Course: Leeks w/ Eggs in Garlic Vinagrette

Loris Follador, Casa Coste Piane, Prosecco, Valdobiaddene Italy
Vicent’s Natural Sparkling Tavkveri Chinuri, Kartli (Georgia) from Ateni Tsioni Gorge

The Italian wine was excellent. Perfect accompaniment to the Leeks & eggs. Crisp, dry, and medium-gold. Good finish.

The Chinuri was bland and tasted like slightly-flavored water.


2nd Course: Roasted Eggplant & Bell Pepper w/ Tahini — heavily flavored with onions, garlic, and other spices

Chateau Musar, Blanc, Bekaa Valley, White Blend Obaideh, Merwah, 2005
Pheasant’s Tears Tsiska, Imereti

Here the Bekaa Valley wine was too heavy/smooth for the spicy food. The Crisp, acidic Tsiska was an excellent pair. Cleansed the palate and left my mouth feeling refreshed after the oniony food. Enjoyed the combination. The Tsiska is a favorite. (I also love a 2012 Tsiska by Khareba winery — one of my summer favorites!)

34d Course: Pork in White Wine w/ Carmelized Onions

Bernabe Navarro, Or. Benimaquia Tinajas, Alicante, Moscatel, 2012
Pheasant’s Tears Rkatsiteli, Kakheti, Georgia 2010

The spanish wine excellent with the pork. When I first tried it (without food), I didn’t particularly like it, and then was surprised how tasty it was with the pork! I’m not an experienced wine-taster, and didn’t realize how much the food affects the taste of the wine (and vice versa). This wine was off-dry, smooth, but just crisp enough. Somewhat of a fruity taste that went well with the pork.

The Rkatsiteli was too acidic and sharp — even bitter.

4th Course: Dried Bread & Herb Salad w/ Strawberries and fresh cheese.

Alice & Charles Dagand, Trousseau Les Corvees, Trousseau Gris, 2010
Zura Topuridze’s Chkhaveri Red 2013 (Georgia)

This french wine was a delightful pair to the fruit & cheese & herb salad. A light, fruity wine. Delicious!

The Georgian Chkhaveri — well, tasted like a bottle of liquid smoke. Hated it.


5th Course: Veal stew in Saperavi

Francesco Iuli, Barabba Barbera Monferrato Sup, Piemonte, Barbera, 2007
Jackeli Wines Saperavi 2011 (Georgia)

The Jackeli saperavi was the best saperavi I ever tasted. Full-bodied, dry but not bitter, definite taste of dark earthy grapes, and nice long finish. Perfect with the veal stew!

Dessert: flour-less mocha roll served with Chacha An excellent Chacha — but after all the rest, just a sip was all I could take!


Bravo! Well done. Agree with you on the effect of food with wine. Sometimes they clash. Sometimes they just "work." Occasionally, they become more than the sum of their parts. Keep posting.

PH
quote:
Originally posted by Carolyn Rice:
quote:
KSC02


I tried Pheasant's Tears Rkatsiteli a couple of years ago on its own and loved it. But the one we had with the meal was a different year and just tasted too bitter to me. But in general, I like of lot of Pheasant's Tears wines.


I also tried a Rkatsiteli before with Ostri - a spicy Georgian dish made of veal with greens and quite spicy. It was great that time too! Often in Georgia, there is only one kind of wine on the table for a 4-hour feast -- lots of different dishes. Our host at the wine-tasting said that Rkatsiteli is a good wine for this situation because it is not so heavy that overpowers salads, but holds up well to the meat dishes too. Something to think about. Now people are starting to offer at least one red and one white at big dinners, but in villages, they still usually have whatever wine they make themselves at home.

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