It’s All Greek To Me, But Only Some Of It Is Worth Drinking

What’s old is new, and what’s new is old, right?

Nowhere does that seem more true than within the culture of natural wine. After all the money spent on science and technology in the late 20th century, with the goal of creating a commercial wine industry, and thousands and thousands of wineries installing temperature-controlled, stainless steel tanks for a quick and consistent fermentation, people all over the world are now putting their grapes into clay amphorae, fermenting them without sulfites, and letting wine be just about as wild as it was back in the days of Dionysus. 

Crazy, right? Next thing you know, people will actually be talking to each other in cafés instead of perusing Instagram on their phones. Er, probably not . . .

In Greece, a country with 4000 years of documented viticultural history, modern winemaking dominates, and is strongly influenced by Bordeaux-style oenology. But there are a few people making really interesting, low-intervention or natural wines, and elevating the country’s fascinating indigenous grapes. My article about the producers leading the way for natural wines in Greece is up on Sprudge Wine, read here

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I had the pleasure of tasting many of these wines during a recent visit to the country. What’s important to mention here, too, is that the wines really shine especially with Greek food, which is rich in flavor and features lots of fresh Mediterranean vegetables, like eggplant and tomato, as well as plenty of meat, feta cheese, and dolmas. So, ideally, that would be the way to enjoy the wines; however, I did recently have a fantastic 2013 Xinomavro from a producer named Oenos at a restaurant here in Paris (cute place called Tannat, in the 11ème), and it was perfect with duck. (Although Xinomavro with moussaka, that’s just, like, boom.)

moussaka!!! so good!

If you live in New York, I really recommend the restaurant Molyvos, where I first tasted many of these wines a couple years back with the very knowledgable wine director, Kamal Kouiri; the food is really delicious and classic.

Thanks for reading!

 

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What Does One Drink During A Heat Wave In Paris?

The answer: anything and everything. Lots of water, cold cold beer, and soooo much vin de soif.

Paris, and most of Europe, is just emerging from a terrible heatwave. This past week, an energy-zapping, torturous, four-day cloud of brutally strong sunshine and 37 degree Celsius temperatures made the entire city into a greenhouse. My brain felt cooked. I tried to get work done, but it was really difficult to sit still and concentrate.

That said, I did have an article come out on Monday, ruminating on the phenomenon of “hipster celebrity natural winemaking,” in this case with the launch of Action Bronson’s wine, made in collaboration with a French grower and micronégociant Patrick Bouju. Read the story for Sprudge Wine, here

Other than that, I spent the week working on Terre Magazine; we’re assigning stories to writers around the world, plotting the corresponding artwork, and delving into the massive task of layout design. It’s interesting working with Erika and Katie across the sea, but actually it’s not so hard to communicate. We have some really compelling and unique stories in the works, and I’ll be editing throughout July and August. (For those interested in writing, see these pitching guidelines.)

Due to the heat, I really had no choice but to drink quite a bit this week. Here’s what I’ve gotten into (some of these are from the previous week; my liver’s not THAT hardcore):

Collaborative Septime x Vouette et Sorbée Champagne 

Not your average house wine! The restaurant Septime partnered up with biodynamic Champagne grower Vouette et Sorbée to make a killer special cuvée; it’s effectively the producer’s signature Fidéle blanc de noirs, made from Pinot Noir grown on Kimmeridgian soils in the Aube, but in this case élevage and tirage go a bit longer, according to the woman working at Septime Cave, where I purchased it. The juice is from vintage 2014; disgorgement was in December 2016. All of the V&S wines are rich in texture, vinous, and deeply mineral, and this one is no exception; it had notes of bitter almond, tree barks, and preserved lemons.

Cidrerie du Vulcain, cuvée “Trois Pepins”

I am smitten by the Swiss ciders from garagiste Jacques Perritaz, a former biologist who works with nearly-extinct heritage apple varieties, “remnants of a bygone polyculture,” as written on the Becky Wasserman site. This cuvée blends apples with quince and pear; it’s only 5 percent alcohol and refreshing without being sweet, loaded with mouth-puckering acidity and complex flavors; a perfect drink for aperitif at the charming caves-a-vins La Buvette in the 11ème.

Cancelli “Vini Rabasco” bianco
Trebbiano from a small estate in Abruzzo, niente chimica added, showing the true potential of this grape; the wine has luscious mouthfeel and a healthy dose of salinity layered with good concentration of fruit. Truly a pleasant wine to drink with small plates at La Buvette. I’d drunk the red several times in the U.S. but I actually think this one is more interesting. Not a wine to age, but wonderful for enjoying in a casual setting, and fantastic with pâté.

Etienne Courtois, Romorantin, 2011

If any of you out there have money and want to plant vines in a cool climate wine region, please please find a pépinière (vine gardener, essentially) who has Romorantin and grow it! It’s one of my favorite varieties on the planet, a mouth-puckering combination of lemon drops, white peaches, and stony minerality, and only about 60ha are left in the Loire Valley. The barrel-fermented and -aged Romorantin of Etienne Courtois is one of my favorite wines; it could age for another few years but right now it’s drinking marvelously and it tamed my thirst perfectly the other night at Aux Des Amis.

Luici Tecce, Taurasi, 2011

A bold, ripe Taurasi on a sweltering summer night? Might seem counterintuitive, but I’d been invited by a friend to hang out at a newish spot selling Italian natural wines called Vino Nostrum in the 11ème, and when the owners told us they had only one bottle left of this extremely limited-production, culty Taurasi… we obviously had to buy it and open it on the spot. The DOCG appellation of Taurasi features the Aglianico grape grown on volcanic soils about 500m above sea level, and the wines receive extensive aging in barrel (minimum of three years prior to release, at least one year in wood). Luigi Tecce, who is considered something of a wizard in the region, inherited the family estate in the late 90s when his father passed away; it has 5ha of vines, including some that are over 80 years old. Licorice, smoked meats, tobacco, and ripe raspberries made this a contemplative, complex wine.

La Ferme de Sept Lunes, Viognier/Roussanne, 2015

Rhone whites are under-appreciated. True, they can be flabby and sweet-tasting, but in the hands of certain producers, the unique white varieties of this region really do shine through. La Ferme de Sept Lunes, in Saint Joseph, came onto my radar during a salon I attended a few months back, called Découvertes en Vallée du Rhone. I drank this Voignier/Roussanne blend at La Buvette, and it was the perfect balance of ripe fruit and fresh acidity. In true biodynamic fashion, the estate is polycultural, working with grains and stonefruits. You can purchase their apricot, pear, and grape juices at La Buvette right alongside their wines.

Meet Sprudge Wine (And My Fave Rosés This Year)

There’s a new kid on the wine journalism block (and no, I’m not referring to my own magazine, which has just about 24 hours left in its Kickstarter campaign if you want to pre-order Issue 1).

I’m talking about Sprudge Wine, an offspring of the madly popular coffee website Sprudge. The editor, Jordan Michelman, has fallen hard for wine, to the point where he decided to begin publishing wine journalism. Having met Jordan during a recent visit to Portland, Oregon, where he lives with his family, I can attest that he has great taste in wine. Example:

(That gamay from Julien Labet was a truly awesome wine; thanks, Jordan.)

I think the new Sprudge Wine site, which compares natural wine aptly to third-wave coffee, is going to do great things (follow them on IG and Twitter to keep up). To kick things off, I’ve got a post recommending some great rosés to drink now (including bubbles, and and one delicious Cerasuolo–I take “pink” as a broad category, faaaar beyond Provençal-style juice). As well, I have my final writings on the New York scene for the time being: a round-up of some slightly under-the-radar spots to eat well and drink great wine (why would you ever want to do one without the other)? Oh man, am I already getting nostalgic for New York? No . . . maybe???

Read my rosé recos here, and the restaurant piece hereQuick note about the pink wines pictuted above; I was not able to include the one on the far left in the piece because it’s too limited production, but it is a delicious Syrah pét-nat rosé from Early Mountain Vineyards in Virginia–super lively and fresh, with wonderful fruit notes, completely dry, and something I hope they make more of, so you can all enjoy it!

Written from the Athens airport, en route to Santorini. But more on that soon.

I sincerely hope you have some good rosé around to get you through this shitty news cycle! My god. I need about ten bottles.

Lost In Qvevriland: My Story On Georgian Wine & Food Culture In MUNCHIES

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My feature on traveling around the Republic of Georgia, learning about the world’s oldest wine culture and qvevri winemaking and gorging on incredible, homemade food and orange wines–and the famous local grape brandy, cha cha–is up now on MUNCHIES. You can read it here. I’ve also got a blog post up with more extensive tasting notes from that trip.

Have a great weekend!

xRachel

The First Thing I’m Going To Do When I Get To Paris

Joan Didion: “It is easy to see the beginnings of things, and harder to see the ends. I can remember now, with a clarity that makes the nerves in the back of my neck constrict, when New York began for me, but I cannot lay my finger upon the moment it ended, can never cut through the ambiguities and second starts and broken resolves to the exact place on the page where the heroine is no longer as optimistic as she once was.” – “Goodbye to All That

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When I moved to New York, I didn’t know I wanted to be a writer. In fact, I’d forgotten all about writing as an artform, and was totally focused on an academic career.

But I grew up with writer parents, surrounded by books, our household first on the block to have a computer (or a “word processor,” rather, made by Epson–yes, they did computers before printers!). I couldn’t stay away from the life of words for long. Nobody ever said to me, “Hey, did you consider journalism, or writing?” It was like I was pulled to it, the métier spoke to me from a place beyond my control.

And as I set out teaching myself the basic skills of reporting and producing a story (nut graf, intro, body, conclusion; the foundational structure of everything), I realized that New York was going to be hard on me as a writer. Money was short, and student loans were heavy weights. I traveled to the Bronx at 5:30am to substitute teach in charter schools. Had almost no furniture. Ate lots of uninspired pasta and bulletproof Chinese food, drank cheap beer and Trader Joe’s wine, and often cried at night in a bathtub with a neat whiskey in hand: how am I going to do this, here, in this city?

Over the years, New York has not gotten any easier on me. I’ve gotten tougher, probably. I’ve learned to let the drive to write overcome everything. But other kinds of obstacles come into your life, if you stay in New York. Your relationships are strained. Dating, as a woman in her late twenties/early thirties, is an excruciating task; somehow I do know people who have met and fallen in love in New York but it has only presented itself to me a few times, and always accompanied by heartbreak. Money in New York is a contradiction; we never have enough of it but somehow keep on spending, because the city demands it.

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In ways, New York has been very good to me. I’ve eaten some incredible meals, met brilliant people, had the chance to interact with some heavy-hitting winemakers and chefs and editors. I’ve learned fiction writing–which has made me a much better journalist–from some of the best editors and publishers in the city, and that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. 

But, having now found a niche (or a passion? an unwise obsession? a devotion?) within the world of wine and food writing (the path to that is too long to recount here, but this earlier blog post touches on it), it is no longer satisfying for me to be in this concrete jungle, too far from the vineyards that most inspire me at this time.

I am a hopeless francophile. I first tried to learn French when I was 12; for whatever reason, Madame Fox strongly disliked me (OK, I was a rambunctious and probably rude kid), so after one semester I switched to Spanish. But I always wanted to learn the language. When I was 20, I was living in Spain and went to visit a friend who was doing a semester of art studies in Paris. Walking in the Latin Quarter one day, I needed to use a bathroom and waltzed into a restaurant as it was just opening. The waiters tried to push me out, but I persisted. One of them, in his starched white shirt and suspenders, raised a chair overhead and threw it toward me, yelling something I didn’t understand but was probably like putain americaine de merde avec votre président du merde (effectively: screw you, American with President Bush!). Since then, I was absolutely determined: I would learn French, move back to Paris, and take that city by its literary teeth, breathing in the ghosts of all those writers and thinkers of centuries past. I would write a book in Paris.

At 20, I had no idea that I’d be writing a book about wine in Paris, but that is now what I intend to do.

making olfactory love to Matthieu Barret’s Cornas

This is my last week in New York. I have no idea when I’ll be back. Possibly this fall, but I’m not sure. I also don’t have every detail of the next year of my life figured out–but I am headed to Paris with a small amount of earthly possessions, most importantly this laptop and a dog-eared copy of A Moveable Feast that my brother gave me (have you read about the latest Hem biography?) and will be based there.

Believe me, I know that living in Paris will be different than visiting for a week here or there. And I also know that Paris will offer its own set of challenges and complications (such as: greetings, with the French–are we kissing once, twice, seven times, a handshake?). But I have to give this a try. The world is too unstable, corrupt, sanitized, to not at least try to pursue what you think will make you happy. If something is calling to you, the only choice is to push aside the obstacles and go toward it.

In Paris, I’ll be working on Terre Magazine, as well as writing for wine magazines in the U.S. I’ll also be trying to do some more cultural writing; I used to cover art and film openings in New York, years back, and would like to return to that in Paris. I’ll be visiting lots of vineyards this summer, you can be sure. Will be headed to Greece next week, in fact, and then to Burgundy, later in June. Slovakia and Croatia are in the scheming, also, as well as the Jura and the Loire this fall.

And I’m working on the book, I am. But first and most importantly, as soon as I get to Paris, I’m going to call my friend and ask him to pick me up on his motorcycle, and head to Septime Cave in the 11éme for an apéro. I’m going to sit down with a glass of Champagne and listen to him tell me all about what it was like to be in Paris during the recent election. I’m going to have a snack of anchovies on toast. Or maybe, we’ll grab a bottle and bring it to the canal, to soak in the sun. And I’m going to relish in the experience of feeling at home in a new place–and in the fact that if somebody does throw a chair at me now, it will hopefully be because my French is too good, but I haven’t yet lost my ability to be sassy. Madame Fox would be proud.

Terre Magazine Featured In Edible Brooklyn

I’m still so high off the incredible excursion earlier this month in Georgia. Stay tuned for my full story on the country’s wine and food culture soon on Vice MUNCHIES, and in the meantime I’ve put up some detailed tasting notes on this blog.

But this month has continued to be a gem, because the Terre Magazine fundraiser on Kickstarter has not only taken off successfully, but it has already reached its funding goal, and we are beyond thrilled. We knew there would be support for our project, but we didn’t anticipate that we’d reach our initial target in under two weeks, and then continue to raise money beyond that. Wine retailers around the country have pre-ordered copies in bulk, and people as far away as South Africa are ordering copies to be delivered to their homes. Working on the editorial calendar now, and I’m personally so excited about the articles and artwork we’ll be putting out.

I could not do any of this without my incredibly talented and brilliant co-founders, Katie June Burton and Erika DaSilva. Their artistic perspectives balance out my journalistic approach, and I have to say, it feels really good to say that Terre is a women-run publication. 

To learn more about who we are, what Terre is, and what it means that we are women-run, check out the recent feature on our magazine by local writer Alicia Kennedy in Edible Brooklyn. You can still support the project on Kickstarter (link HERE) until June 8th; the more funds we have, the more we can offer our contributors in terms of compensation, plus we’ll be able to hold launch events to support our retail partners.

We are really looking forward to sharing Terre with you, and already the process has been so creatively fulfilling and challenging in all the right ways. We have a newsletter via Tiny Letter where you can sign up for occasional updates from Terre, and we’re also on Instagram.

Cheers to you all for your early support of this endeavor! Bon weekend!

Notes On The Natural Wine Revolution In Georgia

There is so much happening in the natural wine scene in Georgia, it’s impossible to recount it all here, but I’m going to share some of my tasting notes. Briefly, if you’re not familiar with Georgian wines: the country has been making wine continuously for about 8000 years, and there are shards of qvevri (the clay amphorae vessels, used to ferment wine underground, beloved for their neutral effects on the wine and natural temperature control) dating back to the 6th millennium BC.

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During Soviet times, winemaking was both industrialized and policed, as it was throughout the Soviet Union (I’ve written about this in the case of Hungary). Only four out of Georgia’s 525 known grape varieties were permitted–Rkatsiteli, Mstvane, Tsolikouri, and Saperavi–and winemakers who defied the boundaries were thrown in prison.

Fortunately, despite 70 years of Soviet rule, the Georgians managed to keep their winemaking culture alive, and both qvevri production and grape biodiversity have survived, although many varieties are certainly at risk of extinction now. Hopefully, the natural wine revolution that’s happening there in full force can assist in propagating some of these varieties, and not just for the sake of science–there are some really delicious wines made from extremely unique, heritage varieties in Georgia.

There’s really nothing out there quite like Georgian wines; they have entirely unique flavor profiles. The whites are typically made with skin contact, lending them tannic structure and texture, and the reds can be powerful, especially the teinturier (red-fleshed) variety Saperavi, which produces inky dark wine. And it’s important to note that these wines are best when experienced with the country’s incredible cuisines, which vary from region to region (and by household, where family recipes are passed down over generations), but generally feature lots of sautéed vegetables, the flaky warm cheese bread khachapuri, rich and tender roasted meat dishes, lamb stews, and fresh fish, all served family style.

I am not an expert on Georgian wines; the writer Alice Feiring’s book For the Love of Wine is an essential primer on the country’s natural wine revolution, told with Alice’s unparalleled narrative skill, and the MW Lisa Granik is another great resource. But I’ll share some tasting notes here for those who want to learn, and seek out Georgian wines. Many of these wines were tasted at the winemakers’ homes/cellars, while others were tasted at the fantastic natural wine event Zero Compromise, organized by John Wurdeman of Pheasant’s Tears and held in Tbilisi. For American wine buyers looking to find these wines, I recommend reaching out to the New York-based importer Chris Terrell and to Blue Danube.

ARCHIL GUNIAVA

In the Imereti region of Western Georgia, Archil makes a wide range of whites, some with no skin contact, others with about 15 percent of skin contact (traditional in that region, according to him) and reds, all in qvevri. He began bottling his wines about 7 years ago, although winemaking goes back many generations in the family; his vineyards are in rich clay soil, on a slope. We tasted in Archil’s cellar. I really enjoyed his 2015 Krakhuna, which sees 4 months of 15 percent skin contact before racking to another qvevri for elevage (most of Archil’s wines follow this approach). There was a nice fruitiness to the wine, and soft tannins; I found all of Archil’s whites to be very drinkable, with wonderful texture. I was also a huge fan of a blend made from Otskanuri Sapere (red grape) and Tsoulikouri (white grape); we tasted ’16 from qvevri and ’15 in bottle and the latter was exceptional, with notes of fresh ripe cherries and fresh acidity. Archil’s daughter Nino also makes excellent wines; we tried her first vintage of a beautiful, dark orange blend of two white grapes.

GOGITA MAKARIDZE

 

Gogita is Archil’s neighbor, so he works with many of the same grapes and blends. I loved his Aladasturi, a light, perfumed red wine, ringing in at about 10 percent alcohol, redolent of crushed roses, tasting of blackberries. Georgian glou glou! That’s his Tsitska (white grape) pictured; he makes it without any skin contact and it’s very approachable.

RAMAZ NIKOLADZE

Ramaz’s vineyard in Imereti is a special place, less than half a hectare. He has not cultivated it in 15 years–no tilling, no weeding, absolutely no chemicals–and it is a beautiful, wild thing, filled with medicinal plants, the rich clay soils so alive. Tsistska and Tsoulikouri, both white grapes, are planted here.

Ramaz’s father-in-law was making the “I am Didimi” wines, but now that he’s quite elderly Ramaz makes them; we tasted a few of these. The Aladasturi grape appeared again, and again it was wonderfully light and pretty, with notes of crushed roses on the nose, and fresh cherries on the palate (that was a 2016 wine). We also tasted Ramaz’s wines, of which I was most impressed by his 2016 qvevri sample of Tsolikouri, made with 3 months of skin contact; it was richly textured and perfectly tannic, just a great example of this style of wine. I also loved the 2015 Tsitska-Tsolikouri blend (a fairly traditional blend in Imereti); made with whole cluster grapes fermented on the skins for several months, it was dark orange, and tasted powerfully of citrus and stonefruits, with medium-plus tannins that lingered on my tongue in a way that the best food wines tend to.

MANDILI & IAGO’S WINE

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In Georgia, gender roles are still fairly traditional: men make the wine and deal with public/business affairs, while women cook and care for the home and children. But in winemaking, at least, this is changing.

The first commercially available wine made by Georgian women was the “Mandili,” a skin contact Mtsvane made by Marina Kurtanidze (who is married to the well-known winemaker Iago Bitarishvili), along with her friend Tea Melanashvili, using purchased fruit. I tasted it at their winery/home, and it was incredible: perfect balance of stonefruits, acidity, and tannin.

Iago makes wine only from the high-acid white grape Chinuri, one with skin contact and one without, in qvevri that are centuries old. I liked his skin contact one better; it was saline with nice, soft tannins, and had a beautiful bright orange color. (Upon returning from Georgia, I drank this wine here in New York, at Four Horsemen, and again found it extremely pleasant and balanced.)

ZAZA GAGUA & KATI NINIDZE

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Another example of women taking up their own winemaking projects. At the home of Zaza Gagua and Kati Ninidze, in the M’artville Gorge of Western Georgia, we are shown first to Kati’s newly planted vineyards, and to the space she is building out as her wine cellar. She beams with pride as her husband explains with a shrug, “She said she wanted her own space to make wine, so.”

Zaza and Kati make very different wines. It may be a cliché to simply say that one is masculine and one is feminine, but they do express their own voices. They have a unique and rare grape in their area called Ojaleshi, which Kati uses in two wines—one is made from a white variant of the grape, and she calls it “Naked Wine.” On the label, two nude women’s bodies are depicted; one is in full splendor, a goddess, free and unencumbered, and self-loving, while the other is literally in a cage. As we tasted the wine—not made in qvevri, but instead produced in stainless steel, a more modern approach—Kati explained that women in Georgia were often taught to hide themselves, and be prudent, but she was for self-expression, and thought women should be able to show their bodies if they felt like it. Kati also poured for us her fresh and fruity rosé, made of Orberluri Ojaleshi. “Somm crack juice,” is the very accurate tasting note that one woman from Minneapolis gave for Kati’s wines. Her husband’s wines featured the somewhat more common white grapes Tsolikouri and Krakhuna, made in qvevri with skin contact, and two robust and sultry red wines. Their two distinct styles compliment each other.

ZERO COMPROMISE TASTING

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We attended the second iteration of Zero Compromise, spread out across three locations in Tbilisi, featuring natural winemakers from around the country. It was a fantastic event, and if you’re thinking to go to Georgia for wine purposes, I would definitely suggest timing your trip to coincide with this event. Why is it called “Zero Compromise?” As John Wurdeman put it: “If you’re going to do anything, do it all the way, give it your full heart. The heart has to be vulnerable in order to always be full.”

Some of the “usual suspects” like Pheasant’s Tears and Okro’s were present, as well as somewhat newer labels, including Niki Antadze in Kakheti, whose wines I first tasted (and loved) at La Dive in France earlier this year; and there were some upstarts like Niki’s partner, a French woman from the Jura named Laura Seibel, who has two delicious bottlings. From another upstart winemaker, Mariam Iosebidze–pictured above–I loved the first vintage Tavkveri (a pretty and light red grape, kind of like a Poulsard). Tavkveri is a wonderful, lively grape in every case I’ve tried.

One of the most interesting wines for me was a 35-variety field blend of heritage grapes from Kortavebis Marani. I found this light red enticing, beautiful and difficult to describe; the flavors were very complex and nuanced.

PHEASANT’S TEARS 

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For some time now, the Pheasant’s Tears label from John Wurdeman and Gela Patavishlivi in Kakheti have been all I knew of Georgian wines. John, an American artist who fell in love with Georgia while there making paintings, and became a winemaker, has been very instrumental in getting the word out about Georgia’s natural wine movement, through travels and wine fairs. I got to taste through the Pheasant’s Tears line-up at the vineyard in Kakheti, while trying some dishes from the restaurant they are opening there, Crazy Pomegranate. John’s wife Keti is the chef, and the menu is highly vegetable-centric (John himself is vegetarian), although there were some beautiful meat dishes, too.

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Of the Pheasant’s Tears wines, the most exciting to me were: the Vardisperi Rkatsiteli, made from a rare (less than 2 hectares in all Georgia exist) pink-skinned variety of Rkatsiteli; it was light and savory and very pretty; the Poliphonia, a field blend of hundreds of grapes, which like the 35-grape wine shown above I found immensely complex and difficult to describe concretely, but full of flavor; and the Saperavi from Tibaani in Kakheti, with intense, sapid black fruits, lithe tannins, and lively acidity. I have always loved the Rkatsiteli, and it was showing beautifully–fresh and soft, energetic, tannic. All wines tasted were 2016.

Later that night, at John’s other restaurant in town, we tasted the first Pheasant’s Tears vintage of Saperavi, from 2007. The bottle we opened was incredibly reduced and basically undrinkable. But then we found a batch of the ’08 Saperavi; I blind tasted a few people on it and they immediately guessed the variety and vintage. It was stunning–still not very mature, powerful and structured but rounder with age, and incredibly drinkable given the age. These wines can age. These wines, seemingly, can do anything–go with any food, any situation. I cannot wait to return to Georgia and explore more.