One of the oldest wine-producing nations in the world, Georgia has some distinctly flavoured wines to offer to the Indian palate. With its winemaking techniques listed as Intangible Heritage by the UNESCO, the Eurasian country can also boast of serving history in a glass!
At a recent wine tasting event held in New Delhi, the Embassy of Georgia introduced some classic Georgian wines to a select gathering of wine connoisseurs and hoteliers.
After a brief presentation about the rich heritage of wine making in the country, that dates back to over 8,000 years and is claimed to be the origins of wines in the world, the gathering savoured a dozen indigenous wines along with delectable Georgian cheeses. “Georgia is the most ancient wine making centre of the world. This is the first time we are presenting our vintage wines to India. We are looking forward to starting the wine trade here,” Archil Dzuliashvili, Ambassador of Georgia to India, told the gathering.
On the offer was a wide variety of the best that Georgia has to offer, including dry, semi-dry, sparkling, sweet, and semi-sweet varieties of red, white and rosé wines. The menu included Mtsvane, Saperavi, Vinoterra Saperavi, Savardo, Kisi, Kindzmarauli, Akhasheni, Tavkveri, Tsinandali, Besini Rose, Rkatsiteli and Chinuri.
The secret of the special flavour of certain Georgian wines lies in the way they are matured. Some of the vineyards still use the traditional qvevri (or large pots of baked clay) which are buried underground for several months, yielding a unique flavour.
Also presented during the event was another Georgian speciality, Chacha, a Georgian brandy with a tinge of vodka.
In order to boost Georgian ties with India, both for business and tourism, a direct flight between India and Georgia could be launched, the ambassador said.
Room for more
After enjoying the beverages, the guests did not disappoint the hosts. Amongst the most appreciated wines at the event were the qvevri and the white wines. The wine importers and professionals present said that wine consumption in India is rising significantly and hence there is plenty of room for different kinds of wines from around the world.
“The wine market in India is growing. Earlier wines used to be a fashion statement but now the consumers want to know more about them. They have certainly become more knowledgeable; but the Indian market is yet to introduce more wine varieties from across the globe,” said Akash Timblo, who runs a chain of hotels in Goa.
“All the wines were unique in not just their taste but also the aroma. It was a very different experience for me. The wines woke up my senses. Though the Georgian white wines were one of the best I have ever had, I loved the qvevri wines in particular,” Timblo added.
“For me, the Chinuri and the Vinoterra Saperavi really stood out. Some of the wines had a yeasty flavour. All the wines were undoubtedly an epitome of class and elegance,” commented Sumit Sehgal, director of Prestige Wines and Spirits, an importer of wines and alcohol in India.
Also popular amongst the experts was the rosé. “The qvevri wines had a unique flavour. They had a subtle aroma of tannins. My favourite was the rosé Besini,” added Ritu Singhal, chief executive, Fine Wine and Champagne India, a beverage magazine, which had organised the event together with the embassy.