Emerging Wine Regions: Georgia

  With one of the oldest wine making traditions in the world, Georgia is believed by many to be the birthplace of wine making. DNA evidence has shown that wine was made in the region at least 7,000 years ago! The Middle Ages was a golden period for winemaking in Georgia. As in Burgundy, local monks and farmers studied the terroir and plant the best grapes in the best areas. Read the rest of the article by Bottlenotes to find out why Georgian wines are “on the tip of every hip somm’s tongue”. Try the recommended Pheasant’s Tears wines.

Wine Portraits: Gogi Dakishvili of Schuchmann Wines Georgia

If you have tasted more than a few Georgian wines, chances are at least one of them was made under the watchful eyes of Gogi Dakishvili. He has made wine for one of the largest Georgian producers, Teliani Valley, and one of the smallest, Vinoterra, which is now part of the Schuchmann Wines Georgia family. He has been working as a chief wine-maker in “Schuchmann Wines Georgia” since its establishment in 2008 where he carefully and cautiously put his great experience accumulated from travel and knowledge gained from approaching world wine traditions into practice. Read more of Keto Ninidze’ written “portrait” here. Browse all our Georgian wines, including those made by Gogi here.

Hungarian Wine Tasting Review by Christine Havens

Recently Frank Dietrich led an in depth tasting of Hungarian wines at Soif wine bar in Santa Cruz, CA. The wines represented many of the major appellations and indigenous grapes of the regions. Wine writer Christine Havens attended this event and has graciously permitted us to share her blog post, in which she provides detailed notes of the wines tasted as well as a little of her own connection to Hungary. You can view the original post, and all of Christine’s other reviews on her site. Hungarian Wine Tasting at Soif Wine Bar & Merchants by Christine Havens. My mother is Hungarian. My father was mostly English with some other nationalities thrown in, like most Americans, his family tree included a pinch of German and a nip of Irish. My dad never talked about his heritage, but my mother has always been fiercely proud of her ancestry. I suppose that’s why I’ve always identified as Hungarian, the country with some of the world’s most beautiful women and a famously high rate of depression, pessimism and overall gloominess. After my grandparents had passed, photos of my great grandparents emerged from dusty albums stored and long forgotten in their basement. My predecessors … Continue reading Hungarian Wine Tasting Review by Christine Havens

Revenge of the Wine Spritzer

While you may not be able to recall the last time you encountered a wine spritzer, the beverage is quite popular in many countries. In fact throughout most of Eastern Europe you will find that adding a touch of sparkling water to wine is just as common as drinking wine on its own. Why? First off, wine plays a different role in Eastern European cultures than it does in the West. On this difference Stetson Robbins of Blue Danube Wines says “they view wine as less precious. It’s just part of the table, like bread. I think in Central and Eastern Europe this quality is even stronger.” Well, there you have it. Read the rest of this article by Wine Awesomeness here. In Slovenia, a popular wine for a spritzer is Črnko Jareninčan which will be back in stock soon. Or try the article’s suggestion and add a little spritz to Georgian Saperavi. This fresh style by Schuchmann will do the trick.

It’s Time To Give Rosé The Respect It Deserves

Rosé is no longer a sweet, uninspiring wine to drink as was often the case in past generations. More and more people are discovering the diversity of rosé and the wine is enjoying renewed popularity. A younger generation of vinophiles are increasingly embracing the pink stuff, and more and more winemakers are producing rosé to keep up with its rising popularity. According to Nielsen, rosé sales in the US grew 25.4 percent last year. Continue reading this article by Lauren Gitlin for the NY Post, where our Štoka Teran rosé is recommended as one to “drink now”. Vine Wine owner Talitha Whidbee says,”It’s refreshing and delicious but it has enough weight and structure to hold up to some winter foods. I took it home and had it with chicken and tomatoes baked with feta.”

Hungary’s Divine Tokaj Wines

Do you want to know more about Hungary’s beloved wine region of Tokaj? welovebudapest.com has put together this great primer on the region and its myriad of wine styles. Like a gigantic quilt of randomly shaped corduroy patches draped over a vast expanse of pillows, the hills of Hungary’s globally revered Tokaj wine region are crisscrossed with premier vineyards cultivated for centuries – this is the source of goldenly sweet Aszú, long esteemed as one of the world’s most desirable libations. Read the whole article here. Drink wines from the article: Try the masterful dry Furmints from Demeter Zoltán or the often overlooked specialty dry Szamorodni, from Samuel Tinon. View all of our wines from Hungary here.

A Reverence for Georgia Wines

Christy Canterbury MW shares her recent experiences trekking through Georgia’s Kakheti wine region with Snooth. In this dramatically rugged Caucasus Mountains country, wine is holy…Wine is part of the Georgians’ sacred trinity, along with the motherland and the mother language. Read the whole article here. We can help you try 3 out of the 4 wines recommended! Bagrationi and Pheasant’s Tears can be found in our webshop.

Stuart Pigott on Georgian Wine

Renowned Riesling expert, Stuart Pigott, expresses his thoughts on Georgian wine after a tasting led by Lisa Granik MW in Brooklyn at Hotel Delmano. During my June 2008 tour of Georgia the most exciting wines were those being made by Dr. Giorgi Dakishvili at Vinoterra in Qvevri, that is fermenting them in Georgian “amphora”, were the most striking and exciting of all. That was also the case at today’s tasting, but the best wines were even better than those I experienced there five years ago. Read the whole article on Stuart’s blog here. Purchase Vinoterra wines here.

12 Exciting Wine Regions You’ve Never Heard Of

Wine Enthusiast Magazine has a new article called 12 Exciting Wine Regions You’ve Never Heard Of. We import wines from 4 of them: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Hungary, and Slovenia. We think they should have mentioned Georgia, too! On Slovenia: “Nestled within the crossroads of the Alps and the Mediterranean, Slovenia produces some of the most exciting wines in Central Europe. Since the fall of communism, much of Slovenia’s wine production has returned to small, family-owned operations, where individualism and experimentation have taken center stage. —Anna Lee Iijima, ratings by Jeff Jenssen” Batič 2007 Valentino Sweet Red Merlot-Cabernet Franc (Vipavska Dolina); $60/375 ml, 90 points. Kabaj 2008 Cuvée Morel Red (Goriska Brda); $46, 90 points. Sanctum 2011 Chardonnay (Štajerska); $17, 90 points. Štoka 2011 Izbrani Teran (Kras); $23, 90 points. On Hungary: “With 160,000 acres dedicated to vineyards, white wine accounts for 70% of Hungary’s total production. Beloved by Thomas Jefferson and Russian czars alike, the country’s strikingly floral, lusciously fruity wines are traditionally a blend of Tokaji grapes: Furmint, Hárslevelű and varieties of Muscat. Not unlike other botrytis-affected wines like Sauternes, Tokaji is one of the wine world’s best-kept secrets, boasting the ability to age for decades. —Anna Lee Iijima, ratings … Continue reading 12 Exciting Wine Regions You’ve Never Heard Of

Fekete Bela Somló Juhfark ’11 by James the Wine Guy

James the Wine Guy continues his tasting exploration of Hungary’s volcanic appellation of Somló with this review of Fekete Béla’s distinct Juhfark: This wine variety is completely new, beautiful, gorgeous yet distinctive, knowing this wine as a indigenous grape variety from Hungary, the only place you can find it in the world and very few acres, under 200 acres from what I understand. [] What I like about these Juhfark variety wines is that they are really nuanced, there’s significant minerality to these wines and yet very approachable. So what I like about this wine is its distinctive mineral statement, fantastically beautiful, confident, and something that I think is so original and memorable. Watch the video: