27 August 2008

Georgia in the News and წინანდალი in the Glass

When I first purchased this wine originating from the former Republic of Georgia and decided to pair it with cold fried chicken and fresh peaches, I was planning a humorous post based around my childhood confusion with the two Georgias. Somehow Gone With the Wind and Soviet imagery on the evening news didn't quite mesh. However, I consumed that culinary anachronism on August 7, 2008, the day before Russian tanks rolled into South Ossetia and Georgia found itself at war.

I avoid politics here on this blog, and the situation is a complex one going back hundreds of years. It can't be easy living in a tiny country wedged between the historical empires of Russia, Turkey, and Persia, as well as the Caspian and Black Seas. And with this post I have no desire to make light of the situation. But honestly, the Sunday afternoon picnic combination of cold fried chicken and nice white California peaches went exceptionally well with the D Collection NV წინანდალი (Tsinandali) from Kakheti, Georgia in the far eastern part of the country, not too far from where the war is happening. $12, 11% abv. Made from Rkatsiteli and Mtsvane grapes. For more information on Georgian wines, check out this blog devoted to the subject.

Light grapefruit aroma, touch of citrus follows on the palate with a rounded, slightly oaked structure that's somewhere between a Chardonnay and a Sauvignon Blanc. Finishing notes of apple and pear. What's this? Eastern Europe, nice balance, good flavor, and no obvious flaws? This is a great summer white at a wonderful price. It's also an honor to try a wine from one of the possible regions where grapes were first transformed into this wonderful elixir.

Here's hoping that this isn't the last time I get to try this delicious blend, and that innocents in the region are able to grow up and appreciate this as well.

2 comments:

fredric koeppel said...

where the heck did you purchase this wine? i guess in Cleveland.

and I too couldn't understand, when I was a kid, how there could be a state named Georgia and a country named Georgia.

Benito said...

Fredric,

Cleveland has a pretty wild selection of wines. Some good (like the one from Turkey) and some bad (like that *#@&! Soviet Champagne). I attempt to try a wine from at least one new country on every visit. I've got a Greek wine review coming up, and while I've had several Greek wines in the past, it was a bottle I haven't seen around here.

Eventually I'm going to get around to Croatian Slivovitz.