A Toast to Georgian Wine – The Wall Street Journal
03 March, 2016
A Toast to Georgian Wine – The Wall Street Journal
Natural wine advocate Alice Feiring talks with the Wall Street Journal about her new book titled ‘For the Love of Wine: My Odyssey Through the World’s Most Ancient Wine Culture’.

Natural-wine advocate Alice Feiring has never been one to shy away from a cause or to disguise her emotions. And the native New Yorker found a place for both in Georgia, a republic that was once part of Russia and that has endured many invasions over the years.

Ms. Feiring’s
latest work, “For the Love of Wine: My Odyssey Through the World’s Most Ancient Wine Culture” is part handbook on Georgian wine, part winemaking polemic and part guide to Ms. Feiring’s heart.

I met Ms. Feiring at Anfora bar for a chat about her book on Monday, the day before it was due to be published by Potomac Books, a division of University of Nebraska Press. Anfora is one of a handful of Georgian wine strongholds in New York, with a surprisingly large selection. Anfora’s wine buyer David Foss told us a “large group of wine nerds” come to the bar just to drink Georgian wines, the Wall Street Journal informs.
geotv.ge
Anfora’s wine buyer David Foss, behind the bar. Photo: Adrienne Grunwald for The Wall Street Journal

Mr. Foss and Ms. Feiring fell to bantering about the Georgian wines. Was that one a skin contact white (aka “orange” wine)? Was that pinkish 13-year one a rosé or a deliberately oxidized white? They readily exchanged unfamiliar grape names like Sapaveri, Chinuri and Ojaleshi, a red one that Ms. Feiring described as Georgia’s “next happening grape.”

One that Ms. Feiring described in her book that I wanted to taste was horse breast. Was there a horse breast wine on the Anfora list? There wasn’t. In fact, Ms. Feiring knew of only one commercially produced horse breast wine in all of Georgia.

Ms. Feiring has traveled to Georgia seven times in the past five years—her initial visit was in 2011 to speak at the first International Qvevri Symposium at the Alaverdi Monastery. The qvevri, a large earthenware vessel that is filled with wine and then put into the ground, was an important part of Georgian winemaking culture before a Soviet emphasis on mass-market, commercial wine made chiefly in tanks. There has since been a renaissance of the qvevri, which is now on the Unesco cultural heritage list, according to Ms. Feiring’s book.

In Georgia, Ms. Feiring often is accompanied by John Wurdeman, a friend and the garrulous owner of the Georgian winery Pheasant’s Tears. Mr. Wurdeman introduced Ms. Feiring to many memorable wines and winemakers.

On her travels, Ms. Feiring spends a great deal of time enjoying good food and drink. Georgians, it seems, can’t welcome a guest without hours of feasts and toasts. “It’s a very poor country but they eat very well,” Ms. Feiring noted.

Recipes for many of the dishes that Ms. Feiring has tasted can be found in the book, including one for Khachapuri, a cheese-filled bread that everyone eats “all the time.” although a few ingredients, such as blue fenugreek, may be hard to find in New York. “You can substitute saffron,” Ms. Feiring advised over a glass of 2013 Pheasant’s Tears Chinuri. (Anfora offers several of Mr. Wurdeman’s wines.)

Ms. Feiring was particularly struck by what she called the “ego-free” way of Georgian winemaking, which she speculated had to do with the fact that Georgia is a deeply religious country. Or perhaps it is the fact that most of the winemakers she met weren’t looking to get rich but merely hoping to support themselves.
Although Ms. Feiring’s passion for Georgian wines and winemakers is clearly quite strong, an even deeper bond is revealed late in the book.

As Ms. Feiring was discovering the joy of Georgian wines, her brother, Andrew, was dying of cancer. Ms. Feiring said she had considered taking Andrew’s story out her book but ultimately decided to keep it, finding a “parallel” story of her brother’s struggle and that of her beloved Georgian winemakers, the Wall Street Journal informs.

Andrew Feiring died before the book was completed, but he would undoubtedly have been proud of his sister’s discovery and celebration of the Georgian wine culture and way of life.

Related Stories:

Georgia's Giant Clay Pots Hold An 8,000-Year-Old Secret To Great Wine


5 Georgian wines to try - The Washington Post


Georgian orange wine added to the new wine list of the Ritz Hotel


Georgian Pheasant’s Tears Rkatsiteli among The 50 Best Wines Under $50 by Bloomberg


Print
Other Stories
Svaneti – the most untouched place by the outside world
French photographer Julien Pebrel traveled to Georgia last summer.
5 must-see lesser-known places in Kakheti
Kakheti is located in the eastern part of Georgia.
Euronews: "Batumi as a center of youth culture"
Euronews has recently published an article about Batumi, a seaside town in Georgia.
Russian tourist in Batumi explains why Russians should not come to Georgia
It has been more than a week since demonstrations have started in Tbilisi and are held daily.
How "Spend Your Summer in Georgia" campaign started?
The group includes around 207 000 members of Facebook and it has been only couple of days since the campaign was launched.
Why Georgia? – Photographer Eddy Li speaks about his experience
As the number of tourists coming to Georgia rises, so does the number of international photographers.
Visit Gudamakari surrounded by the Greater Caucasus Mountains
Gudamakari is a historical area in northeastern Georgia surrounded by Mtiuleti, Khevi, Khevsureti and Pshavi (slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountains).
Georgia among Eid Al Fitr destinations
Where to mark Eid Al Firt? This is the question many of the residents of the Arabian countries will ask themselves as soon as Ramadan is over.
Visit Turtle Lake via the renovated cable car
If you are in Tbilisi and looking for a quiet place surrounded by the greenery, Georgian Journal will show you a perfect option.
5 places to visit for entertainment in Tbilisi
Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia offers a lot of options to those visitors who love to go out, have fun and enjoy the active part of the city.
4 reasons why Georgia should be your next destination by Ftnnews
Ftnnews, a website about traveling has recently published an article about why Georgia should be travelers’ next destination.
Georgia and Ukraine have nothing in common when it comes to traveling
Kyiv Post has recently devoted an article to Georgia.
Former Swiss Ambassador to Georgia Lukas Beglinger settles down in Ujarma
Lukas Beglinger, a former ambassador of Switzerland to Georgia has left the homeland to live in Georgia.
The New York Times about Lelo Burti, Georgian folk game
The New York Times has recently dedicated an article to the Georgian folk game Lelo Burti.
Matador Network: Why you need to see Tbilisi before everybody else
Matador Network published an article “Why you need to see Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, before everybody else” two days ago.
Tbilisi’s Architectural Revival
Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia is distinguished by a number of features making the city a unique combination of a modern and old.
History of ancient trade centers in Tbilisi
Bazaar has always played an important role in the life of Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia.
Batumi’s sky turned pink on Saturday
The sky of Georgia’s beautiful seaside town, Batumi turned pink two days ago.
Bakhmaro – Unique resort with healing properties
Bakhmaro located in Guria (western Georgia) is one of the healthiest resorts of the country.
How Georgia celebrates Easter
Easter is the most significant day for the Christian world.
Get to know Georgian Inventor Students travelling to NASA Space Center
Sophio Chikhladze (Guivy Zaldastanishvili American Academy), Mariam Gamrekelashvili, Giorgi Rigishvili, Aleksandre Kajaia (School AIA-GESS) and Iona Iobidze (Kutaisi School Progress)
Georgian village, where nearly everybody could sing
It became necessary to construct a new building for a hotel
One Night Trip to Breathtaking Kazbegi
Georgian photographer Giorgi Shermazanashvili has recently visited Kazbegi
Atlas Obscura about the Foundation of Tbilisi and Sulfur Baths
Atlas Obscure has recently devoted an article to the sulfur baths in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia.
5 facts about Georgian wine
Georgia claims to be the cradle of wine.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
15.07.2019
16.07.2019
USD
1
USD
2.8513
2.8555
EUR
1
EUR
3.2094
3.2210
GBP
1
GBP
3.5727
3.5862
RUB
100
RUB
4.5215
4.5596