Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Boston Wine Expo: Reaction to qvevri wine

by Terry Sullivan

17.02.2015. The 2015 Boston Wine Expo [read more in: Georgia to showcase wines at Boston Wine Expo] was cut short due to yet another blizzard to plague Boston. On Saturday, I spent most of my time pouring wines and gently educating wine enthusiasts for Badagoni Winery in the country Georgia. I enjoyed working the inside of the table. Unfortunately, I never had the time to visit many of the other tables at the expo that I was planning to visit. I was just having too much fun.

Most of the expo attendees that stopped at the Badagoni table have not had wines from the country Georgia. I used my ipad to show the location of Georgia and photos of the grapes in the wines they were tasting. One of the wines was a qvevri wine. I used photos to explain what qvevris were and how they were made. I also talked about the Alaverdi Monastery qvevri Rkatsiteli the qvevri wine we were serving at our table. Reaction to the question, “Are American wine enthusiasts ready for Georgian white qvevri wines,” was mixed. A little over half of those I asked said yes, others did not think so. Of those saying yes, some were red wine drinkers. I suggested they try a white wine and poured the qvevri white wine. It was well received. Another discovery was the need to provide education about the qvevri wines prior to tasting them.

Some of the take-aways from the expo were people didn’t realize that Georgia is the birthplace of wine, people were not aware of qvevri wines or that qvevri winemaking is on the UNESCO list of Intangible Culture Heritage and that the country Georgia is not the state Georgia.

There were only a few people at the end of the expo that admitted that they were reluctant to approach the Georgia wine tables because they thought that the wines were from the state of Georgia. At the trade tasting and the beginning of the public tasting this was not received at our table.

Consistently throughout the tasting both, for the trade and public, there was amazement that Georgia is the birthplace of wine. It seemed to me that they were more amazed that grapes were cultivated and wines made for 8,000 years. Eight thousand is a hard number to think about when you are referring to years. When it comes to wine, generally the population considers the ancient Romans and Greeks as old. It is a bit difficult to think of wine growing and wine making that predates the ancients by several thousand years.

Qvevri wines were unexpected. Several of those who tasted the Alaverdi Monastery qvevri Rkatsiteli stated that it was the most unique wine at the expo. Several people left to return awhile later with friends. They wanted their friends to taste a qvevri wine.

For those that visited the Georgian wine tables, they are aware of the country, its wines and its 8,000 year wine growing and winemaking tradition.

    Georgian Wine Catalogue      
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