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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

"Daily Mail": Quince-flavoured Georgian Tbilvino and other unusual wines you SHOULD be drinking this summer

22.04.2015. They may not be the bottles we reach for when looking for the perfect wine but vino made from Lebanese grapes, or cultivated in chalky English soil can more than stand up to their old world counterparts.

Some of these unusual wines are made using ancient methods – Georgian wine production started in 6,000BC, while there are others, like those produced in Romania, which are produced using more modern production methods.

From Greece's retsina – which contains resin from the Aleppo pine - to a Georgian quince-flavoured wine made using ancient and traditional maturation methods unique to the region, we have spoken to five wine experts to discover the unique wines we should be drinking this summer.

Anne Jones, wine expert at Waitrose told MailOnline: 'Georgia is renowned for its long history of winemaking - some of the earliest archaeological evidence of wine production, dating back to 6000BC, comes from the region.

Ms Jones said: 'Saperavi is an ancient grape variety that originated in this cradle of winemaking, and the wine is impressively rich and rewarding.

'There isn't much of it around, but look for the wonderful wine from Orovela made with slightly more modern techniques than they had in 6000 BC; it's absolutely superb with marinated and barbecued lamb.

Tbilvino Qvevris White, £9, M&S:

A dry, gently-textured and quince-flavoured wine, this intriguing white is something well out of the ordinary. Produced in Eastern Georgia, this is an 'amphora' wine using an ancient and traditional maturation method unique to the region.

Marks & Spencer winemaker Jeneve Williams said: 'The grape juice and skins are fermented together, then partially matured in large clay jars known as Qvevri that are buried in the earth for several months, developing the wine's rich, unique style.I was inspired by the unique style of this wine during my Eastern Mediterranean travels and worked with the local winemakers to create this fascinating blend which and floral character. Eat with: Drink chilled as an aperitif or as a partner to mixed seafood platters.

Chateau Mukhrani Rkatsiteli, £9.50, M&S

This wine has attractive aromas of honeysuckle and melons with intriguing flavours reminiscent of peach, fresh ginger and Chinese five-spice.

Marks & Spencer winemaker Jeneve Williams said: A complex and hugely flavour some dry white produced from Rkatsiteli, which some say was the first vine planted by Noah after the flood.
'True or not, Georgia is certainly an ancient grape growing region with evidence of vines as far back as 3000 BC. Chateau Mukhrani is situated in the Kartli Region surrounded by mountain ranges that keep refreshing breezes circulating amongst their healthy vines. Eat with: It would be an excellent partner to dishes that include fresh herbs, lemongrass and fennel.

Chateau Mukhrani Saperavi, £9.50, M&S

A deep, intense red created from Saperavi, a classic Georgian grape variety whose name itself means 'dye'.
Marks & Spencer winemaker Jeneve Williams said: 'The wine has a distinctive and vibrant blackberry purple colour while the aroma is reminiscent of the delicious spice of hot cross buns.
'This is a wonderful winter wine to match seasonings such as black pepper, tarragon and even cloves.' Eat with: Try it with steak, stout and peppercorn pie, beef bourguignon or rump steak with creamy peppercorn sauce.

Source (adapted)

    Georgian Wine Catalogue      
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