Name: 2001 Tbilviino Tsinandali
Grape:Rkatsiteli & Mtsvane
Region: Khaketi, Republic of Georgia
A strange mood overcame me last evening while I was shopping for our evening's wine, as I reached out for the specific bottle we've enjoyed again and again all summer I suddenly realized that I was in a rut. Here I am: wine professional, wine student, passionate wine enthusiast, buying the same old bottle I've tried many times before. On that note I put the lovely little tried and true gem back on the shelf and immediately headed over to the shelves of Eastern Europe.
Very few people, me included, know much about Eastern Europe. Soviet rule nearly destroyed what was once a wine Mecca, fortunately political changes in the last two decades are helping to encourage family business and agriculture, which brings us one step closer to enjoying Eastern European wines.
Georgia, the region just north of Turkey between the Black Sea and the High Caucasus, is the most important wine region in Eastern Europe. Georgia is thought to be the birthplace of wine, with archeological artifacts dating back to 3000 b.c.. In fact, Georgia still produces Khaketian wines in earthenware jugs much like their ancient brethren did thousands of years ago.
The 2001 Tsinandali by Tbilvino was an inexpensive and delicious treat. Rich and ripe with flavors of baked pear and apple bound together with ample acidity, the richness of the wine a perfect partner to a cooler fall-like evening. Rich enough to pair with a heartier meal, we enjoyed it with Pad-Thai and Chicken.
Store: Astor Wines & Spirits $8.99 (399 Lafayette @ 4th St.)