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30 Jan 2024 | Jeremy Dugan


February’s Wine of the Month is Teliani Valley 2021 Saperavi from the Kakheti region of Georgia. Rich black fruit up front gives this wine a “juicy” profile, notes of blackberries, black cherries, etc. coat your taste buds. Delicate notes of green pepper and subtle vegetal characteristics cut through the big fruit flavors. Light acidity revives your palate and brings the fruit and vegetal flavors together in harmony. I was introduced to Teliani Valley’s Saperavi while picking wines for our Georgian and Czech Republic tasting on February 10th ($25 per person, 1-4pm, no reservations needed). While the grape variety isn’t new to me, I was very impressed with the flavor profile of the wine, and especially for the price. I shared it with the rest of the team, and we all agreed that it was dang tasty and a nice way to introduce those who haven’t tried Georgian wine to a historic grape.   

Saperavi is the quintessential Georgian variety. In their language, Saperavi means “dye” referring to its deep black skin and pinkish juice. The country of Georgia is widely considered “The Cradle of Wine Civilization”. While many proud citizens of countries like France and Italy will say things like “Wine is part of our life”, people in Georgia say, “Wine is our blood”.

Two fun facts I have learned about Georgian wine culture since taking my deep dive is that every person who owns property in Georgia has their own vines and their own amphora vat to make wine in. It is actually an insult to bring wine to a person’s house as a gift. It implies that their wine isn’t good enough to be enjoyed. The second thing is that during the centuries of wars that Georgia has been part of or in the middle of, soldiers going to battle would take a cutting from their family’s vines and wear them. That way, if they were to sadly meet their end, their bodies could be used to give life to the vine.

So, yeah, Georgians saying “Wine is our blood” isn’t just a cute phrase.

ORDER HERE:  2021 Taliani Valley Saperavi  $15.99 per bottle 

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