Issue 2, 2018. April-May

   

A WINE FOR ALL OCCASIONS: PAIRING GEORGIAN WINES WITH SEASONAL DISHES

Georgian wine is gaining popularity with connoisseurs and wine lovers around the world. But what to do if you don't know a Rkatsiteli from a Saperavi? And which wines go best with which dishes? Investor.ge asked five experts to recommend three seasonal spring dishes, paired with the perfect Georgian wine.

Jarrett Ferrier for the DC-based Georgian restaurant Supra (facebook.com/SupraDCRestaurant)

Selecting the right wine for any dish boils down to a few basic ideas, sommeliers and wine experts told Investor.ge.

8000 Vintages sommelier Zaza Grigalashvili noted three main principles.

'Firstly, we need to observe the color of the wine because its tones should coincide with the color of the food. Also, we must determine the intensity of the aroma of wine, and it should not be exposed to excessive food flavor. Finally, the taste of wine should outlast that of the food,' he told Investor.ge.

Chateau Mukhrani's Elene Otarashvili has been learning about wine for the past seven years.

'Pairing wine with food is a very important matter which people should pay more attention to-particularly in Georgia, the country of wine. Ensuring that a wine and a dish match has other benefits besides aesthetics: good combinations are healthy and pleasant,' she said.

'The rule for choosing wine is very simple: serve aromatic, thick and strong wines with fatty and nutritious foods; slightly lighter wines with slightly less fatty dishes; and light wines with light dishes,' she added.

Igor Boriskin has worked in fine hotels and restaurants around the world. Today he is the bar manager at La Boheme restaurant in Tbilisi. He recommended several great Georgian wines for traditional seasonal spring Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes, the restaurant's specialities. Boriskin encouraged diners to be adventurous, and try local wines even when eating food from other places.

'As with all food and wine pairing, there is no right or wrong match and with such a wide array of tastes and textures in a Middle Eastern feast, discovering which wine works best for you is part of the fun. If you do get to taste food outside its country of origin, it's always worth trying the local wine,' he said.

Georgian Wine on a Foreign Palate

Boriskin recommended several Georgian wines to pair with foreign seasonal spring dishes from the Mediterranean and the Middle East, including Lebanese fried chicken marinaded in chili, garlic and lemon and then flash grilled.

'The La Boheme experience offers balanced flavours from throughout this vast region. Typically you'll be served a wide range of dips to start, from creamy, smoky baba ganoush, soft and light classic tzatziki with fresh herbs, a falafel with a fresh Mediterranean salad, or the ever -popular earthy hummus,' he said.

Noting that it is challenging to find the right wine to match the array of flavors offered, he said Georgian whites are a good start.

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