On the 21st September, Master of Wine Sarah Abbott joined Georgian wine producer George Margvelashvili and George Sara of Lebanese winery Château Ksara for an online tasting of wines that explored the ancient wine histories of these two beautiful countries. Fellow MW Emma Dawson opened the virtual tasting, which was attended by over 20 wine trade professionals. Emma has long supported “Ancient Wine”, and as a buyer at Marks and Spencer led the expansion of their range into Georgia, the Eastern Mediterranean, and the Levant. Now a buyer for major UK importer, Berkmann Wine Cellars, Emma has championed the inclusion of both Georgian and Lebanese wine in their portfolio. Author and Lebanese wine export Michael Karam, who is planning on writing a book on Georgian wine, also joined the tasting. While Georgia and Lebanon have unique wine histories, cultures and terroirs, there were parallels in that wine has been, for both, a symbol and manifestation of hope, peace, prosperity and hospitality for both.
Wines tasted included Tbilvino’s juicy, vibrant Saperavi and Ksara’s warm, spicy Reserve de Couvent Syrah/Cabernet blend. The ancient, recently rescued ancient Lebanese variety of Merwah was an aromatic counterpoint to the Qvevris skin contact Amber wine from Tbilvino, which succeeded in converting several “orange wine sceptics” among the guests.
Feedback to the tasting was hugely positive, and many guests enjoyed tasting Georgian wine for the first time:
Really enjoyed the tasting yesterday and was utterly impressed by the profile of the Georgian wine.
Michael Rebel – Rosewood Hotel
Just to thank you for yesterday’s training session. It was very interesting and informative. The wines were great, especially the Georgian white.
Hugo Moreira – Trinity Restaurant
Sarah Abbott said, “we were delighted to be able to partner with a major UK importer for this Virtual Tasting, and to support the brilliant wine shops and restaurants who are starting to work with Georgian wine. And it was also fascinating to see how the concept of Ancient Wine has resonance with our market – we hope to be able to collaborate with Lebanon again in the future.”