The weather’s come over all autumnal. We bet your thoughts are turning to rich stews – and even richer reds wines to go with them. But we think there’s still a spot in your wine rack for a lighter red at this time of year. Something fresh, often juicy, that may even benefit from being lightly chilled, to bridge the season’s transitional gap. We love Beaujolais and other Gamays, as well as lighter Pinot Noirs and Zweigelt. If you’re also a fan of this style of light, refreshing red wine, then we have a couple of Georgian suggestions you’ll want to try at the first opportunity.
Chkhaveri is most typically used to make rosé. But it also makes a lovely light red when fermented in Qvevri. Though the fruity character is more subdued, the Qvevri treatment enhances the grape’s spiciness, giving nice complexity to the wines.
Tavkveri is highly acidic with a light body which means it’s a very refreshing drink which will get your mouth watering. It’s also a quirky grape. Very unusually it’s a female vine (most vines are hermaphrodites) and it’s nicknamed the ‘hammerhead’.
Aladasturi is a legendary grape in Georgia, though sadly its reputation is matched by its scarcity. Fermented in Qvevri, it tends to be relatively pale ruby in colour, light-bodied, with delicate tannins, and naturally low alcohol levels. The resultant wines are deliciously fresh and vibrant – and surprisingly age-worthy.
Sadly, because Aladasturi is still relatively rare, you’ll still have to visit Georgia to try it. Any excuse!