Emily Silva is Head of Retail and Marketing at The Oxford Wine Company, a major UK independent wine company. She has recently added Georgian wines to their portfolio, and explains why here:
We had been looking to add some traditionally made Georgian wine to our portfolio for some time. Georgia holds such a key position in the vinous history of the world, and we wanted to provide some context the current vogue for skin contact wines. However, as with any wines in our range, we didn’t want to list anything just to fill a gap or jump on a trend – we needed to be fully convinced of the quality of wine, as well as offering something to our customers that they wouldn’t be able to easily find elsewhere in the UK. When our Director John Chapman went on a buyers’ trip to Georgia, he found what we were looking for!
Our range of Georgian wines is at the mid-range to premium level, and covers wines made with varying techniques. We have nine different products, both red, white and amber.
We are lucky to have both staff and customers who are curious and adventurous in their wine choices, and as such the response to our Georgian wines has been excellent. They are wines that suit a hand-sell as they all have great stories behind them, and I can’t wait until we are able to run tastings again so that we can further tap into the excitement that’s surrounding Georgian wine among our customers.
In terms of food pairings, I really like using skin-contact qvevri wines with things like tapas selections when you may otherwise be unsure whether to go for a red or a white wine. Anything with a bit of umami can work beautifully too – maybe pork chops or mushrooms with a bit of caramelisation. And #Saperavi is a brilliant choice when you might be craving something rich, ripe and comforting but without the heaviness of tannin. I really like it with pizza!