On Friday, April 13, 2018, contributing writer, Moraima Bambaren, joins young professionals at the Embassy of Georgia for a ThingstodoDC Culture event that delivers the Spirit of the country of Georgia through refined sips, swirls, and slurps of several different kinds of wines.
As a recent DC transplant from Atlanta, Georgia I still get homesick sometimes. Spring has clearly sprung down South and i’m not within reach.
So when I read on ThingstodoDC website about a wine tasting event held at the Embassy of Georgia that has wine connoisseurs comparing wines from both my home state and the country of Georgia—I couldn’t pass up this opportunity. I get a taste of home and I get to learn more about the specialized dry white and red wines from the Caucasus region.
The wine tasting was held on a Friday and the weather was gorgeous: High 70s’ and clear skies paved the way. Luckily for me, I was the only person riding the Lyft pool (normally the car gets crowded) and, miraculously, traffic was light en route to the beautiful, classically built home of the Embassy of Georgia. I arrived well before 7:00 pm and waited outside along with other wine enthusiasts. We all were ready for some much-needed Friday fun.
After diplomats greeted us at the front lobby, we were escorted to the “wine tasting” room. As soon as I walked inside, I immediately spotted a few bottles by Habersham, an award-winning winery located in Helen, Georgia. Habersham winery is widely recognized as one of the oldest, and largest winery in the state. Later on in my taste-adventure, I learn that my sweet southern wine could not compete with Georgia’s (country) wine-making tradition and history.
Georgia (country) is located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe. Did you know that many empires tried to possess this piece of land due to its strategic position in the fabled Silk Road? Historically, the country boasts of being the first homeland to Europeans after archaeologists discovered the oldest human skull in this region of Europe 1.8 million years old.
Similarly, several archaeological discoveries point to Georgia as the birthplace of wine. Ancient wine vessels made of clay, bronze and silver, and also vine seeds have been found and analyzed to be 5000 years old. Konstatine, our wine expert at the embassy, informed guests of this fact and brought artifacts such as traditional Georgian wine ladle made out of 2 pounds of pure silver (an amazing Ebay find) to share.
Guests passed around the Azarpeshi, a silver wine ladle from the 19th century, use for large Georgian feasts such as weddings and community festivals. Guests took several selfies with the ladle, transporting themselves a few centuries back.We also learned that Seperavi is the leading red grape variety in Georgia, the name translates to “the place of color.”
In total, attendees sampled 2 red wines and 1 white from both the state and the country. After this tasting, I can agree with why journalists have declared dubbed the country of Georgia as the California of the Caucasus.
The embassy also fed guests delicious Georgian entrees and desserts that paired well with my new favorite red wine, Manavi.
Embassy of Georgia Tasting: Georgian (Country) vs. Georgian (State) event made such a great impression with me! The wine, food, culture and people inspired my friend and I into booking our next trip to Georgia, the country and not the state.