Wednesday 25 October 2017

D.I.Y Georgian wine in 10 (easy) steps

(You've already picked the grapes and punched a hole in your bucket cus that's obvious stuff.)

Step 1:

Roll your qvevri into a friendly winemaker's marani and bury it, packing it in with sand.

Step 2:

Set up your gear.

All of it.

Step 3:

Put some grapes — stems, bugs and all — into the bucket with the hole in and balance this on something high up but less precarious than some uneven bricks. 

Wash your feet and get in.



 p i n g.

Step 4:

Should look like this 

Step 5:

Around this point you'll probably realise you're going to need to get out and clean another vessel to put the juice in.

Get out and clean one or learn from our mistake and do it earlier.

Step 6: 

Pour juice into new vessel.

Marvel at it.

Taste it.

Step 7:

Get back in again and get your friends working too 'cus you have a shitload of grapes to get through and the romance of pressing your grapes by foot wears off sooner than you might think.

 Step 8:

You're 3 hours of stomping in and the neighbour has already come out (twice) and added you on Facebook just — you think — because he can (because you can't understand him).

You haven't eaten anything.

It's crazy hot even though it's October.

 Draft in anyone else.


Step 9:

Gently press the stomped grapes with a hand press.

(This is optional but recommended if you don't have a lot of grapes but you want a lot of wine).

Step 10:

With skins/stems: Transfer juice and desired amount of skins into qvevri (not too full!) and wait for alcoholic fermentation to start. Do some punchdowns. Wait for your desired length of maceration, remove skins/stems, wait for malolactic fermentation, wait some more. You've got wine.

Without skins: Transfer juice into qvevri and wait for fermentation to start, do some punchdowns, wait, wait for malolactic fermentation, wait, wait some more. You've got wine.

Go drink someone else's wine. (That afternoon we drank Ènek's).

This will be Emily and Jeremy's second vintage, made from a blend of Mujuretuli, Aleksandrouli and Kabistoni grapes grown by Engus Natmeladze. Their documentary on Georgian wine, Our Blood is Wine will be released next spring. 

You can taste a bottle from their last vintage at Le Carton's Georgian Wine Dinner on Sunday. Two words: Georgian BOJO.

Need something to eat with your new wine? Read my how-to on how to butcher a lamb.


Friday 20 October 2017

'Tsolikouri - Krakhuna' (no skins) 2016, Ènek Peterson

Me on  drinking what we bottled in June in October while sorting grapes: 'Cool, this is the second time I've drunk from this bottle'.

Me on the time we went down Ènek's qvevri for The Morning Claret.

Me on the one bottle* I have writable memory of after drinking bottles and bottles of the stuff for three days: 

Tasting notes:

Looks like dappled light across an orange ocean floor.
Smells like dry mandarins and crystal honey.
Tastes like sunshine zest. A Krakhuna-forward tropical fruit salad with stems on.
Feels like jello going down so, supple. Here be no angles.


Tsolikouri - Krakhuna 2016
Ènek Peterson
Tsolikouri + Krakhuna (no skins, 3 x on lees)
Imerti, Georgia

We'll be pouring Ènek's wines, both skins and no skins, all without etiquettes, all 2016, for Le Carton's Georgian Wine Dinner on 29 October.

*Perhaps interesting to note that this is the one bottle of Ènek's we didn't drink with Ènek, hence some memory. (Hey Ènek!)

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