Just the Bottle

One woman's adventure in beer, food, wine and spirits

New York Times Lists Georgia as a Top Destination

During the International Wine Tourism Conference in 2014 many of us were taken with Georgia's beauty.  The wine was stunning with a rich history.  But one participant began a love affair that has evolved into a new business venture.

The New York Times Travel section recently listed Georgia as a top destination for 2015.  In this brief summary about what Georgia has to offer they include shout outs to Vino Underground, Pheasant's Tears and TasteGeorgia.

Vino Underground was a gorgeous wine bar with an extremely knowledgeable owner whose knowledge is rivaled only by his passion for wine.  He actually produces some beautiful wine that I hope to be able to drink again soon.

Pheasant's Tears was a last stop on our trip in Georgia and one of the most welcoming.  While there I felt as if I was surrounded by family.  I may have even told John Wunderman how I wanted to put his wife in my pocket.  She graciously accepted this odd turn of phrase and I stand by it.

TasteGeorgia is all you need to know if you want to step into this world.  Started by one participant's passion and locals knowledge, they can help organize food, wine and more tours and private events for you.  It's a great way to begin your own Georgian love affair.

Shumi Winery

On my last day in Georgia for the International Wine Tourism Conference, we visited several amazing places including Wine Company SHUMI (Shumi Winery).  The winery is located in the Kakheti region with vineyards in Khvanchara and Martvili in West Georgia and Tsinandali, Akmeta Gurjaani, Akhasheni, Kindmarauli, Naareuli, Kvareli, Mukuzani and Ikalto in East Georgia.

Like most we visited, the people were incredibly hospitable and graciously shared wine, food and history lessons about Georgia.  This is truly an exciting region to visit and I can only imagine what wine tourism will be like in the next five years.

I recently opened the 2012 Shumi Tsinandali..  The wine is made mostly from Rkatsiteli (85%) with Mtsvane (15%) featured as well.  The wine is fermented in oak barrels.  The wine is light straw in color with a delicate palate that includes floral elements.  It's a lovely and more delicate wine is a great example of the what Georgia has to offer.

I am excited to open one of my orange or amber wines aged in qvervi next.


Dinner at Azarpesha

After a great stay in Istanbul, I had to get myself to Tbilisi for the International Wine Tourism Conference.  I and some other delegates were picked up at the airport and we were off to the hotel.  We had a few minutes to check-in, change and head off to dinner.

We joined the rest of the group at Azarpesha.  As you walk in the restaurant, you instantly feel at home.  There's a warmth and familiarity that fills the place.  I joined a table and began to eat.  Did I say I was hungry? I hadn't eaten since before lunch and was hitting the hangry point..

The table was full of food.  Every plate that was removed would be then replaced with a new plate full of food.  Each dish was delicious and beautifully presented.

Throughout the night, we chatted, the owner and his friends sang and we just embraced the best of what Georgia is - the people. 

Our host, famous ethnographer and singer Luarsab Togonidze, graced our group with numerous songs and stories.

It's Wine Time

ეს ღვინო დრო! (It’s wine time!)

I am excited to write that I will be attending the International Wine and Tourism Conference in Tbilisi, Georgia!


Besides the conference, I will be joining some other cool wine people touring various wineries in Georgia.  My goal of the trip is again to consume all the wine in Georgia.  Secondary goal, learn more about orange wines.

Before Georgia, I’ll be in Instanbul!  I have already gotten some great recommendations from Twitter friends and other people.  Of course one of the recommendations included a wine bar.  Don’t judge.

Stay tuned here for moar about my adventures and follow my Twitter @justthebottle.