Serendipity in the Caucasus: An examination of the major Georgian Qvevri wine varieties
Thanks to the generosity of the Georgian government (who facilitated the research trips), many of the lavishly hospitable winemakers of the Kakheti region, and my colleagues Georgian Backgammon Club, Daria Kholodilina, James Flewellen and Lydia Jabs, my article series “Serendipity in the Caucasus: An examination of the major Georgian Qvevri wine varieties” has been published with the leading online magazine focusing on Eastern European wine, WineSofa. It is the culmination of months of research, tens of books read, and hundreds of bottles drunk. I strongly recommend anyone interest in wine, organic farming, or artisinal products to read it. Here is “PART I: The natural wine renaissance: A journey to the spiritual home of orange wine.” I am trying to set the resurgence of natural wine in the historical context as part of the rise in the quality conscious consumer and the trend for producing food products naturally and returning to ancient methods and flavours. Below is a small excerpt:
The last three decades have witnessed many interconnected revolutions: globalisation, the internet, the fall of communism, the Arab Spring and most recently, the rise of neo-populist movements. These revolutions have been spurred by, and in turn promoted, the ability of the individual to express himself. Linked to these sometimes-disturbing political upheavals has been the beneficial rise of the empowered, cognisant consumer – ushering in the Golden Age of Wine. This silent revolution’s underpinnings have been increased worldwide demand, technological improvements, a movement from bulk to quality and the ability of the consumer to obtain information instantly about thousands of wines with the click of a mouse.
In this everchanging world of iTunes, Tinder and Trump, two countervailing trends are noticeable: hypermodern, technology-influenced developments in food and fashion are simultaneously being opposed by a corresponding obsession with a return to period pieces and authenticity in décor and design. As gourmet restaurants are falling prey to fads of molecular cuisine and every sort of fusion, trends in the wine world are, fortunately, pushing in the other direction.