Two Intriguing Wines from Interesting Places

Empty tabletop in the coffe shop at night over defocused background with The 2020 Teliani Saperavi and the 2021 Vanderbilt Reserve Viognier
The 2020 Teliani Saperavi and the 2021 Vanderbilt Reserve Viognier
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Shortly before the pandemic, I was given the opportunity to apply for an educational trip to learn about wine in Georgia. I said to myself, “Wow, now that’s interesting. I have friends who live in Georgia and had no idea they had a wine industry.” I applied. I didn’t get it. And, eventually the trip was canceled anyway due to the pandemic. Oh, and it wasn’t the Georgia where my friends lived, it was Georgia, the country, that borders Russia. Not my brightest moment, but since then I’ve learned this faraway area does produce some wonderful wine!

The 2020 Teliani Saperavi is an approachable, enjoyable, red wine with vibrant acidity and firm tannins. Made from 100% Saperavi grapes, and fermented entirely in stainless steel, this is a fresh, medium-bodied, fruit-forward, dry red with great firm tannins and well balanced acidity. This wine retails for the bargain price of only $15 and pairs exceptionally well with appetizers. A nice party wine to have on hand and a great conversation piece for its place of origin. And I learned, there are a few vineyards in Georgia, USA!

Next up, is a wine from Virginia. Not just for lovers, Virginia also produces wine. The 2021 Vanderbilt Reserve Viognier from Biltmore Winery is crafted from grapes sourced from Virginia. This lovely, elegant, white is an elevated white choice for those who might usually enjoy pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc. Voigner is a crisp, clean and fruit-forward wine. It is less aggressive than sauvignon blanc and more floral that pinot grigio. This wine is lightly oaked with 50% of the wine spending only three months in oak. This softens the wine without imparting any toasty or buttery notes to the wine. It does have hints of vanilla, which meld beautifully with notes of pineapple and pear. Serve this wine with any dish you would normally serve with white wine such as seafood, chicken, salads and fruits. It normally retails for $35, but is on sale here for $26: biltmoreshop.com.

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