The Republic of Wine: Georgia’s Epic Love Affair With the Fermented Grape 0 1031

Approximately 8,000 years ago somewhere in the middle of nowhere in Georgia (the country, not the state), some guys decided to try storing their wild grape juice for the winter by putting in a clay vessel and burying it in a pit.

When they dug it out in the spring, they had a bit of a surprise.

“Hey… Umm…  You know this grape juice we buried underground all winter?”

“Yeah…”

“Well, it’s not really grape juice anymore.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, it’s different. Hard to explain. Try it… pretty good actually.”

“Hot damn, that is good. Pour me another glass.”

(Legend has it a couple of hours later they were singing songs off-key, falling over and mumbling, “I never say it… but you know you’re my best friend, right?” However, history is a little fuzzy on those details.)

We may not know the exact words that were uttered when it was discovered, but the point is that ever since a grape juice storage fail turned into a wine-making win, viticulture has been a very, very big deal in Georgia.

In the Kvemo Kartli region (just south of Tbilisi) archeologists discovered several grape seeds in a ruined ancient house that date back to the 6th millennium BC.

This, as well as other archaeological findings, is the evidence that Georgia has the oldest winemaking tradition in the world.  The method of making wine in the traditional clay vessels was added to UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2013, along with other age-old traditions such as the Carnival of Oruro in Bolivia and Chinese shadow puppetry.

In the National Museum of Georgia in Tbilisi, you can see one of the ancient ceramic vessels that were used for wine production – known as a qvevri. The crushed grapes are placed in these enormous egg-shaped containers along with the skin and seeds.

The vessels can be up to three meters deep and can hold up to 1,300 bottles of wine each. The most well-known red is called Saperavi, which is bold and fruity with notes of pine and wild berries. Seriously, it’s damn good.

The History of Wine in Georgia

An eight thousand year winemaking tradition is pretty impressive.

To put this into perspective – we are talking about the Neolithic Age (back when people were eating the Paleo Diet before it was trendy). This happened before Egyptian mummies and before the Minoan culture began on Crete. Even writing was only invented 5,200 years ago (maybe once we invented wine we were too drunk to bother writing stuff down?).

Georgian wine is about 5,000 years older than Stonehenge. Mammoths were still around (and would be around for another 5,500 years) when the early Georgians were getting sloshed on those first bold, juicy reds.

In Georgian pagan mythology, wine had a powerful mystical meaning. In the folk tales,  Aguna is the patron saint of viticulture and ritual sacrifices were performed (in fact, they still are). As Christianity spread, wine became considered the “Blood of the Savior” and so wine and vineyards became even more important. Georgians thought of wine as the holiest drink and they would often sacrifice it to the saints.

These days, wine is just as popular as ever and it’s big business. As you stroll down the streets of the Old City in Tbilisi almost every other building is a wine shop or a tourist agency advertising tasting tours to the vineyards in the nearby countryside. Even the popular local candy churchkhela is made with grape must, a byproduct of the wine industry. A sign I saw the other day outside a local restaurant said, “You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy wine and that’s almost the same thing.”

Where to Sip Georgian Wine During Your Visit

Georgians are legendary for their hospitality. In Georgian culture a visitor is considered a “Gift from God” and large feasts called “Supras” where everyone is welcome are central pillars of the culture. These sumptuous banquets are presided over by a toastmaster called the Tamada, who always ensures that the wine keeps flowing. Many Georgian families will make their own homemade wine and serve it to guests. So, while you are in Georgia do your best to get invited to a Supra.

If you don’t have a chance to attend a Supra, here are some other great places where you can taste Georgian wine during your visit.

Ghvino Underground

N15 Galaktion Tabidze Str., Tbilisi

The first organic wine bar in Georgia, this cozy spot has a superb selection of local and imported natural wines – served up with artisan bread, cheese and even seasonal mushrooms. You can also get a little taste of chacha, the local grape vodka (beware, it packs a punch!).

8,000 Vintages

N26 Sulkhan-Tsintsadze Str., Tbilisi

The name of this newly opened wine tasting place symbolizes the epic winemaking history of Georgia. It claims to offer the largest variety of local wines in Tbilisi, so you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Piala

N114 Aghmashenebeli Avenue, Tbilisi

If you are on a shoestring budget but still want to feel like a sophisticated wine connoisseur, head to this old Georgian style cellar. They have local wine on tap. Yes, you read that right. Wine on tap. Life is good.

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Kelly Dunning is a Canadian freelance travel writer. She lives a nomadic lifestyle with no fixed address – working from the road since 2011 with her partner Lee, a web-designer from England. They have traveled to over 50 countries and they offer travel tips, stories, and inspiration on Global-Goose.com

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What Experts Think of Sanseti, the Skin Care Kit All Over Social Media 0 69117

If you’re a fan of some of Hollywood’s hottest stars, or a follower of beauty trends on Instagram, you’ve probably seen the Sanseti Timeless Skin Care System. High profile fans of the system have said things like: “this has been a game changer for me” and “this is my go-to brand”. Experts say the key to the product’s success is its 360-degree approach to skin care. Many skin care products do a decent job prepping, moisturizing, or tightening the skin; but it’s rare to find one set of products that does everything.

On its website, Sanseti claims their product(s) have been shown to reduce deep wrinkles by 44% while producing a 37% reduction in wrinkle density. Pretty dramatic results to claim in a clinical environment! According to the company, the products include botanicals such as: Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (Japanese Green Tea), Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Red Marine Algae (Ahnfelita Conccina Extract), Rosa Canina Fruit Extract, Mentha Arvensis Leaf Oil, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice Root), Echinacea Angustifolia Extract; and peptides like Dipeptide-2, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3 (Matrixyl), and Acetyl Hexapeptide-3. Sanseti recommends using the product set as part of your daily routine: Cleanse, Moisturize, and Tighten.

In addition to the numerous celebrities and skin care experts who have pledged their love for the Sanseti line of skin care products, the company also offers up dozens of real customer reviews on its website.

“The skin cleanser is freaking amazing, it really gets all the dead skin and dirt off my face and leaves it feeling super smooth. Along with the advanced peptide lotion, my skin has never looked better,” one woman wrote.

“Amazing, worked even better than expected. I now understand the hype about this brand,” another said.

It looks and sounds remarkable, but is this for real? Dermatologists tell us, “The products in this kit contain a variety of calming botanicals alongside several peptides that brighten, tighten, and minimize the appearance of wrinkles.” For example, Sodium Hyaluronate holds up to a thousand times its weight in moisture retention, while Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3 has been clinically shown to improve skin firmness, elasticity, and help with inflammation.

As for claims that Sanseti can reduce wrinkles by 44%, our source says it’s possible. “The cleanser likely preps the skin to receive moisture, the moisturizer ingredients certainly would provide the necessary elements to give the elasticity that most people are looking for, and the studies behind the serum claiming wrinkle reductions are 100% legitimate as far as I can tell.” Our source added that the oils found in the Essential Anti-Puff Eye Gel have shown a decrease in eye bag thickness and also indicated a 25% reduction of capillary permeability.

When asked about other competing options on the market (such as facial masques), our expert weighed in by saying, “Masques certainly can provide highly concentrated treatments and nearly instant benefits, but they’re made to be used every now and again. Meaning, you can’t really rely on a mask for the daily regimen it takes to see real change in your skin.” On a daily basis, our expert recommends a gentle cleanser and protecting your skin in the morning with a combination of antioxidants. In the evening, focus on repairing the skin with peptides, natural extracts, and essential oils.

So is Sanseti worth the price?

In the end, we give Sanseti our “Try It” grade. We found it to be a very good value, the products are all high in quality, and the results were noticeable. Experts agree, saying that the Sanseti Timeless Skin Care System is beneficial and can be incorporated into your overall long-term anti-aging routine. The company has even issued an exclusive discount to our readers:

Use PROMO CODE: PURESOURCE10 at checkout to receive $10 OFF on your order: Click Here For PureSource Offer

If you aren’t sure what’s best for your skin, visit your dermatologist for a skin care consult. Remember, treating your skin well isn’t as simple as using any one product; but a good one can definitely help! Take good care of your skin all the time and your selfie will thank you later.

Yes, You Can Afford to Travel 0 1185

Traveling is not a luxury activity for the one percent, it is an obtainable goal at any budget. Staying in five-star hotels and rarely leaving the resort is not traveling, it’s a vacation. Traveling is about getting to know a culture and stepping outside of your comfort zone, not ordering room service. You don’t have to sell your kidney on the black market to afford to travel. Learn some of best travel secrets to afford to globetrot across the world. Here are 10 travel tips everyone should know about traveling on a budget.

  1. Adjust your Spending Habits

Budgeting for travel doesn’t mean you have to spend every night at home eating cup-of-noodles. It is about prioritizing your spending. Stop spending money on things and start spending money on experiences. Don’t waste your money on material items, spend it going out with friends. And when you have to buy a sofa at the second-hand store it won’t seem so important when you have a life filled with experiences rather than a storage unit full of lamps and sofas.

  1. Travel Strategically

Culture, beauty, and adventure can be found in just about every corner of the world, so deciding where to travel can be daunting. Narrow it down by researching countries that are affordable for your budget. For beach destinations, don’t travel to Malibu or the French Riviera, instead visit the coast of Colombia or the beaches of Montenegro. When traveling to Asia, consider options such as Vietnam and Thailand rather than Japan for example. There are hidden gems in countries you would never expect. Looking for the road less traveled has many benefits, and saving money is top on the list.

  1. Travel Off-Season

Everything is cheaper during low season. From plane tickets to accommodations to restaurants, you can save a lot of money by traveling off-season. Choose a few countries of interest and do some research to determine the high season for tourists. Perhaps February is high season for Brazil but the low season for Argentina. If your heart is set on Brazil simply go in March or April instead when the high season fades.

  1. Choose your Travel Partner Wisely

Traveling alone is an incredible experience, but often times we travel with friends or in groups. Choosing a travel partner with a similar travel style is important for a plethora of reasons, but especially when it comes to saving money. For example, a traveler that prioritizes spending money on dining out as opposed to spending money on nicer accommodations would not travel well with a traveler that prefers to save money by eating cheaply and spending more on accommodations. The right travel partner can make all the difference in having an unforgettable trip and staying within your budget.

  1. Stay in Hostels

Don’t let the film “Taken” scare you, staying in hostels is the best option when you are traveling. Hostels are not only cheap but an experience that allows you to meet fellow travelers from all over the world. Hostels often come equipped with kitchens and bars so you can cook and socialize with other travelers. Fellow travelers, along with the hostel staff, provide a wealth of knowledge and helpful resources for cheap places to eat, drink, and free things to do in the area. And if you’re not keen on staying in a shared room, most hostels have very affordable private rooms.

  1. Cook

Discovering the food of another country is one of the most exciting pieces of traveling. With great prices on hostels and Airbnb, it’s never been easier to find accommodations that include access to a kitchen. Get lost in local markets and buy produce and ingredients typical of the region. Cooking a traditional dish with local products is an incredible way to get to know a culture. Plus it saves money. Cooking at least one meal per day will cut costs drastically.

  1. Travel Light

Most airlines have weight or size restrictions for luggage, so travel light. To avoid paying extra money for checked bags take just one traveler’s backpack and one personal item that fits the luggage restrictions. Put the heaviest items in your ‘personal bag’ rather than your checked-bag, typically the airlines don’t bother weighing personal items. Generally, checked luggage must be 21 inches or less in length. Forget about bringing 10 books or five pairs of shoes, pack light with versatile clothing and only the necessities.

  1. Travel at Night

Overnight travel is a great trick to save money. There are plenty of overnight buses and trains to get your from city to city or even one country to another. They tend to be more comfortable than taking ‘red-eyes’ or overnight flights, but all accomplish the same thing; eliminating the cost of a night of accommodation. Especially if the trip involves traveling to many different places, overnight travel cuts out nights of accommodation fees. While it can be hard to sleep on buses, trains, and planes, an easy remedy is to have a couple of glasses of wine before you board to help you fall right to sleep.

  1. Visit a Friend

Travel to places where you have friends. Everyone has a friend they are envious of for living somewhere cool. Staying with friends is not only a great way to save money on accommodations, but friends are like having your own free tour guide to the area. Just bring a bottle of wine or buy a round of drinks to show your appreciation.

  1. Get a Travel Credit Card

Flights can be the most expensive part of traveling, so having a credit card that earns miles is very valuable for a traveler. If you have good credit, get a travel credit card, and use it for every purchase you make. Be sure to pay the card off completely each month. Many companies offer double or triple points for travel and dining expenses and give huge bonus points for frequent usage or recommending friends. Finding the right card and using it properly can be the difference between paying for flights and flying for free multiple times per year.

Stop envying those that travel and become a traveler. Budget travel is not only possible but an incredible life experience. What are you waiting for, pull the trigger, buy the plane ticket and go!

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