The republic of wine: Georgia’s epic love affair with the fermented grape 0 1531

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.

Previous ArticleNext Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How to fit exercise into your busy schedule 0 31817

Making the decision to start exercising is always easy. You just make up your mind, say the words, and you’re done, right? Finding the time to exercise, however, is the hard part in making such a commitment. Integrating a workout schedule into your daily life is never an easy task. Some people cannot give up all that time, their day is already packed as it is, and they simply don’t have the extra time to do squats or crunches like other people.

So, how do you find the extra time to do all that exercising?

It’s quite simple: you make the extra time or manage your time better.

Here are a few tips to squeeze extra time so that you can get in your day’s workout:

Wake up earlier

This tip is obvious. Waking up earlier will definitely give you more time to fit in your morning exercise, surely you can sacrifice 30 minutes of beauty sleep.

Thirty minutes is sometimes not sufficient for those with experience. They need more time to cover all the exercises that an extensive workout entails, and having realized this, they usually do one of two things.

Wake up earlier to get more time to exercise or incorporate a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout into your workout regimen. A HIIT workout entails several exercises done in quick succession with very minimal rest time between each repetition. It’s an effective way to squeeze your workout into those 30 minutes. HIIT workouts are not only more effective, they also save you lots of time. As effective as HIIT can be, they must be chosen with great care, as the process is quite delicate. Consult a fitness expert before you construct your HIIT workout.

The extra thirty minutes that you’ve added to your day will give you that extra time that’ll help you stick to your regimen without distorting your schedule.

Multi-tasking

This is a rather unorthodox approach to working out, but it can be just as effective. Sticking to an exercise method like multi-tasking requires a great deal of flexibility. Multi-tasking is basically sneaking in a few minutes of exercise into your already tight schedule.

Instead of driving to work, you could run or cycle to work. That way you’ll be making the most out of your normally unproductive trip to work. The trip could be an effective way to trim down or hit that workout goal you set for yourself.

Multi-tasking is not limited to a trip to work, you could also workout while at your desk by getting a desk treadmill or a gym ball.

Spare time utilization

Our weekends are usually flooded with so many activities and chores that we never seem to get any time to exercise. We see it as the time to chill out and pay more attention to the family, or hang out with a boyfriend, or run some errands. Although your weekend might be equally as packed as your weekdays, you could still make the best use of the potential free time you could come across during this time. Saturday and Sunday mornings are generally free for the most part. It could be that time you decide to hit the gym or do some HIIT exercises.

The weekend could be a lot more than just extra time to catch up with all the extra work or chores, you could also go a couple of sets on your dumbbells if you have them or go for run.

Working out at home

Working out at home can save you tons of time by making exercise more fun and less stressful. We all know going to the gym can be time-consuming. The drive to the gym alone could cost you time than you have. And then when you add other time-consuming tasks like, changing in and out of your gym clothes and showering twice, two to three hours are gone for a single visit to the gym. It would be smarter to workout from home. I understand that the gym is better stocked with equipment and professionals, but if your goal is to shed weight, there are a lot of home equipment like pull-ups bars and jump ropes that can help you do just that.

Integrating exercise into your social life

Your social life is no doubt one part of your life that takes up a lot your time. A dinner with a date, an afternoon luncheon, or other social activities could be made more productive. Activities like picnics and dates can be altered to fit into your newly adopted lifestyle. Instead of going for walks with a spouse, you could go for a run. Or a casual trip with the kids to the park, could be changed to cycling in the park instead. A picnic could be changed into a hike or something fun.

Taking up exercising doesn’t have to be difficult. Exercising can perfectly fit into your life without disrupting it. Social events can be made more fun filled and productive.

Sex positions you should definitely try 0 63355

Well, I can’t speak for everyone, but I definitely speak for most when I say that sex is a sensitive subject regardless of whom you’re doing it with. Having sex with just one person can get boring eventually, the initial fire gradually dies down and sex starts becoming a chore. When this happens, you need something to breathe life back into your relationship. This means exploring and trying out new things in the bedroom. Relax, I don’t mean buying a gallon of lube or buying the Kamasutra, nothing that adventurous… yet. When I mean explore, I mean trying new sex positions.

This might sound crazy, but I’m telling you, a little pleasure doesn’t hurt anybody. Exploring is not for everybody and that’s ok. Some people aren’t wired that way, however, if you want that spark back then you should definitely try some of these sex positions.

The bridge

A true sex position from the pages of the Kamasutra. It requires lying down from the ground and pushing your torso up from the ground and holding it at the level where he can penetrate. This position requires a lot of flexibility and strength, so don’t be bummed out if you and your partner can only maintain the bridge for a couple of seconds. This move is one of the more adventurous moves, and it gives you an excuse to show him how athletic you are.

The piledriver

This sex position sounds and looks painful doesn’t it? Sounds like a pro-wrestling move or something. Well, it’s the exact opposite. This position eliminates all the space between you two and ensures maximum penetration. Don’t worry, it’s not as boring as it sounds. Believe me, you’re in for a roller coaster. This position, much like the first one, requires a degree of flexibility on both parts. But unlike the first one, it doesn’t require a lot strength. This position is a bit on the wild side, so I would recommend you pace yourself.

High knee

The high knee is a simple, yet exciting sex position. You’ll feel kind of silly that you didn’t think of it before. It involves you and your partner getting on your knees in a comfortable position. You both lift a knee so that his left knee is raised while your right is raised. Then you just both go to town on each other. The high knee is best when done on a bed. You don’t want your knees to get tired or bruised mid-sex. 

X marks the spot

This position starts out by laying back on a horizontal surface, then he penetrates from the vagina. It’s called X marks the spot because the legs are crossed as he penetrates. This position can be done on virtually any surface. The bed, table, countertop, take your pick. 

The high chair position

This position is my favorite on this list. You just get to sit down and let him pound. This position is fantastic through the vagina and even better with anal. The angle of this position facilitates the perfect entry. It’s unlike a lot of generic positions will get you there.

Reverse cowgirl

This is a treat for the guy; the reverse cowgirl is just the cowgirl in reverse. Instead of looking into his eyes as you ride him, he will be staring at your ass while you rock him. The best thing about cowgirl positions is the control it brings. These kinds of positions allow you to control the depth and speed. Something that makes the experience totally different.

Woman lying on top

This position holds a special place in my heart. I like to sometimes call it the ‘inverted doggy-style.’ It involves the man lying under and you laying on him as he keeps your thighs closed and trust upward. You should try to keep your legs together throughout. This tightness puts extra pressure on the clitoris and that’s where you want all the extra friction to go.

Doggy-style oral

No traverse into the unknown is complete without covering all the bases. Oral sex is what lays the groundwork for a proper orgasm and it’s the most important part of foreplay, but enough of that… let’s describe the position. You start off by getting in the doggy-style position and then you let him go down on you from that angle.

These positions are a combination of weird, flexible, and unconventional. They are bound to put the spark back in your relationship. You don’t necessarily need to have a slow sex life with your partner to try this out, you can even try them out just cause you want to. These positions don’t even begin to scratch the surface of great sexual positions, there are numerous others out there and I suggest you go go after it.

Bitnami