Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Pirosmani Red Wine

Pirosmani is a naturally semi-sweet red wine. It is made from the Saperavi grape variety cultivated in the Kardanakhi village in the Alazani Valley of the Kakheti region. The wine is fermented in clay jars buried in the ground, an ancient Kakhetian technology of wine-making.

Pirosmani wine begins with a deep purple color, though in its 4th and 5th years it begins to develop a softer burgundy tone. It has a rich fruity scent of blackberry and blackcurrant, and can also have touches of black pepper when young. The flavor is rich with ripe berry flavors that slide easily over the palate and are enhanced by the sweetness of the wine. The finish is soft but strong, still full of rich fruit and sweetness.

Pirosmani wine contains 10.5-12% alcohol, 1.5-2.5% sugar and has 5-7% titrated acidity.

This Georgian wine is named after Niko Pirosmanashvili (1862-1918), known as Pirosmani (Georgian: ნიკო ფიროსმანაშვილი). A primitivist painter, he often depicted animals and people with food. He is also known in Russia for a romantic encounter with a French actress who visited his town; Pirosmanashvili was deeply in love with her and to prove it he bought her enough flowers to fill the square in front of her hotel window, driving himself bankrupt in the process. The story became famous when it was recounted in a poem by Andrei Voznesensky, and later in a hit song by Alla Pugacheva. Pirosmani was also the subject of a short film by director Sergei Parajanov entitled "Arabesques on the Pirosmani Theme."


Hrothgar said...

This is excellent! Now the question is, where does an American find a Georgian wine without actually traveling to Georgia?

Aaron said...

There are a variety of places. The "Retailer" section of http://www.georgianwinehouse.com/Default.asp lists some places on the Eastern Seaboard that carry Georgian wines. Some American cities have specialty shops that only sell Georgian wines, but in other places you'll just have to check out your local quality wine shop. Also, there are several places you can buy Georgian wines online. Check out http://www.selectwinesllc.com/repofgeor.html, for example.