Chapter 15: In which I participate in wine making.
Wine is an important component of Georgian culture, and they are very proud of their traditions of wine making. Though not everyone makes their own wine, it is extremely common. Before I moved from my old apartment, I had the opportunity to help my landlord make wine.
Step 1: Harvesting the Grapes
Step 2: Crushing the Grapes
Here’s a new treat. I have now uploaded and successfully embeded my first YouTube video. Welcome to the 21st century, Mr. Hughes.
I have no idea what the face is all about.
Step 3: Stirring the Mixture
The mixture begins fermentation immediately. Over the next several weeks and months, the mixture must be stirred regularly to encourage and support the fermentation process.
Once it has reached the appropriate age (what that age is depends on the vinter), the mixture undergoes a series of straining and “treatment” phases aimed at producing the type of wine the producer desires. The final dregs of the mixture are then used to produce Georgia’s infamous cha-cha.
Step 4: Cook mstsvadi
Now, wine making in Georgia does not end with the actual making of wine. It ends where almost everything does in Georgia, at the supra table. Our landlord decided to treat us to mtsvadi (Russian: shaslik; Americanese: shish kabobs) which are produced by placing meat on skewers and cooking them over hot embers.
Step 5: Drink excess wine
There you have it. My first Georgian wine making experience. I enjoyed the process, and anything that ends with food, wine and good company is alright in my book. Now if only I could get someone to teach me to make cha-cha…