Midday at the Oasis

Imagine yourself in a lush trellised garden of grape vines and mulberry trees. A brook babbles nearby and a light breeze filters through your leafy bower. Birds flit amongst the vines and provide music for your sojourn. You recline on a woven silk carpet of red and white that covers long wooden benches painted bright turquoise blue. Perhaps you sample the abundant local fruits and … Read more

Sage, Rosemary and Thyme – Not Wine!

With the help of DNA analysis, scientists are getting a present-day look at centuries-old trade in the Mediterranean. Such studies may help debunk some long-held assumptions, namely that the bulk of Greek commerce revolved around wine. During the fifth through third centuries BCE, the Mediterranean and Black seas were major thoroughfares for ships loaded with thousands of amphorae, thought from their shape to contain wine. … Read more

A Caucasus Celebration

We had friends over again, and as usual, I spent a couple of days in the kitchen preparing for their visit.  This time I whipped up a regional tasting menu of Caucasian specialties from Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.  As they ate and in between the “yummy sounds” my friends kept on commenting that there were, “so many flavors on the plate”. Many thanks to my … Read more

The Silk Road in the News #4: Soup from 400 BCE

Imagine the world around 400 BCE. The Phoenicians in Carthage were the dominant power in North Africa; Socrates had just been condemned to death; in Mesoamerica, the Olmec civilization entered a period of terminal decline; and a Chinese nobleman was laid to rest in his tomb in Xian with soup and wine to see him through to the afterlife. After 2,400 years the cauldron or … Read more

A Super Supra

We toasted to the mountains and how they have perseved Georgian culture over the millennia, to our ancestors, to our homelands, the men stood and toasted to the beautiful women in their lives and we all toasted to the future.  Those were amongst the many toasts that we shared over glasses of Pheasant’s Tears last night at Levante’s restaurant in downtown Washington’s Dupont Circle. Our tamada, … Read more

When Pheasants Cry

Last week I had the honor and the pleasure of attending a wine tasting at the Georgian Embassy in Washington, DC.  Already a fan of Georgian wines – especially of the robust red Mukuzani and the full-bodied, white Tvishi – I attended the tasting to discern the differences between the wines from the featured vintners from Khaketi and the Teliani Valley. Georgia has some of … Read more