About     FAQ     Contact      Advertise With Us      Press   

Presenting to Sommeliers on the Oceania Insignia

Toscana Restaurant onboard the Oceania Insignia was set up for a wine tasting.

Since we wrote the first edition of our book Georgia, Sakartvelo: the Birthplace of Wine in 2014, we have made several presentations to interested wine enthusiasts. Most of these talks were in the Washington D.C./Baltimore region. Last week, though, we had an opportunity to present on the high seas. We were enjoying a wonderful cruise onboard the Oceania Insignia. The Insignia was at sea for a day making its way back to New York City from Portland, Maine. I  contacted the Concierge and asked if the sommeliers onboard the ship would like a presentation about the birthplace of wine. The Concierge contacted the Head Sommelier who was delighted to schedule us to present a talk about Georgia, Sakartvelo, a region known for its continuous winemaking for 8,000 vintages. The Head Sommelier wanted the soms to hear details about the wines of the country Georgia. He also thought they would enjoy the talk and decided to surprise them by announcing the talk the morning of the presentation.

Our presentation took place in the Toscana restaurant, one of the two speciality restaurants on the Insignia. The front part of the restaurant was already set up for an afternoon wine tasting. We used a few tables from that presentation. As a part of this talk, I like the attendees to taste Georgian appellation wines, in this case, a Tsinandali and a Mukuzani. The Tsinandali was a blend of mostly Rkatsiteli and some Mtsvane from the Tsinandali region of Eastern Georgia. Whereas the Mukuzani was made entirely of Saperavi from the Mukuzani region of Eastern Georgia. These wines are a great introduction to some of the Georgian grape varieties.

Terry presenting to the Sommeliers onboard the Oceania Insignia

No presentation about the birthplace of wine would be complete without a tasting of qvevri wine. Qvevri winemaking is the only winemaking protocol on the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. While in Georgia during the spring of 2014, we bought and returned home with a 24-liter qvevri. After preparing the qvevri, it was buried in our yard. We have been making wine in it ever since. Our 2016 Qvevri Vidal Blanc was tasted during the presentation. White wines made in qvevri take some getting use to, unless you enjoy tannins. Our 2016 qvevri Vidal was fermented on the skins. In addition it was aged on the skins for six months. The sommeliers did not seem to mind tasting the qvevri Vidal. They all appeared to enjoy the talk and several purchased our book. A few of the group hailed from Bulgaria, Ukraine  and Russia and were familiar with Georgian wines. One sommelier from Bulgaria greeted us after the talk and strongly encouraged us to visit Bulgaria to learn more about Bulgaria’s wine culture. Bulgaria is now on our bucket list to visit.

Some of the Sommeliers bought our book Georgia, Sakartvelo: the Birthplace of Wine.

We enjoy presenting about wine. The Birthplace of Wine is one of my favorite presentations, because most wine enthusiasts do not know about Georgian wines including their appellation wines and qvevri wines. Presenting onboard a ship was special and presenting to sommeliers just enhanced the experience.

If you are interested in hosting a wine presentation to friends and family, check out our teach and taste page.


Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

info@winetrailtraveler.com            Sitemap                      Privacy Policy

Copyright: Terry and Kathy Sullivan 2006-2013