We received the product for review and all opinions are our own.
I know the Texas wine industry is relatively new, but I didn’t realize how young it really was until I had the opportunity to taste and evaluate a bottle of wine from Georgia – a European country, not a U.S. state – where wine is dated. 8000 years ago. This makes Georgia the oldest wine-growing country in the world.
While the roots of the Saperavi grapes (sah-per-ra-vee), from which the wine I tasted, dates back to 6,000 BC, the wine itself was a dry red Mukuzani wine from 2018, which was imported from Georgia by Silk Road Wines is based in Florida. . The company is a veteran-based importer and distributor of Georgian wines, which is expanding its distribution network to Texas through agreements with HEB and its Central Market stores.
After being trained and working in public relations, I was most impressed by the holiday gift box they sent me to taste on behalf of Texas Wine Lover. After removing the golden box wrapped in ribbon from her safe shipping container, after opening the box, I was pleased with a volley of holiday lights and a golden frustration. Tightly secured by small velcro, there was a 750 ml wine bottle, a small wine glass with a logo, a double-acting wine opener with a logo and a small Godiva box.
To understand what I was exposed to, I went online to find out about the wine. I learned that this is a new edition of Silk Road Wines produced in a micro-zone controlled by the Mukuzani appellation in Kakheti, Georgia. This country is located at the historic crossroads of the Silk Road of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. Mukuzani has been produced since 1888 and matured for three years. It is considered by many to be the best of Georgian red wines made from Saperavi grapes.
I learned that the Saperavi grapes that were used to make the wine I would taste are hardy, late ripening. Vitis Vinifera grapes with a dark skin and pink flesh, making it one of the few teinturier grapes used in the production of single-variety wines. Saperavi has been described as a wine that is inkjet, with flavoring properties that may include black fruit, licorice, chocolate, smoked meat and spicy spices.
With all the pomp and information, I postponed the tasting for two days so that the bottle would “settle” in our temperature-controlled wine shop. During that time, I researched what dishes went well with Saperavi grapes, and I was pleased to find that I had the ingredients to prepare baked new potatoes and ham that went well with wine.
While the potatoes were first boiled and then roasted, I opened the wine and poured a three-minute tasting into the included Silk Road logo glass to get the first impressions. There was not much smell in the nose of the dark wine I poured. However, I immediately experienced a hot pepper on my tongue before I found that the wine was lighter in my mouth than I expected and had a hint of tobacco and dark fruit. As I tried more sips, I found that the lingering finish was less peppery, and I decided that the wine resembled Syrah.
With a dinner of ham, herb baked potatoes and a combination of corn / English peas, I switched from a small tasting glass to an 11.5 ounce Chef & Sommelier Reveal ‘Up Soft Wine Glass. A larger glass accompanied by breathing from the bottle for 45 minutes gave the scent of delicate red fruit. The pepper blast was dampened and I enjoyed a wider language coverage of flavors.
When I paired the wine with food, I noticed that 13% of ABV 2018 Mukuzani is definitely food wine. The foods that I think would be most suitable are steak au poivre and BBQ. Since I still had some wine in the glass after cleaning the plate, I decided to try some of the Godiva chocolates that were part of the Christmas gift boxes. I quickly added chocolate, especially the fruit-filled version, as a great combination with Mukuzani 2018.
Since my wife and partner drinking Phyllis wine could not taste Mukuzani 2018 with me due to the fall that caused her to be hospitalized in a rehabilitation facility, I was left with a bottle of wine. I firmly changed the cork and stored the remaining wine in the wine shop for another 24 hours. When I opened it again and found that it was still fresh, I found that both the Bleu cheese and the spicy queso I had tried increased the pepperiness of the wine. The creaminess of the walnut port wine, the Velveeta slices and the thin pieces of young gouda smoothed my taste of the wine.
Although the Silk Road wines include dry red and white, semi-sweet red and white, rosé, amber and Qvevri (natural wine in contact with the skin), not all bottled wines can be at the HEB or Central Market where you shop. I found only semi-sweet red wine Silk Road Wines in the nearest HEB in Atascocita and its price was $ 18.99. The larger HEB store near Kingwood did not offer any Silk Road wine.
If you are in HEB or Central Market and you find yourself in the wine section, I recommend you to find Silk Road Wines wines. This way, you can make your own comparison and see how well the young Texas wine industry is doing against wines with a thousand-year history. In my opinion, all that history has put the Texas wine industry on track.