Match of the week
Aubergines with walnut sauce and amber wine
It’s hard to pick out one pairing out of the multitude of dishes we were served with amber or orange wine during my first visit to Georgia last week but I’m going for one we barely ever failed to find on the table - grilled aubergine with walnut sauce.
Amber is the name that Georgians are increasingly using for 'skin contact' white wines which are made in qvevri - large egg-shaped clay pots which are buried in the ground. The juice is left in contact with the grape skins for a period that can range from a few days to a few months and accounts for the deep colour and exotic dried fruit flavours (often peach, apricot and quince) of many of the wines.
They are more structured and tannic than a classic white wine so pick up well on bitter and savoury flavours especially walnuts and aubergines (eggplant), both of which are ubiquitous in Georgia. The two together make the perfect amber wine pairing.
We were served this particular dish at Shumi winery and it would go particularly well with their 2017 Iberiuli Mtsvane Qvevri Dry amber wine (which you can find in a Tblisi wine shop called 8000 vintages) but other richly flavoured amber wines would work brilliantly too.
You can find a similar recipe here.
I was invited to Georgia by Georgian Wines and hosted at the meal by Shumi.
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