This month Françoise and I teamed up with another lady who holds Wine Pairing Dinners.
The wines we decided to showcase were from Georgia and Slovenia and the restaurant we held the event at was a Czech Restaurant. Like all good organizers of these events we firstly had to scout out a good venue and then go to the restaurant and sample the foods and wines together to come up with what we thought worked. We did this with the help of our wine men. A hard job but I guess someone has to do it.
It turned out to be a beautiful warm, clear evening. We had 30 wonderful wine loving guests from 10 different countries represented.
I don't know whether I am learning a hell of a lot about wine apart from I think most of it tastes delicious but I am loving learning about different cultures.
When I think about top wine I would think Italy or France, but I've learnt that Georgia is one of the oldest wine growing regions in the world and they certainly know how to make wine. Slovenia also have been making wine since before it was introduced in to France, Spain and Germany and make a very nice drop.
Last night I loved learning about the 7 toasts of Georgia.
It is a little like China in that when you drink in Georgia, you don't just drink like we would in Australia. A toast must be made before you take a mouthful.
Here is my understanding of it:
There are 7 important toasts in Georgia.
1. For God (Believe)
2. To Parents
3. To Sisters and Brothers
4. To Friends
5. To Love
7. To People who passed away
A tamada (a Georgian toastmaster) is chosen to lead the toasts and then each person gets a turn at making the same toast but in a different way. They aren't just short and sweet toasts like, "Here's to ...." but they are interesting, funny or sad stories so that people get to know each other and grow closer. I also found some are reminders about what is important in life. It certainly turns a normal old evening in to one to remember as everyone shares their toasts or stories.
With all that toasting that is an awful lot of drinking but don't worry the Georgians have an answer for that as well. It is tradition that if you start to feel drunk you sing to release the alcohol from your body so that you can do more toasts and drinking.
I'm proud to say the Australian Lamb Chop was the stand out dish for the night. We might not be totally leading the way with our wines but we can produce a mighty fine lamb chop.