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All about saperavi

Saperavi and Georgian wine

Far to the east of the glitzy wine growing regions of Italy and France lies the small country of Georgia. It’s here, in this small Caucuses nation nestled on the shores of the Black Sea, that you’ll find the oldest evidence of wine production. Making wine is in their blood here, and with its deep ruby-purple color, intense flavor, and exciting levels of tannins, saperavi is a fitting spokeswine for the Georgian wine tradition.

Saperavi the teinturier

Saperavi is a rare red grape varietal known as a “teinturier”, meaning that both its skin and flesh are red. This property makes for extremely deep red color and big-time tannins. Many teinturier grape varietals are better suited for blending due to this intensity, and Saperavi itself can blend well into a rosé or split 50/50 with cabernet sauvignon, but it can often stand alone on its own merits as a bold, complex red.

What does saperavi taste like?

As we’ve already gushed about, unblended saperavi is a deep ruby-red, borderline purple wine. The nose follows suit with the color: it’s full of sour cherries, black currants, spicy smoke, old leather (in older bottles), earthiness, and even savory umami notes. You can expect many of those same notes in the flavor, with a decent addition of vanilla and oak wood character to boot. The medium-full body of this dry wine supports soaring tannins that are astringent but should still meld with the bright fruit flavor. We like them quite a lot. High acidity keeps pace with the high tannins, and the finish lasts a remarkably long time. Each sip seems to go quite a long way.

Saperavi pairings

As a good assertive red with great tannins and acidity, saperavi will help you enjoy rich roasted meats, where it’ll cut through fat and complement the rich flavors. It’s also good with funky cheeses and chocolaty desserts.

Saperavi is one of the most important grape varietals from the world’s oldest wine growing region and its bold, engaging flavor makes it so much more than a novelty. This is a wine you’ll want to buy, age and share again and again. Try it unblended or see how it adds complexity, tannins, and color to a blend. Come search Drizly to get a taste of classic Georgian wine culture. Click these links to search for Drizly in your city, and look for liquor stores on Drizly near you.