Winesplaining with Vinovore

Georgian amber wine: Kiss of Kakhuri Mtsvane

During the pandemic, we’ve been on the lookout for ways to try new things and stay connected with Los Angeles. An LA Times article clued us in about Vinovore, a wine shop in Silver Lake that focuses on women winemakers. We ended up not only buying some bottles, but also signing up for their Winesplaining class.

For each Winesplaining session, we got two bottles of wine delivered by the Vinovore Van, and then joined an hour-long tasting via Zoom. The owner, Coly Den Haan, gave us a view into the vineyards, farming practices, and wine-making techniques behind what we were tasting. We loved the vibe of the classes — especially the questions and tasting impressions from our fellow wine fans.

We tried several types of wine that we’d never had before. One was our first pét-nat, a pétillant naturel or naturally sparkling wine. Unlike champagne, where the bubbles come from a secondary fermentation of yeast and sugar in a bottle of already-fermented wine, pét-nats are made by bottling the wine when it’s still in the middle of its primary fermentation. The one we tasted was a rosé called Electric Lightning, made under Vinovore’s own label in Emilia-Romagna, Italy. It had a refreshing, yeasty flavor that reminded us of beer.

The wine pictured at the top of this post was another first: our first bottle from the country of Georgia. It was made from two indigenous grapes, Kisi and Kakhuri Mtsvani — hence its name, “Kiss of Kakhuri Mtsvani” — and fermented in traditional earthenware vessels called qvevri. Although these grape varieties are light in color, the wine had a whopping nine months of skin contact, putting it in the same category as the “orange wine” we had in Slovakia. The label on this bottle used the term “amber”, which was a good description of the color. The aromas and flavor combined perfume, dried peaches, and an intriguing old-library funkiness — we’ll definitely buy it again. And, we’ve already signed up for Vinovore’s next Winesplaining course!

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