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Georgia is famous for its hospitality throughout the world. The unique tradition of hosting and honoring a guest has been developing for centuries and is of great importance in every corner of our country. One of the expressions of this tradition is a Georgian "Supra", the table at which the host of every home gathers guests. Tasty national dishes, great wine, and toasts create the harmony, which makes the Georgian Supra unique. However, traditional dishes and wine are not the only reasons for gathering around the table in a Georgian home, but rather establishing and maintaining cordial relations among peers.
The Georgian kitchen is very diverse like our country itself; Rich, healthy, tasty, piquant and original. Foreign guests find it impossible to be indifferent towards the food. Each region and province of Georgia has different food traditions. Remarkable recipes, developed during centuries make Georgian dishes unique. Georgian water, penetrated by Caucasus mountain minerals and extraordinary local ingredients enrich the food with great taste. The Georgian kitchen offers a variety of cold as well as hot vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. It is especially rich in meat: pork, beef, lamb, chicken and fish. People who enjoy culinary are always fascinated by the local food.
Georgian bread, a variety of cheese and other milk products, several types of "khachapuri" characteristic to different regions of Georgia, barbeque specially grilled on "Tsalami" branches, beans boiled in a pot, "Mchadi", Kebab rolled in "lavash" bread as well as "Khinkali," - boiled meat rolled in dough, which is the most desired dish at the Georgian Supra. Georgian hospitality, generosity, variety of dishes and incredible wine bring great pleasure to people gathered around Supra, which is traditionally headed by a Toastmaster, specially chosen by the host.
The Toastmaster and the Toasts
The head of a Georgian Supra, the Toastmaster ("Tamada" in Georgian) is chosen by the host of the "Supra." The Toastmaster should be familiar with the history and traditions of our country, should be organized and consistent - his toasts corresponding with Georgian traditions. However, once appointed, the Tamada reserves the right to choose personal or original toasts as well. The Toastmaster should have unusual wit and a sense of humor so that, while heading the Supra he does not bother the guests too much with conventionality. He should also organize dances and singing and insist that people have a good time. The most important toasts at a Georgian Supra are proposed and drunk by a "different" (larger capacity) dish, which most often happens to be "Khantsi," made out of the horns of deer and aurochs. Traditional Georgian wine dishes, such as silver and ceramic bowls as well as "Khantsi"-s have also been discovered during archaeological excavations in many parts of Georgia.
4000 types of grape are known around the world and more than 500 of them are Georgian. Of the Georgian grape types, 62 are included in the standard assortment. Among those 62, 29 are for the winery and 9 specifically for the Supra. Special high quality Georgian grape types are: Saperavi, Rkatsiteli, Mtsvane, Khikhvi, Qisi, Chinuri (Chinebuli), Tsolikauri, Tsitska, Krakhuna, Aleksandrouli, Ojaleshi, Aladasturi and others.
Georgian wine is considered among the most ancient wines in Europe. During the archeological excavations in the Kvemo Kartli region, archaeologists found grape stones which are dated at 7-6 millennia B.C. (Neolithic period) Ancient wine cellars, that are dated at 3-2 millennia B.C. have also been found. The "Trialeti culture of the same period has to be noted as well because of wine bowls, "bardzims", pitchers, and other wine dishes found among the artifacts of its period. A miniature bronze sculpture holding a "Khantsi, dated at 7th century B.C. was also found during archaeological excavations in Vani, Georgia. The above-mentioned information serves as proof that our country is the homeland of wine. Even the adoption of Christianity by our country is related to wine. Saint Nino had tied together a vine cross with her own hair and traveled to Georgia to preach Christianity. Bread and wine have been used as a symbol of bloodless sacrifice in the name of Jesus Christ from the beginning of Christianity.
Various wine dishes discovered during archaeological excavations around churches and monasteries across the country, once again emphasize the connection between the Georgian wine and Christianity. We can also see vine-shaped ornaments expressed on the exteriors of many Georgian churches. The Georgian Orthodox Church regards vineyard (vine) as the symbol of Saint Mary, to which a Georgian King, Demetre the 1st dedicated a chant named "You are vineyard." There is also a Christian icon with the same name. Except for the Aborigine types of grapes, the imported grapes such as Aligote, Pino, Shardone, Caberne Sovignion, Shasla, Khalil, which are common in every corner of Georgia, have found a new homeland on the Georgian soil. People in Georgia think that the Georgian wine will exist as long as at least one Georgian is alive on the planet.
Georgian Wine Brands
Dry wines for Supra: Tsinandali (white), Gurjaani (white), Napareuli (white), Bakhtrioni (white), Manavi (white), Vazisubani (white), Tsitska (white), Tsolikauri (white), Rkatsiteli (white), Tibaani (white), Telavi (white), Sviri (white), Sameba (white), Teliani (red), Napareuli (red), Kvareli (red), Mukuzani (red)
Dry ordinary wines for supra: Hereti (white), Gareji (white), Gelati (white), Kakheti (white), Dimi (white), Bodbe (white), Shuamta (white), Saperavi (red)
Semi-Dry wines: Aguna (white), Sachino (red), Mtatsminda (red), Anakopia (white), Tbilisuri (white), Pirosmani (red), Barakoni (red)
Semi-Sweet wines: Akhmeta (white), Tvishi (white), Tetra (white), Ckhaveri (white), Savane (white), Psou (white), Alaznis Veli (white), Khvanchkara (red), Ojaleshi (red), Kindzmarauli (red), Akhasheni (red), Tavkveri (red), Usakhelauri (red), Apsni (red), Lisni (red), Alaznis Veli (red), Aladasturi (red)
Hard wines: Kardanakhi (white), Anaga (white), Signaghi (white), Iveria (white), Kolkheti (red), Taribana (white), Lelo (white), Marabda (white)
Desert Wines: Saamo (white), Khikhvi (white), Salkhino (red), Bouquet from Abkhazia (white)