First of all I have to let the world know wine is a wonderful thing here in Kazakhstan. Good coffee is still a little elusive. There is a place called Black and Brown Grounds (coffee and tea) but the prices are outrageous! You get a 1 oz shot of Kenyan in a French press for $6.00 even Starbucks would blush at charging that high a price.
Sophie and I have started experimenting with regional red wines and have been very pleased. Here are two wines to put take on your list (especially to confuse your local wine merchants). Let’s review what we’ve tasted…………….
Georgian wine has long had a good reputation for “heart”, showing the wine maker’s skill and heart. We found such a wine. It’s called Stari T’bilisi 2004 Georgian Red. Strong pepper nose not unlike heavy Paso Robles Zins but with a highly developed fruit that lingers on the middle of your tongue.
Next is our “local” wine. It’s called “Zhar-Zhar”. This is a Kazak product. With the looser labeling requirements, all you need to know is that it is good for your heart health and digestion; no goofy warnings that if you are pregnant you should not be within 500 miles of the wine. It has more fruit than the Georgian fare not unlike young, fruity and playful Beaujolais.
The bottom line: Both of these wines are under $5.00 a liter. There are many wines here from Chile, France and Bulgaria to name but a few. The Georgian and local Kazak wines are bright stars in the constellation of labels staring you in the face when you go to the supermarket. Two Buck Chuck is alive and well in Kazakhstan………….
P.S. After 15 years I am drining alcohol again – no hard liquor but table wines once or twice a week. I have long missed wines and their wonderful flavor with food. I had to come to Kazakhstan to start celebrating live again……..I didn’t realize how much I missed a nice glass of red with my food. I’ve heard of people like myself who shun alcohol for whatever reason for a lengthy time and then come back to once again enjoy the grape. Taste’s great and my heart and digestion are the better for it!