YEREVAN — Wine travel writers and wine promoters Dr. Matthew Horkey and Charine Tan debuted their first wine travel book, Uncorking the Caucasus: Wines from Turkey, Armenia, and Georgia, on September 30. Part travel narrative and part wine guide, the book will take the readers on an intimate tasting tour through the wine regions in the three countries, introduce ancient and native grape varieties, recommend the best wine each place has to offer, provide anecdotal insights into the wine culture of each country, and discuss the history of ancient winemaking based on archeological evidence and folklores.
Based on the authors’ three-month wine travel journey through the Caucasus, the book will serve as an introduction to the wines of Turkey, Armenia, and Georgia. For the wines highlighted in this book, besides their sensory merits, they should also inspire conversations, spark curiosity, and reflect an inspiring point of view that challenges the narrative of wine. The goal is to capture the ethos of the Caucasus as a wine region—that is the connection between wine, people, and place.
“In writing about our wine travel experiences, we hope to start new conversations about wine, such as the stories about the people behind wine, the meaning and context of wine, and the importance of promoting diversity in the world of wine,” said Tan. “We want to encourage more people to explore wine regions, especially the lesser-known wine places like the Caucasus.”
Wine tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors in the tourism industry. On September 7, United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) hosted their first global conference on wine tourism in the country of Georgia. The Caucasus region is also gaining popularity as a wine destination, after recent archeological discoveries point to the Caucasus as the birthplace of wine and the origin of the species Vitis vinifera.
The genesis of the book came from the authors’ struggle with finding practical information about wine regions and wine recommendations for their trips. “We felt we were underserved by the wine travel guides. For the major wine regions, the guides were either too general in scope with lengthy descriptions about many wineries, or too specialized for practical use. For the lesser- known wine regions in the Caucasus, information on where to buy wine and which wine to drink were almost non-existent, even on the Internet. We hope this book can save fellow wine lovers and travellers from trial and error and the trouble of scrambling around for wine information,” said Dr Matthew Horkey. “Most importantly, we want this book to encourage people to take on a liberal attitude toward lesser-known wine regions, arm them with the knowledge to explore those places, and intrigue them to try exotic wines.”
Uncorking the Caucasus: Wines from Turkey, Armenia, and Georgia is available on Amazon, in paperback and Kindle formats: https://www.amazon.com/Uncorking-Caucasus-Turkey- Armenia-Georgia/dp/9811107114.