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Stylized image of Dila-O bottle

User (and Food)-Friendly Georgian Wine

When the Soviet Union forces you to rip up vines and replant for mass production, it can make finding old vines tough. Fortunately for us, Orgo winery has started Dila-O, a relatively new line of introductory Georgian wines that are sourced specifically from old vines, made in qvevri, and are quintessentially Georgian, yet remain under the $20 mark!

Making wines in qvevri (large, semi-porous clay vessels made for aging and fermenting) is among the oldest winemaking techniques (dating back to the 6th century B.C.!) and thus it comes as no surprise that the Georgians have absolutely perfected it. Being able to experience such a time capsule is what makes wine so exciting, and the fact that the Dila-O wines are so affordable and encapsulate what Georgian wine can bring to the table, doubles the fun.

The wines are also quintessentially Georgian in another way: they are consummate food wines. Tannin, earth, savory umami qualities, and balanced fruit permeate the balanced structure and lend themselves perfectly to the delicacies of the country. The red, made from the Saperavi grape, has all the earth, tannin, acid, and juicy fruit to be able to stand up to the heavy, meaty, rustic cuisine of Georgia. The amber wine, made from a 50/50 blend of Mtsvane (pronounced ma-ts-vah-nay) and Rkatsiteli (pronounced r-kat-si-teli) is a ideal pairing for the more spiced side of Georgian food, and entwines itself with the tarragon, coriander, and dill found in their dishes.

Although they obviously pair well with the food from the region, you don’t need to be stuck eating khachapuri and khinkali to drink these wines. Saperavi will go with just about any slightly more rustic meat, and the Mtsvane/Rkatsiteli will lift anything with more herbal, fermented flavors such as Burmese, Thai, or Laotian food.

Dila-O’s mission is to get Georgian wine into the hands of more people, and give you a window into Georgian life. We always say that wine is a fantastic way to understand a place and the culture within, and Dila-O has allowed us to put forth a perfect example of that.

Dila-O Saperavi 2022 - $17.99
Blackberry and raspberry eaten right off the bush, savory earth and tannin to pair with any game, the Saperavi retains all of the hallmarks of Saperavi listed above, while expressing a lighter, more playful side of the grape. Stick it in the fridge for 15 minutes, get the rib-eye off the grill, and enjoy.

Dila-O Amber Dry 2021 - $17.99
With only one month of skin contact, this amber wine is much more user-friendly than a portion of Georgian amber wines. Dried apricot, fig, slight oxidation, and a bit of fruit skin show the unique aromatic characteristics that Georgian wines have, while some melon, cantaloupe, and ripe peach allow a touch of familiarity to remain.


This story was originally featured in our newsletter, where it was offered at a special subscribers-only discount. Subscribers get special offers, the first look at new discoveries, invites to events, and stories about wines and the artisans that make them.