Uncorking the Caucasus

Wine books are more than just reading about wine.

While reading this book, I learned that Kalecik Karasi (“kah-le-jeek kah-rah-suh“) is a red wine grape variety native to central Turkey. It also sounds like a bottle Daenerys Targaryen would demand. Per the authors, this wine “exhibits great potential, but for some reason, the current wines made from it often do not deliver enough flavors.” Along with honest, yet respectful opinions of the wines they tasted and reviewed, Uncorking the Caucasus is packed with practical tips and first-hand recommendations for exploring this potential, up and coming enotourism region.


The Mother of Dragons, drinking red wine, of course.

Adventurous wine and knowledge seekers!

In 2015, the authors Dr. Matthew Horkey, and Charine Tan, took a seven-month trip to explore and promote exotic wine regions. With limited to zero information to be found in regards to traveling/touring local wineries (Spoiler alert:  in eastern Anatolia, the Islamic-dominant & conservative part of Turkey, they couldn’t find a winery online because it was blocked!) in these lesser-known wine regions, they made their way by picking up local pamphlets and exploring on their own.


Screenshot of the authors directly from the book.

Wine Archaeology & Geography.

Uncorking the Caucasus is the first of a series of wine travel books, all focused on the connection between wine, people, and place. It’s a fantastic wine guide for these native wine varieties, but more than that, it’s a history, cultural, political, and geography lesson as well. Archaeological findings link the origin of wine to present-day Turkey, Armenia, and Georgia, dating back almost 10,000 years. With this history, one might wonder why the wines from this part of the world seem to be so obscure. The book touches on how religious beliefs, laws, and lack of an appellation system or wine regulations all play a role. It’s an interesting read, even for non-wine geeks!


Image taken from – This book inspired me to brush up on my geography.

Wine & Travel Guide.

Besides the wine and historical evidence of winemaking, each chapter contains invaluable tips for anyone who plans on traveling to these areas (or seeking unique wines to try). Details on specific location, where to stay, how to get there, where to eat, and what grape varieties are grown, are all given (in bite size, easy to read chunks/not giving too much overwhelming information); along with the most important information for any destination: wine recommendations!

“Where there is no wine there is no love”


The overall theme, for me, was respect. Not only for the good and not so good wine they experienced, but for the different cultures and understanding of what makes them and their wines unique; more importantly, the people they met and learned from (each chapter also highlights a local winemaker). Uncorking the Caucasus seems to share the same philosophy as the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) mandate:

The fundamental aim of the Organization shall be the promotion and development of tourism with a view to contributing to economic development, international understanding, peace and prosperity, and universal respect for, and observance of, human  rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion”.

Wine simply brings people together. Cheers!

Links to learn more:

*If you’d like to read more/find more information about the book and/or authors, here’s a link to their website:  Exotic Wine Travel. 

Find them on Twitter too:  @exowinetravel

The authors also contributed to a post from Wine Folly, highlighting the 10 Varieties from the Birthplace of Wine (another great resource!).


Hiking through the Arizona desert on a rare, cold day is adventurous enough for me! I think I was thinking about wine here…







*I truly liked/enjoyed this book & would refer back to it when looking for wines/pronunciations from this region.  It reads well & is packed with interesting tidbits. I’m sure with all of their experiences while traveling through this region, the book could’ve easily tripled in size!  It must’ve been a challenge to incorporate & condense all of the information they wanted to share!? While I was fortunate enough to receive this book for free, I get no/zero perks from recommending it or giving it a good review;).

#Truth #GreatWineBook #SupportFellowWine&BookLovers!















I'm a wine enthusiast and former R.D.H. I've been geeking out about wine for 20+ years and have a Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) certification, so I'm pretty sure that makes me an expert on the subject (no?). Cheers to being happy & healthy (so you can enjoy more wine!)... Follow me on Twitter: Misty@RedWineCats & Instagram too: __MistyC__



Thanks for the kind words and generous review, Misty. I’ve added a link to your website on our page too! Happy 2017. xx



My pleasure! It was fun to travel vicariously through you to the Caucasus via this book! Cheers, ~Misty 🙂


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