This holiday season, bring a bottle of Armenian wine to your friends and family. Armenian wine is uncommon in the US and has a rich, ancient history, so in addition to bringing a quality bottle of wine to the party, you’ll also be bringing with you an interesting topic to share.
One of the companies leading the movement of Armenia as a rapidly growing wine region is Storica Wines. This Boston-based import, sales and marketing company has most recently introduced three new wine brands to their portfolio: Shofer, Van Ardi and Voskevaz.
Van Ardi is an award-winning estate winery located in Ashtarak, Armenia, 40 minutes west of the capital of Yerevan.
Shofer is a private label brand built by the Storica team, as an ode to the endearing culture of drivers transporting locals and tourists around the country (“Shofer” is the Armenian word for “chauffeur.”)
Voskevaz is a family-owned winery known for their ‘Karasi Collection’ wines, which are fermented in traditional clay amphorae (the Armenian word for these clay pots is “Karas,” hence the phrase “Karasi” collection) after being matured in oak barrels.
Storica’s mission is to showcase Armenia’s rich heritage and renaissance in winemaking; all of the wines in Storica’s portfolio are made from indigenous grapes from Armenia. A few of these varietals trace back over 6,000 years, and are now being revitalized by several top-tier winemakers and viticulture experts in the country.
As Storica plans to introduce these new brands, they will do so alongside their current portfolio, which includes two new Keush Sparkling Wines that are perfect for the winter holiday season, particularly New Year festivities.
As the first traditional champagne method-crafted sparkling wine from Armenian Indigenous varieties, Keush is yet another novel libation most have yet to hear about, let alone taste. These grapes are sourced from among the highest vineyards in the world to produce “Methode Traditionelle.”
“These wines are made with grapes grown at high altitudes, upwards of 3,300 feet above sea level, giving the wines intensity and focus,” says Storica’s GM & Head of Wine, Ara Sarkissian. “Deep flavors are matched by firm structure and a mouthwatering acidity.”
We spoke with Mr. Sarkissian about the best holiday dishes to pair with Storica’s Wines. Here’s what he had to say:
Wine: Van Ardi Areni Reserve
“This wine’s flavor components are all carried by a core of bright acidity, which cleanses the palate perfectly when eating foods with robust flavor profiles such as lamp or grilled food.”
Food pairing: This wine stands up to lamb, marinated steak tips, or a plate of mixed grilled vegetables.
“This wine’s characteristic profile is dark, brooding fruits and a round, supple texture; the intense black fruited nature of this wine is a perfect accompaniment for the savory, umami character of a slow cooked braise.”
Food pairing: This wine needs strongly flavored food, such as a slow cooked braise, or barbecue, or a savory sauce.
Food pairing: Perfect an aperitif or an accompaniment to light snacks.
Wine: Keush Origins
Food pairing: This wine pairs well with foods that are salty; salted nuts, cured meats, as well as fried chicken.
Food pairing: Perfect for seafood of all sorts, fried foods, as well as young, white cheeses.