Saturday, January 23, 2010

Wine tasting in Areni

The typical display, home-made wine in Coke or water bottles, walnuts, some pickled vegetables, Sujuhk (walunts dipped in sticky sweet mixture, sort of looks like fly tape and oddly acts the same) and sometimes they have oghe, home-made vodka made from fruits.

My "taste buds" Henni and Paige.

The first taste. Armenians don't drink wine as much as westerners and they prefer sweet wine. So we have to ask for daghe, which means bitter, wine.

The first taste.

The things hanging are sujukh.

We got invited in to try some "hin gini" or old wine.

This is a barrel of "nor gini" or new wine.

She mixed a little old and new together. Not so great...


Inside the "cellar."

Typical day out on the town.

Asking for the driest wine she has.

The spread.

I moved in to take her picture and she said "yes siroun chem," or "I'm not beautiful," but I think she is and her wine was good too!

This woman seemed to be watching the whole operation, she wasn't too keen on having her picture taken, but I couldn't resist.

Shes happy that we liked her wine.

Getting silly!

The building says ice cream, but don't be fooled it really is the home of some of the best home-made wine in Areni. We were reccomened to her by some friends from Yeghegnadzor. They weren't quite sure what booth was hers, but they said we would be able to find her because of her bright red hair, and sure enough we could see her from a mile away.

The road to Yerevan.

Beautiful landscape in Areni.

Home-made goods, this one even has honey. People in Armenia are very proud of their honey.

Our wine goddess, Nunufar or Nune in short.

Trying some popok, or walnuts.

Some real Armenian hospitality.

She is a busy lady! Ever 5 minutes a car pulled up to buy some wine. I guess the word has spread.

The man on the left pulled up in a VERY nice SUV. Henni, Paige and I talked to him for a few minutes and then made up our minds to buy 3 litres of wine from her. He went to his car to put away his wine and walked back up to the table and laid down 10,000 dram (about 30 dollars.) We explained we were only buying 3,000 dram worth and he said fine, I'll get it for you and the rest is for our proprietor. What a guy!!

Yes masnaget em, I am a specialist.

Under the cup on the table you can see the 10,000 dram. She gave us 4 liters instead of 3.

The 5th liter.

Even more tasting. I think we bought some white wine from him. The sign says wine: sweet, dry, semi-sweet and vodka.

I think hes not so used to seeing women come around wine tasting.

Old wine.
Wines from different fruits, sour cherries, backberries, pomegranite, etc.

Henni and I.
The chicken sacrafice rock.

The village of Areni.

These taste buds are unrivaled!

Good times!


Another view of Areni looking down the Arpa river valley. This river later forms the border between Armenia and Iran and Armenia and Turkey.

Just checking a few things before the journey.

The well constructed, perfectly safe bridge.

With a Paige sized hole in it.

Oh, life in the village.

A tough little bunch,

who look oddly similar.

Good friends.

More good friends.

It was a long day!

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