When you arrive in Tbilisi, border agents don't just stamp your passport; they hand you a bottle of wine. It's a fitting welcome to Georgia, a mountainous country sandwiched between Europe and Asia, where dinner guests are exalted as "gifts from God" and traditional feasts called supras unfold in biblical proportions, sometimes lasting for days on end, seriouseats.com website reports.
It's easy to lose track of time at the Georgian table. On a recent visit to the country's capital, I joined some friends for a dinner that entailed a dizzying array of salads, followed by steaming vats of heady stews and braises, gallons of orange wine, and occasional forays into polyphonic harmony, a signature feature of Georgian folk music. Staggering back to my hotel at 4 a.m., stuffed and delirious, I felt like I had emerged from a culinary fever dream.
The good news is, you no longer have to board a flight to the Caucasus to have a supra. In New York City alone, five Georgian restaurants have sprung up in the last three years. Georgia's distinctive orange wine, once known to only the savviest sommeliers, is now cropping up on wine lists across the country (some are even dubbing it the new rosé). And for DIYers, there's Darra Goldstein's encyclopedic, unrivaled cookbook, The Georgian Feast, newly released in second edition.