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Sakartvello (Georgian name for their country) has a 5,000-year wine making history, and no Georgian party, or “supra”, as they call it, would be held without vast amount of homemade wine that is continuously being poured from decanters such as in this picture.   The wine and Georgian Orthodox religion nurtured and protected the Georgian culture and traditions.  No supra is ever held without toasts to Georgian wine and Georgian religious beliefs.                                                                

This beautiful wine decanter was presented to me by my Georgian friends. 

I spent memorable moments with the people in Georgian villages, and with my friends Pridon and Eteri and their families.  The memory of one particular supra will stay with me for a long time.  I was at a huge supra with a long table full of food and wine.  I was the only foreigner there and kind of kept to myself as the “Tamada” (toast master) was making his toasts.  The Georgians started out drinking wine initially from small glasses and then larger ones.  The drummer was beating his drum and singing.  I requested that he sing my favorite Georgian song “Suliko” and he did. Everything was fine until the Georgians brought out their “rokk” - a wild goat horn from which they drink wine when the Georgian muschestvo kicks in.  Several Georgian men wanted to prove their worth by emptying the rokk. Then all of a sudden one of the Georgians looked at me and said “give it to that foreigner”.  I initially refused, but when the Georgian women became to laugh and said I can have the horn as a present if I can finish it. The horn is now in my trophy cabinet at home for I emptied it and turned it upside down to prove that not a drop was left. 

Photos of a Georgian supra in a poor mountain village after a wedding I attended.

Below is another village supra. Siphoning homemade wine from large jars to be delivered to the supra table.  There was no heat so everyone sat dressed in their sweaters and coats. 

Supra by a river in the Ajara mountains outside of Batumi, Grusia (Georgia):

A “Tamada” is the toast master who manages the supra like an orchestra conductor.  He is the “God” of the table who sets the tone and mood of the supra.  The Tamada goes through a rigid formality of toasts during the course of the supra.  The sequence begins with toasts to: God, nation, family, heros of Sakartvello, peace, and so on to other themes like wine, beauty, love of women, etc.  “Alaverdi” is given to selected participants to make complimentary toasts on the subject toasted by the Tamada.

Newly cast  bell decorated with grapes and grape vines to commemorate the significance of this fruit to Sakartvello.



A fancy supra table with white wine decanters which are filled as soon as they are emptied. Warm “hajaburi” (cheese bread) is on the table.  Warm Georgian bread is piled high

On the left is a supra in an exclusive Tbilisi restaurant.

There are decanters of wine and Borjomi mineral water to wash down the endless plates of food that are piled on top of one another.brought .

The Tamada will sit at the head of the table and will stand to make toasts to which everyone lifts their glasses of wine.  When the Tamada speaks, everyone pays attention for the quality of a Tamada is judged by his speeches and control of the supra.  Only men are permitted to be Tamadas of a supra.

Every Georgian supra has a Tamada.  Some are adequate in their function and some are quite good; however, only the greatest of Georgian Tamada can make toasts while they are sound asleep as Timur is.  Timur was always an excellent and spiritedTamada.  

“Suliko”,  Trio “Tbilisi “


Gold Giorgi on top of monument in the middle of Freedom Square, Tbilisi, Georgia

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