Cricova Winery

Moldovan Impressions: The Wine Caves, Part 2

In my last post, I started reviewing the wine caves of Moldova. There are many other wineries in the country, and Sommelier‘s 2011 article here gives an optimistic but good overview of the rising stars (you’ll notice that Cricova is the only “cave” winery mentioned). Purcari, in particular, produces a few reds worth tasting. But trying […]

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Caucasus Adventures Redux

I’ve recently posted the last installment of my Azerbaijan Adventures, so it’s time to say farewell to the Caucasus (for the time being, at least), and look back at all I have distilled over the past three years. Like a goat jumping over the snowy peaks of the Caucasus, I have traveled through Georgia, Armenia, […]

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Azerbaijan - Road to Xinaliq

Azerbaijan Adventures, Part 8

After our little pakhlava break, we finally reach Quba, the capital of the homonymous district in mountainous northeastern Azerbaijan. Capital is a big word for a town of less than 40,000 that you can visit in half a day, but this is the gateway for small villages much higher in the mountains, such as the […]

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Azerbaijan Adventures, Part 7

It’s been almost 3 months since I last wrote about my adventures in the Caucasus. All this time, I’ve been planning to talk about the various kinds of baklava in Azerbaijan (locally known as pakhlava), but the task turned out to be harder than I anticipated. There are almost as many kinds of pakhlava as there […]

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Azerbaijan - Road to Quba

Azerbaijan Adventures, Part 6

After entering the Quba region, the landscape changes rapidly and the climate becomes more suitable for cultivation. All the way to the town of Quba are scattered roadside vendors, whose stands range from the roof-covered small business to the handful of precarious wooden shelves. What’s in season? Mostly tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, peppers, cabbage, watermelon, peaches, and […]

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Azerbaijan - Road to Quba

Azerbaijan Adventures, Part 5

In today’s installment, we’re leaving Baku and heading to the mountainous region of Quba. But before we get there, we’ll have a look at the quintessential post-Soviet landscape on the road outside the capital, near Sumqayit. Here’s how the Traiblazer Azerbaijan Guide describes Sumqayit: “Until 1940 Sumqayit was a village of 4,000 souls set on an idyllic curve of white […]

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