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ANNA ohanian

photographed by Anastasia Doniants

So, darling, what about wine?

Wine, as every other product, is about pleasure.

What kind of wine do you prefer?

Well, it depends on the situation or the weather. For example, if the weather’s hot, I’d choose a fresh Riesling. If it’s a cozy evening, I’d go for a red, full bodied wine. If it’s early autumn I prefer a light red.

How can one develop a taste for wine?

This is a story about curiosity, personally if I like something then I’ll go deeper into it, improve my skills, and expand my taste range. Especially because the world of wine is very vast, it’s like opening a door to endless exploration and discovery. Sampling different wines leads to uncovering appellations (small areas in the regions), and eventually stumbling upon small wineries with exciting new names.

When did you start researching into this world?

Wine has always been an important part of my life. I’m an inquisitive person, so I’m always trying to improve my knowledge about it. Currently I’m studying winemaking in Yerevan, so I’ve got an opportunity to learn about the world of wine and its different forms, its diversity and science behind it. Bernard Magrez, the French Bordeaux wine magnate once said: “Wine is a journey”. If something’s made with heart and soul - usually people can feel it, so the product is well received.

Can you tell us about some of your favorite wines?

I really like Burgundy wines for their delicate, fine, graceful nature. Most wine lovers know about the Beaujolais Nouveau wines, that it is a commercial story. However, in the same Beaujolais region they make terrific wine with the Gamay grape, which produces fruitier, more elegant flavors with fresh and acidic notes that are easy to drink. This is an example of what inspires me about all this and how my adventure began. You find something, you start digging, you find different alternatives, and it’s very exciting, you feel like a crazy collector. The world of wine is a bottomless pit, you can delve into it all your life and not get to the bottom of it all. This is a story about the constant development of the taste palette.

What do you do now? Is your job connected with wine?

Couple of years ago I joined a program which aims to develop organic agriculture in a frontier village, here in Armenia. This gave me an opportunity to get acquainted with the craft of grape growing, which sparked my interest in winemaking further. This encouraged me to study more seriously and I enrolled into a Wine Academy this year to keep my finger on the pulse, as everything changes daily in the world of wine. It’s important to keep up with the rhythm of things, otherwise you’re out of the wine loop.

Tell us about Armenian wines?

In Armenia, we have around 350 indigenous grape varieties, so currently there’s a lot of interest in Armenian wines. We’re still learning how to work with our grapes. I think the world’s tired of what it’s been familiar with for a long time. I mean tired of well-known grape varieties, and people are searching for something new. Wines of all styles are already being produced in Armenia, now is the best time to dive into it all. It’s a historical moment for Armenia and I’m lucky to be part of it. I’m very happy and proud that I developed friendly relationships with the local winemakers and I’m glad to taste their produce and gain knowledge from them.

Do you drink a lot of wine?

Have you heard about the “French paradox”?

Please tell us about that.

The "French paradox" is a theory which highlights that despite their elevated saturated fat intake, the French experience lower rates of coronary heart disease due to their increased consumption of red wine.

Got you, Anna jan!

Cake made by B'Nur Pastry, Bella Avetisian

Photographed in Gini Pig, Yerevan

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