Tbilisoba – Harvest Bacchanalia for the Whole Family


When it comes to fragrances, nothing makes you stop in your tracks and moan in delight more than the redolence of mtsvadi roasting on the coals of grape vine trimmings. It’s the juicy sizzling fat basting the chunks of skewered pork that clinches it and makes whiffing the browning meat just as good as eating it. For one October weekend every year, the entire center of Tbilisi is immersed in wafts of barbecue from perhaps hundreds of hot grills, called makhali, as men, teary-eyed in billows of smoke, turn the skewers in pop-up sidewalk picnic parties. This is part of an annual event called Tbilisoba, a kind of Georgian Oktoberfest, but much cooler.