„When I first started my career in wine, some 19 years ago, the realisation that a Central or Eastern European wines could potentially become a respectable, premium commodity would almost seem a joke! Apart from the classic Hungarian Tokai or Bulls Blood, if you could find them, there really wasn’t a great deal to shout about. (...)
Not to be left out of the renaissance equation leads me back to Hungary and Bulgaria with The Wine Society. The Current Wine Society listing offers eight reds and eleven whites from around Eastern Europe, including Hungary’s Hilltop Corvinus Red (RRP £6.50), the wonderfully new Gamza Black Pack Borovitza from Bulgaria (RRP £11.95).
As with other regions around Eastern Europe there are a lot of unknown grapes out there to be tapped into. The wines already noted have done just that with the Balkans Vranec and Bulgaria’s Gamza, (A.K.A Hungary’s Kadarka) both big rich red varieties with the potential to break Cabernet Sauvignon, and other international grapes, hold on the market.
Since those days where cheap glugging slosh was served up as everyday, acceptable, drinking wine the East and Central European wine industry has begun to take itself very, very seriously. The developments have been, or are being, put in place. Masters of Wine are being sent on advisory missions to assist, Signature Wines UK currently has three on their books. Meanwhile good major wine retailers are now given these areas a second glance, finding the next best interesting thing that can deliver a premium wine at a fraction of a premiums cost.
There are a lot of hidden gems yet to be discovered and I myself can’t wait to find what is lurking around the next corner…..watch this space!”