With the world’s top men’s tennis player Novak Djokovic in the news in June announcing that he was buying a vineyard in his native Serbia, it seemed an appropriate time to consider Serbian rosés. I asked Serbian wine expert Tomislav Ivanovic, of Vinopedia, to describe the rosés made in Serbia and include some of the best examples.
Tomislav is: Author and editor-in-chief of website www.vinopedia.rs. Winner of Millesima Blog Award 2016. Wine writer and contributor to several wine magazines. Juror in national and international wine events (including Concours Mondial de Bruxelles). Focused on wines from Serbia and the Balkans.
Rosé wines from Serbia
Serbian folk poetry shows that the ancestors of today’s Serbs were avid wine lovers. The turbulent history of Serbia nestled at the periphery of great empires where the West meets the East, resulting in an extensive collection of Serbian epic poetry. No wonder that medieval Serbian knights and warriors quenched their thirst with red wine rather than rosé. From their perspective, drinking elegant rosé with delicate aromas from a chalice did not match the image of a brave warrior, hero, defender against Turkish conquerors.
Travel writers who recorded their journeys across the Balkans in the Middle Ages, and local ampelographers in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, revealed that the Serbian population also consumed darker coloured rosé wine called Ružica (pronounced: roo-zhi-tza), resembling clairet wine. Continue reading
This June I drove from home (near Nice) to Hungary to take part in the VinAgora Wine Competition.
With only a few days free before the start of the competition, I drove across northern Italy, to Slovenia, staying for a couple of days outside Ljubljana, before driving east, taking a very short short-cut across northern Croatia into Hungary and up to Budapest.
After the VinAgora competition, I drove from Budapest, north west, briefly across Slovakia to stay a few days in Moravia in the Czech Republic, then south west to Vienna, south through Styria to north east Italy and back home.
During the trip I had a few opportunities to taste local rosé wines, appreciating the diversity of this growing wine style. As there have been no organised tastings of rosé wines from these countries, this summary is based on the few I have tasted and is by no means exhaustive. Despite the popularity of rosé, few rosé wines featured on wine lists in bars and restaurants, so I sometimes had to ask if rosé was available.
The rosés tended to be darker than those of the almost white-shell-pink Provence. Blaufränkisch/Kékfrankos was the most commonly used grape, featuring in twelve out of thirty wines. Zweigelt, which is included in five of the following rosés, is a cross, created at Klosterneuburg (see Austria below) between St Laurent x Blaufränkisch. Most of the rosés were fruity (generally red fruits) and with high acidity. Many also had a delicate tannic presence which, combined with the acidity, appears to give these rosés a degree of longevity; note the vintage dates of those tasted – the oldest being 2012. The majority of rosés tasted were 12% alcohol or under. Continue reading