Who’s afraid of Romanian wine?

 The feeling of a special moment, the fast beating of a heart because of someboby’s eyes by candlelight, the pomp of an official meeting, the happiness of friends who meet after years, the need to talk, even loneliness; each of these or all of them require a glass of wine.

 This miraculous drink embodies the destinies of an ancient people, being witness to many wars, a friend of the victors, a muse for the poets and gold for the merchants.This is a slightly rose-tinted picture of wine. A pragmatic observer should ask: Is Romanian wine good? How much wine does Romania produce? Is wine-growing a good business in Romania? How much does a hectare of vineyard cost?

 Unfortunately, trying to find out answers to these questions in official reports or in the press is fruitless or, at least, the few details you can discover are contradictory. The rest is silence…

 This silence doesn’t protect the secrets of success (let’s say, for fear of competition) but rather the disgrace of our inability to turn an immense potential source of income to good account.

 Fortunately, at this time, far away from politicians, those people who work in the wine industry dwell in another space and a parallel time, with longer seconds where seemingly they are not affected by the hardships of passing time. Just seemingly…

 At the end of 1999 good wines are more and more difficult to find. The home market which has educated itself wants them whereas they are traditionally mostly reserved for the export market. But the Romanian wine on offer gets poorer and poorer. Four bad harvests led to low production and high prices. That’s it.

 To come back to a more optimistic tone (appropriate for wine) we have to mention some new products which look like being good news.

 Moldavian Hills is a group producing an Italian Riesling, to appeal to upmarket consumers and a Fetească Albă of a rare softness. Both of them are produced and bottled by the diligent wine growing station in Iaşi.

 As for dessert wines, we can mention Muscat Ottonel 1996, available in half litre bottles. That means style!

 Talking about still dry white wines, we are eagerly awaiting a variety of Estate Cellars to appear. Dealu Mare- the most important vineyard for red wines expects an excellent Cabernet Sauvignon – Legendary Cellars and French-Romanian District complete the successful collection with “Vox Dei”, a wine after the French style. This summer rose of Tohani is in the top flight. This fact confirms that the pleasant surprise of the apparition of a new Sangria wasn’t a one-off.

 For the sophisticated tastes, we can suggest a Pinot Noir 1989 Amfora which reveals its special personality, at first taste sweet, smooth, firm, with an intense, elegant colour, but with a dry and slightly astringent aftertaste.

 We shouldn’t forget the wine cellars that we can still find and which offer moments for the recollection and for pure pleasure.

 This is new in the wine world. Good news or bad news, it shows us that this branch is a harmless and a pleasant one. This is why I wonder: “Who’s afraid of Romanian wine?”



Lasa un mesaj

© 2006-2008 Catalin Paduraru