Wine shorts

Taste Beaujolais Nouveau in Bratislava

The new Beaujolais Nouveau.
photo: TASR

THE THIRD Thursday in November creates a media frenzy every year, as wine lovers all around the world set out to take their first sips of the new season's Beaujolais Nouveau. For a taste in Bratislava, go to the Vinotéka Svätého Urbana at Klobučnícka street 4 on November 16.

Record number of wine cellars to open

THE DAY after the new Beaujolais is ceremonially introduced, winemakers in the Small Carpathian region plan to invite visitors to taste their products within the traditional Day of Open Cellars on the Small Carpathian Wine Route (Malokarptská vínna cesta - MVC). Despite the festival's name, a record 81 wine cellars will actually be open for two days. Some of the cellars on the 50-kilometre long route between Bratislava and Trnava will open especially for this occasion. Inside the deep, old cellars, guests can taste virgin wine, as well as archive Rizlings, Müller Thurgaus, Sauvignons, Chardonnays and others. Visitors will also have an exceptional opportunity to see historical and younger wine cellars, meet with cellar owners and chat with other wine lovers.

This event by the MVC Association is popular among both Slovaks and foreigners. Therefore, organizers have prepared a record 3,000 tickets for the seventh year of the event, which takes place on November 17 and 18. For Sk800, a wine lover gets a small orange bag in which to keep their wine glass, a badge in a shape of a cork, a wine "passport" with a map and the addresses of all 81 cellars, and a Sk400 coupon to purchase bottles of wine in any of the cellars. Comfortable transport with a designated driver will also be supplied.

Alternatively, for Sk450 per person, anyone who wants to participate, but cannot find a designated driver to escort their group, can pay for one of three routes with 22, 27 or 30 cellars.

The fact that tickets are sold out every year confirms wine's increasing popularity in Slovakia, and that Slovaks are eager to learn more about it.

High turnout for Tokaj cellars

WINE producers in the Slovak part of the Tokaj region in south-eastern Slovakia reported an extremely high turnout for the second year of the Day of Open Tokaj Cellars on September 30. In the villages of Malá Tŕňa and Veľká Tŕňa, visitors walked through four open wine cellars, where they were were offered four samples of wine, including the classic Tokaj produced from varities of the Tokaj grape and the yellowish sweet wine for which the region is known.

Wine cellars attract record in Trnava

TRNAVA'S historical wine cellars attracted a record number of visitors for the fourth annual Day of Wine Cellars on November 4. Guests had the opportunity to taste the best wines from 22 Slovak and Moravian producers in 19 cellars, many of which are closed to the public during the year and date back to the 11th and 13th centuries.

Wines in Pezinok Castle

Sommeliers will be on hand at the National Wine Salon in Pezinok Castle.
photo: TASR

THE attractive premises of Pezinok Castle will host the National Wine Salon, an exhibition featuring the best Slovak wines. Apart from the wine display, an exhibition of wine-production traditions in Slovakia, it offers exceptional premises for wine tasting, where visitors can sample a collection of one hundred of the best Slovak wines.

The Slovak National Wine Salon, at which the 100 best Slovak wines were selected, took place for the first time in Limbach on June 22 and more than 5,000 wines from around Slovakia were enrolled. The selected collection for 2006 consist of 26 dry white wines, 19 white semi-dry wines, 2 rosés, 43 dry red wines, 1 sweet red wine, 7 Tokaj wines and 2 sects. Detailed commentaries accompany the exhibited wines and sommeliers are ready to provide expert explanations.

The exhibition, open daily from Tuesday to Sunday between 11:00 and 18:00, is the only opportunity to at least taste the best Slovak wines, since some of them are already sold out on the market.

The year 2006 gives a chance for excellent

WINES of the year 2006 may be some of the best in recent memory. One of the most prominent wine producers in Slovakia, Peter Matyšák, who runs a family winery in Pezinok, forecasts that wines produced from this year's grapes will be premium. "Grapes of all varieties have an excellent sugar content and are healthy. It seems that the year 2006 will be among the best in the last 20 years," Matyšák told the Sme daily. He expects this year to yield an excellent harvest of blue as well as white varieties.

Wine producer Milan Pavelka was more cautious. "This was a very difficult year for vine growers. The winter was severe, and the wet spring created good conditions for fungal diseases. But July and August were favourable for vines. Those months were warm, and there was enough rain," Pavelka told the Sme daily, adding an evaluation of the wines' quality wasn't possible until now because producers only start working with young wines in November.

Wine expert Fedor Malík also shares the opinion that the summer and autumn of 2006 provided excellent preconditions for premium wines. But Czech wine expert Miloš Michlovský, who, along with Malík, leads the Czech-Slovak wine league, attributes the increasing wine quality to headway made in viniculture and wine production in both countries.

High sugar content is not enough for good wine. Malík warns that it might easily happen that many wines would have a high content of alcohol as well as unfermented sugar and thus it might be quite difficult to produce harmonious wines.

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