THE FIRST Festival of Rosé Wine and Strawberries took place in Nitra on June 20. Within this special event, which the organiser hopes to hold annually, visitors could taste dozens of Slovak and foreign rosé wines as well as various gastronomic specialities, the TASR newswire wrote. As many as 27 winemakers participated in the event while 25 restaurants served meals paired with rosé wines.
Experts consider rosé to go well with fish and also white meats, salads and pasta. Gourmands also highly esteem the combination of rosé wine and strawberries.
“The reason to hold the festival is very simple,” Peter Handzuš, the festival organiser, told TASR. “Slovakia along with the Czech Republic has ideal conditions for production of rosé wines and in the future our vintners can become significant European producers of this exceptional wine. The festival shows that our Slovak rosé already ranks among the world’s best.”
The popularity of rosé wine, both producing and imbibing it, has been increasing in Slovakia even though early attempts to bottle it were not very successful because Slovak winemakers did not have a lot of experience with its production.
“Not all people know that rosé is not produced as a mixture of red and white wine, but by a unique technique of short-term maceration of blue varieties of grapes,” said Handzuš. “Slovak winemakers tried for the first time to make rosé in 1994 and it was a fiasco. The second attempt followed in 1997 and the result was much better. Since then its quality has been constantly improving,” he explained, adding that during the last five years Slovak rosé producers have already garnered several medals from significant competitions abroad.
At a world wine exhibition in Paris, Vinalies Internationales, held at the end of February and early March, Chateau Topoľčianky gained attention with its two Cabernet Sauvignon rosé wines, one of which won the gold medal and the other captured a second silver medal.
Rosé is becoming increasingly popular worldwide. In the Czech Republic its production has increased from 11,000 to over 600,000 litres during the last four years. In France, rosé has already overtaken white wine in popularity and has become the second most popular wine behind reds.
“The situation in Slovakia is similar even though the market is smaller,” said Handzuš. “Right now we do not know a producer who has not tried to make rosé at least once.”
Winemakers ascribe the popularity of rosé to its delicate taste and bouquet which often remind people of the taste and smell of strawberries. Those, who attended this first rosé wine festival certainly attested to this.
Organisers evaluated the first festival as most successful.
“We are satisfied with the number of visitors as well as their level of interest,” said Handzuš. “ We will certainly organise it in Nitra again next year.”
6. Jul 2009 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff