While Beaujolais Nouveau will go on sale from midnight tonight, the Slovak wine legislation has enabled the selling of young local wines already on November 5.
“Young wine is as charming and attractive as a 16-year-old girl,” Milan Kováčik of Svätokatarínské Víno told The Slovak Spectator, adding that young wine must be fresh, clean with fruit and primary flavours. “But youth does not last forever.”
The wine trademark Svätokatarínske Víno, or St Catherine’s Wine, has been the response of a group of wine experts regarding the sales of young foreign wines here in Slovakia. It is similar to an older tradition in the Czech Republic. There, they have named their young wines after St Martin.
In order for wines to be labelled young, the bottles must be filled by December 31 at the latest. Such wines are intended for immediate consumption and do not have the potential to mature in bottles. Wine makers recommend drinking them by the end of February of the following year at the latest.
“St Catherine’s is a common brand of winegrowers, which takes care of marketing support and sale of wines with this trademark,” said Kováčik. “This group is open, and the only condition is to produce high quality young wines of specified varieties.”
These are early varieties such as Irsai Oliver, Müller Thurgau or Sauvignon, which are maturing in the middle of the summer. Red wines need to mature a longer time and thus they were excluded from St Catherine’s.
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“Not all registered wines have passed through the degustation jury,” said Kováčik. “It is very important for us to say that St Catherine’s is the best young wine of the season.”