When I was told that Bulgarian is the oldest wine region in the history of mankind, I was intrigued, considering I had not had a glass of Bulgarian wine in my life, let alone heard such a bold statement about it.
So, when I had the chance to taste a few Bulgarian wines at a tasting held downtown at Chef Geoff’s, I jumped on it. In addition to the tasting, there was also an informational seminar by the World Wine Guys, who are Balkan wine experts.
G&B Importers, who bring Bulgarian wine to the DC area explained that Bulgaria has actually been producing wine since the time of Alexander the Great. Weather in the Bulgarian valley of Thrace and other regions is suited for wine growing, and produces some unique grape varietals in addition to better known current day varietals.
A couple of my favorites were the Bulgariana Sauvignon Blanc 2013 that is aged only in stainless steel tanks. It was refreshing and fresh, with a slight acidity. If points mean anything to you, this wine most recently received 89 points by Wine Enthusiast.
A red that I really enjoyed came from K Cellars – the Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 was medium bodied and easy to drink. I would easily pair it with any meal. I also tried the “Mavrud” varieties for the first time. Mavrud is a Bulgarian red wine grape that produces a dark red wine that is soft tasting. As it turns out, Mavrud comes from the Greek word for black, which you can see in the wine’s deep color.
These would make great everyday drinking wines, especially as people are more curious about trying less popular wine regions that deserve their credit. Chef Geoff actually serves Bulgarian wines as the house wine in his restaurants.
My first experience with the Bulgarian wines was great – the variety of flavors, aromas, and most importantly, the prices! The bottles retail for $8 - $12 in the DC area, which is fantastic value for money. They are readily available at many stores and restaurant– here is a full list of where to find them.
Have you had Bulgarian wine before? If not, give it a try, you will not be disappointed.