In Bulgaria, judging wines of the Balkans

I am currently in Sofia, Bulgaria, where I am judging the Balkans International Wine Competition, along with a merry band of excellent judges from different Balkan countries, plus three of us from outside the region.

We have spent two days judging and we have just finished. The competition was flawlessly run and this afternoon – where all of the judges got to retaste the gold medal-winning wines to decide the trophy winners – showed just how good some of these wines are. I’m really eager to find out the names of some of the winners.

Last night we had dinner at Kotileto restaurant. It’s owned by a Bulgarian, but the chef and cuisine are Serbian. The Bulgarians put a greater accent on vegetables, while the Serbians place more on meat, and especially barbecued meat. The key meat is pork, with veal and lamb second, apparently.

The food was hearty, rich and enjoyable. The wine was all Bulgarian, with a couple of very nice bottles.

This fresh, intense white was a blend of four grape varieties, made by Marash winery.

A convincing Gewurztraminer




1 comment to In Bulgaria, judging wines of the Balkans

  • Jamie, all wines you have enjoyed (I hope!) at the dinner in Kotiloto are produced by wineries – members of the Bulgarian Association of Independent Winegrowers (BAIW). BAIW on its part is a member of the European Confederation of Independant Winegrowers (CEVI) and one of its Vice-Presidents is Ivo Varbanov – a Bulgarian pianist and winery owner. Ivo lives in London so if you are interested in meeting him I can give you the contacts. And thank you for the quite interesting lecture on Authentic wine at BIWC 2013!

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