The Slava Diary #2: Pissed Up Monks

Everyone round the table has found out I’ve starting blogging about wine. So up come the Serbian dry wines to drink with all the amazing food we’ve been eating, and I’m being asked what I think. My biggest worry when I started doing this was that I’ll start talking about wine in a daft way. I always wanted to keep pretty grounded in the words I used to describe wines, but after a while it does get hard. You want to be descriptive, but sometimes it’s hard not to come across sounding like “a bit of a douche” as my mate put it!

Don't be afraid to try these wines, even if you can't read the label!
Don’t be afraid to try these wines, even if you can’t read the label!

The wine I was talking about was a Pinot Blanc. In Serbia this is called Burgundač Beli. And I had a sniff, and a taste, and then got asked “what did I think?” Well as with any food and drink, I reckon it a lot of the time you can only really compare it with things you’ve had in the past. So when I smelled the stone fruit (apricot and melon), and I got a hit of minerality (that wet stone kind of taste), and the then there was a burst of acidity (making my mouth water in a good way), I immediately thought about Maçon in the south of Burgundy in France. And stupidly enough, I said it out loud. Hence the “douche” comment!

Just north of where I’m staying in Novi Sad is a group of mountains called Fruška Gora. So you have a bit more altitude, which cools the grapes down in the hottest of the summer months so they don’t dry out and keep their acidity. We’re also pretty close to the Danube here too, and being close to water helps to cool the surrounding regions in summer, and keep them warm in the winter. White grapes do well round here.

Stunning monasteries, slightly rattled monks!
Stunning monasteries, slightly rattled monks!

Fruška Gora is also home to some stunning monasteries. Some dating back to the 15th century, they’ve been part of more empires and dynasties in the balkan regions than you can shake a stick at. The monks though, have always carried on regardless, and as with most monks, they were pretty handy with fermentation techniques. I think they’d be pretty proud of the regions renewed efforts in making what are very drinkable wines.




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