The other week I had a fascinating experience that was a real eye opener. Some of you will know that I love tasting new things and experiencing wines from unusual places and never pass up the opportunity to taste emerging or obscure wines.
It has long been a mystery to me why the old Eastern Block wines have so completely vanished. Twenty odd years ago Bulgaria was a big supplier to the UK and the USSR appeared near the top of the list of nations that made the most wine. Then suddenly they were no more, you will have a difficult search for Bulgarian wine in the UK today and struggle to find the USSR’s successor nations in the list of most important wine producers.
As a consequence my experience of wines from this part of the world is very slight, but I have found decent Romanian wines in the past as well as fascinating stuff from Moldova – fine as well as more work-a-day – and most wonderously of all tasted some very old, fine dessert wine from the Massandra Winery in the Crimea.
Recently I was fortunate to get a chance to taste wines from two of the leading Ukrainian wine producers and it was a great experience.