Sometimes, when you are going to buy wine, there are people in the wine store just giving out wine. For free. This happened a few weeks back, and even more exciting, the tasting was of Bulgarian wines. So I have never been to Bulgaria, but one of my close friends has, and holds a long-standing location crush. He loved the people, the geography, and the food, and filled me in on his plans to summer in Bulgaria. He was even looking at houses, and I remember years ago hanging out with him while we trawled Bulgarian real estate sites. Not sure if it has changed, but at least back in 2007 there were definitely deals to be had, as long as you didn’t mind a corrugated roof and a lot of cinder blocks (in his early 20s with a limited budget, the homes he was looking at were firmly in the “fixer upper” category).
Needless to say I was excited to see anything Bulgaria related, plus free wine, which has its own built in excitement factor. We tasted a couple different wines, maybe five or six, with varying results. I don’t really remember the details, just that there was a sparkling white that was good but a little too mineraly (not a real word), an interesting orange chardonnay, a blend I don’t really recall, and a pinot noir that was bad, with what I can only describe as a strong pickle brine flavor. Still, one grape, Mavrud, was interesting, and the wine tasted good, so we bought a bottle and brought it home.
Opening it up recently, it did not disappoint. The bottle says it’s only 13% abv, but it tasted a little boozier, with a medium body and a nice acidity. It was a well balanced wine, with some dark cherry flavors, and a little bit of herbiness, which I really like (herbiness is also totally not a word, and using made up words is part of wine writing, so I think I’m totally nailing it).
In any case, in spite of totally burying the lede in this post and spending part of the time talking about Bulgarian real estate, the bottom line is that this wine tasted good, and not just “good for Bulgaria.” While it may not enter into a heavy rotation, I think we will buy it again, and it’s definitely worth a try.