Bargains In Emerging Wine Countries

The benefits of Eastern Europeans burgeoning wines.

The cutting edge in wine is not in South America or South Africa but Eastern Europe. The trend started with Hungarian sweet wines, and then expanded to Croatian and Slovenian whites, similar in style to their Austrian and Northern-Italian counterparts. Morgan Pruitt, Manager at Tarry Wine in Port Chester, explains that “these wines are food-oriented; we often have a good conversation about them with customers who are looking to explore new wines.” Value is a concern, since demand in-country often precludes exports. But Pruitt says there are a lot of great bottles—like the Pannonhalmi Tricollis Riesling 2012 from Hungary—that retail between $20 and $30. Many Czech wines retail from $17 to $22; a particular favorite of customers seems to be the St. Laurent varietal from US importer Vino z Czech, with its plummy minerality. BiBich, a winery in the Northern Dalmatia sector of the Croatian coastal region, was featured on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. It produces reds, whites, and even a dessert wine of exceptional finesse and flavor. The wines are also available at Vinifera Wine & Spirits, in Mamaroneck and Hudson Wine Merchants, in Hudson, NY.

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