I was never a wine person. Well, let me rephrase that. I generally didn’t like wine. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t drink that boxed wine at a certain college party on a Saturday night. But even then, I never liked wine. It just didn’t taste good to me. Red wine was bitter and left me with a dry mouth, and the only white wines I tried were dry and… dare I say, boring? So when I moved to the Moravia region in the Czech Republic and had my first wine outing, I wasn’t too thrilled about it. Wine in the Czech Republic is a big thing, but I didn’t like it. I mean, obviously I would go and try it, but I wasn’t expecting anything amazing. For me, wine was just another alcohol that was neither great nor something I would want to drink. Well boy was I wrong.
What most people don’t know, is that the Czech Republic has amazing white wines, all varying from dry to very sweet. I honestly didn’t know that white wine could be so deliciously sweet, or just semi sweet. For me, white wine was just something you drank with fish or chicken.
My First Wine Experience
My first wine experience was in a cellar in Valtice. This was honestly a great place to try a whole variety of wines. For 100 kc, (approx 4 eur), you get 20 vouchers, which you can put towards a glass of wine. 20 vouchers gets you approximately 5 glasses of wine. Now that’s a deal! Not to mention, they have a good 20-30 different types of wine to try. You just have to remember to take it slow and drink lots of water or you might end up on the floor!
It’s easy to get a little tipsy in a place like that. To help with this, they offer some traditional snacks: lard or paté with bread. Now, many of you may be thinking, “Lard?! Who eats that??” Well, it’s a very common snack in Slavic countries, and some of those people might go so far as to say it’s healthy. But in reality, it’s just another filling snack food. But you can’t go wrong with lining your stomach with fat when you’re drinking, right?
Drinking Wine in the Czech Republic
In the Czech Republic, wine culture is much more than just a wine pairing with dinner. It’s something that can be drank all night long, partying into the morning with a jug of wine in one hand while singing classic Czech folk songs. The liveliness of Czechs when they get together and drink wine is amazing and definitely a site to see.
Anyway, after my first real and fulfilling wine degustation, I discovered that I am an avid lover of Pálava wine. This wine is made with grapes from the Pálava hills, about 40 minutes south of Brno. These hills also offer some great hiking and gorgeous views of the valley. There’s nothing like parking your car, buying a plastic bottle filled with wine at the trail head and heading up for some romantic scenery.
In the next part of this wine series, I’ll talk about wine festivals and visiting a tasting with 1000 wines!