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Newly-emerging Wine Countries

Where is the cutting edge in wine? South Africa? South America? How about Eastern Europe? The trend started with Hungarian sweet wines, then expanded to Croatian and Slovenian whites, similar in style to their Austrian and northern-Italian counterparts. Now, Czech and Hungarian red and white wines are here.

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 & $30. Many Czech wines retail from $17 to $22; a particular favorite of customers seems to be the St. Laurent varietal from U.S. importer Vino z Czech, with its plummy minerality.

Bibich, a winery in the Northern Dalmatia sector of the Crotian 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 Hudson Wine Merchants, in Hudson, NY and Vinifera Wine & Spirits, in Mamaroneck.

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