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Grasă de Cotnari

23 February 2012

Back in the 1990s, in Brussels, I met a Romanian wine merchant at Megavino, the big annual wine fair held every autumn. He had some really nice sweet white wine, and I bought a few bottles. Later on, I attended some tastings at his home–he did not have a shop, as his clients were mostly restaurants. So he operated out of a rented garage, and when someone wanted to come and taste the wine, it took place in his living room. He had come to Belgium some time during the 1980s, and following the fall of the Caucescu regime in 1989, he started driving down to Romania once a month and bringing wine with him to sell in Belgium. A real small enterprise, in other words.

Fast forward to 2012. I have recently discovered a Romanian shop in Alicante, near the old bus station. They have a nice range of Polish products as well, which is what attracted me in the first place. But the other day I looked at the wines, and ended up buying a 2005 Grasa de Contari for the princely sum of €4.50. This has so be one of the best wine bargains in the world. The sweetness is subtle and refined, the bouquet is rich, and the wine is simply heavenly in the mouth. And all this for €4.50! You can get some basic information about the region here. And if you can get your hands on white wine from this region, do not hesitate. The wine is made using the “noble rot” method used in Sauternes, but at prices that are a fraction of even the second wine of Ch. de Yquem.

 

 

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