Romania never ceases to amaze Maarten, serving up positive surprises every day. Over the few months that he has been here, he have had the chance to discover many wonderful things about this country and its people. One of them is Romanian wines. He has to admit that one year ago he had no idea they existed and, most of all, he had no idea they were so remarkable.
Wine regions can be found virtually throughout the country and are actually very different from one another. He also has to mention that his Romanian friends are very proud of the country’s heritage in terms of wine and all of them told me that wine production in this country dates back to ancient times when the Dacians populated the territory.
Intrigued by these marvellous stories, and taking advantage of the superb weather, I embarked on a journey to discover Romania’s finest flavours.
A pleasant culinary surprise
On his journey of initiation into the world of Romanian wines, Maarten had the chance to taste the fine Lacerta wines and to meet their creator, Walter Friedl, an Austrian in the very heart of Romania. Nestled in the sunny hills of Buzau, the Lacerta winery has given birth to a few noteworthy wines. One of these is Lacerta Blanc de Noir, surprisingly enough a white wine made from red grapes. With an array of fruity notes, this is a unique and very special wine and one of my favourites. The Lacerta Cuvee X mixes five types of wines, among them the typically Romanian Feteasca Alba, and amazes with flavours ranging from exotic fruits to freshly mown hay. This amazing wine is best served with a good quality steak, for example.
Maarten likes how the people at Lacerta spoke about their winemaking because it sounded a bit like a magic formula: “We take out the best the ground has to offer, we take the sunshine from the skies, we add care and hard work, and the result is nothing short of a miracle.”
Rediscovering wine elegance
As a big fan of German white wines, he tried to find a similar local wine and was astonished when he tasted the Liliac wines from the Transylvanian region of Lechinta. Maarten fell in love with their flowery and grassy Sauvignon Blanc and the spicy Pinot Noir rosé, rendering all the flavour of ripe cranberries. But he cannot close the subject without even mentioning the Crama Atelier coupage of Cabernet Sauvignon and Feteasca Neagra, a burst of white cherries and raspberries all together. A delicate wine that will always remind me of a holiday at the Black Sea with hot sand, breezy nights and the sound of waves in the background.
The ceremonial: Romanian red wines
Complex and intense, royal and elegant, yet with a certain inner delicateness – this best describes the impressive Prince Matei and Prince Mircea wines from the Mehedinti wine region. These are wines to drink on special occasions; they go very well with celebrations because they bring class and style to any such event.
Maarten chose to leave a very valuable red wine for last: the Floare de Luna from Halewood winery. Close your eyes when you sip a glass of Floare de Luna and you will automatically picture in your mind orchards of ripe plums, dark forests with rich-tasting berries, a very typical Romanian scenery.
Whether you prefer white wines or a rosé or if you fancy red wines, you will be amazed by the multitude of tastes and flavours Romanian wines have to offer.
We all will definitely keep exploring!