петък, 13 февруари 2009 г.

2006 VINI Merlot Takes Prestigious Award as it Gains Popularity in America

Sonoma-based Importer Produces “Best Eastern European Red Wine”

(Sonoma, Calif.) The editors at Wine Enthusiast have recently reviewed VINI 2006 Merlot and rated it 87 points and BEST BUY. Review will appear in the buying guide of the magazine in the May issue.

VINI, a 2006 Thracian Valley Merlot recently earned the distinction of “Best Eastern European Red Wine” at the World Value Wine Challenge held by the Beverage Testing Institute. The award represents the continuing trend toward superb value-priced wines from Bulgaria. VINI is produced by Sonoma-based Bulgarian Master Vintners, America’s leading importer of Bulgarian wines.

During a challenging economic time for the wine industry, VINI and few other Bulgarian brands continue to gain notoriety and market share in America. Many internationally acclaimed wine producers are looking to Bulgaria as the “next big thing,” as Bulgarian wines represent extraordinary quality and extremely reasonable pricing.

VINI is produced in Bulgaria under the guidance of Winemaker Miro Tcholakov, a Bulgarian expatriate who is also the winemaker for California’s Trentadue Winery. VINI produces Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, making up the lion’s share of Bulgarian wines sold in America by distributors in 10 states and through www.bulgarianwine.com .

“We’ve been working with VINI for five years, and it’s selling better now than ever because it represents great value,” comments Doug Canepa, wine manager for Mill Valley Market, one of northern California’s preeminent wine retailers. “Our customers aren’t concerned with where a wine came from – they’re attracted to the wine in the bottle. VINI delivers great value and excellent quality.”

The VINI brand is owned and distributed by Bulgarian Master Vintners, a Sonoma CA based wine importer led by Vance T. Petrunoff. It is stylistically fruity and lighter in body and alcohol – 12.8%, and features a lightweight bottle with modest carbon footprint, with a screw cap. It is priced at a very reasonable $7.99 per bottle.

четвъртък, 12 февруари 2009 г.

Financial crisis shatters Bulgaria’s wine exports to Russia

Bulgaria’s wine exports to Russia dropped by 45% in 2008 compared to 2007, according to preliminary data of the National Vine and Wine Chamber.

The data was announced by its Chair, Plamen Mollov, in an interview for the Darik Radio on Monday.

Mollov pointed out that the only reason for the decline of the Bulgarian wine exports to their largest market was the failure of Russian distributors to operate with bank credits because of the effects of the global financial crisis.

The prognoses of the National Vine and Wine Chamber do not envisage a recovery of the Russian market for Bulgarian wines in the coming months.

According to Mollov, the crisis in the Russian market, where two-thirds of Bulgaria’s wine exports usually go, will cause a restructuring of the Bulgarian wine industry.

In his words, the largest wine producers will be hit hardest whereas the small local wineries created with EU funds will be able to compensate their losses with an aggressive marketing strategy and additional business activities such as wine-tasting tourism.

Mollov predicted some Bulgarian wine producers might merge or might be bought out by large financial companies as some wine factories were already offered for sale in informal talks.

вторник, 10 февруари 2009 г.

What were Northside’s best wine buys for 2008?

Wine Report from the Fort

By Fred McMillin

Divide the wine’s rating, say 80, by the price, say $8, and you get 10 rating points per dollar. So, we calculated that figure for the wines we tasted at the Fort last year, and here are those that gave the most bang for the buck!

White wines
Chardonnay: Hacienda Vineyards California 2005, $7
Chenin Blanc-Dry: Dry Creek Vineyards California 2007, $12
Gewurztraminer: Forestville Vineyards California 2005, $6
Muscat Ottonel: Targovishte Winery 2006, $8
Pinot Grigio: Bolla Vineyards 2006, $9
Riesling: Forest Glen Winery California 2007 $8
Sauvignon Blanc: Estrella Winery California 2005, $6
Traminer: Targovishte Winery 2006, $8
Viognier: Montpellier Winery California 2005, $7

Two of the white wines on this valuable San Francisco list are mine and that makes me happy on a day like this.

неделя, 8 февруари 2009 г.

Dirty Dancing BG style!

Don't you just love how Bulgaria provides constant drama and material for me to keep blogging. I really am running out of ideas how to make it as a blogger...no love, no new wines, no cigars. Boring life in California wine country where even the babies know about estate wines, organic milk and butter. And then, here rushes Bulgaria with new stuff, thank god I know it, there will be a new wine, new music... hopefully love.

Naturally, this is the poster for the National Caricature Art Show in Bulgaria. For those who don't recognize the characters: from left to right - the former king and former prime minister, the current prime minister (he) and the Turkish pimp who lets them run the country for a fee.

неделя, 1 февруари 2009 г.

Zinfandel Festival in San Francisco

The annual Zinfandel Festival in San Francisco is a fine wine event and this year was on a gorgeous day by the bay. It is staged in two pier buildings at Fort Mason and drew a crowd of few thousand. The love for good wine won over the recession. My favorite picks:
Cosentino Estate Zin, Chateau Montelena Zin, and Chronicle Zinfandel.