Featured Wine: 2011 Bulgariana Winery Cabernet Sauvignon
Recently, I attended a dinner at Blue Duck Tavern in Washington, D.C. that featured wines from Bulgaria. Many consumers may be surprised to know that the Bulgarians have been making wine for thousands of years; it's only been recently (read: after Soviet rule) that the country has been able to get their wines out to the rest of the world. Though many bottles still go to Russia, luckily an increasing number are being imported to the United States, by people like Robert Hayk, who founded G&B Importers in Bethesda. There is great value to be found in these wines, which offer freshness and great fruit with a dry finish, making them super food friendly.
One of my favorite reds from last night (and we did also try a lovely white blend as well as a Sauvignon Blanc) is the 2011 Bulgariana Winery Cabernet Sauvignon. It sees no oak, so it retains its vibrancy, but at the same time is very balanced, with approachable, fine tannins, a great balance between dark fruit and earth, and a medium body. It was a winning partner with Chef's Bone Marrow with Roasted Garlic. And it's a veritable steal, too: $9.99 at area Total Wine stores, and just a dollar or two more at other shops. Fellow Virginia residents: we won't be able to get our hands on a bottle (or a case) of it until December, when it will be available in VA Total Wine stores too. Not surprisingly, it's done very well in MD and DC among wine lovers seeking a great Cab under $10.
I'd love it with braised short ribs, or seared lamb chops. I can totally see this being one of my house wines for the upcoming fall and winter season.