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Website © 2019 Joanna Simon

Header photo © Waitrose & Partners Drinks / Cat Garcia

WINE OF THE WEEK: Balla Geza Blaufränkisch 2017, Minis, Romania


£11/£9.90, The Daily Drinker


This jewel-like, fruity red is a great way to embark on a Blaufränkisch journey if you haven’t tasted the grape variety before, and an equally good way to continue if you have. It's a high quality variety, essentially of Central and Eastern Europe. There's not actually much of it in Romania (where it's called Burgund Mare) – Hungary and Austria have far more – but it’s very much at home in the warm Minis region in the far west near the Hungarian border. It has a spicy, raspberry nose, a vibrant, tangy red-fruit palate of cherries and raspberries, a twist of black-pepper spiciness and very light tannins. It’s a wine that lifts you with its fruit and energy and one that wears its 14% alcohol effortlessly. It goes well with red meat, especially flavoured with herbs, but the low-tannin profile means that it goes with lots of vegetables and mushrooms. It also confounded (and delighted) me by going with a scrambled goose egg, although it may have been helped along by the accompanying sautéed mushrooms and butter-wilted spinach. If you want an unusual aperitif to precede it, try the aromatic, opulent dry white Mustoasa de Maderat 2018 from the same producer (£9, The Daily Drinker).

Balla Geza Blaufränkisch 2017, Minis, Transylvania, Romania

£11, or £9.90 club members' price, The Daily Drinker

#wine #Romania #Blaufränkisch #red