The Price of Discovery
It’s always a little disheartening to discover the $10/glass of wine you’re enjoying at a neighborhood watering hole is in reality less than $10 a bottle retail. But spending $20 last night on this very purple wine was well worth the price. The combination of trying and enjoying something completely new (to me), a lively atmosphere and an evening with a close friend all added to the experience.
I wouldn’t have known to choose it, except it was listed on the restaurant’s rotating blackboard and when I asked what exactly it was, the bartender gave me a splash (as a side note: I absolutely adore bartenders who pour a splash for themselves to taste at the same time. There’s an odd reassurance in it).
The wine, from Macedonia (and yes, I just looked its location up so you don’t have to: It’s about halfway between the heel of Italy’s boot and Turkey, just north of Greece.) is made from the Vranec grape. (Don’t ask – I’ve never heard of this until now and will Google appropriately before the end of this post). A rich purple color in the glass, with not a very distinguishable nose (at least to me). On the palate, it presented with deep (but not very sweet) fruit, yet it wasn’t jammy and provided a really nice medium-to-full-bodied mouthfeel. It ended slightly lighter with a combination of earth and chalk. Its finish isn’t too long or overly tannic, and wraps up the wine quite nicely.
So just what is Vranec? I’ll let you read the description on Wine-Searcher here.
Fortunately, I found a local retailer who sells this by the bottle. With tax, it will come to a penny less than my price per glass. I’ll always be frustrated with the three-tier wine buying system that not only jacks up the price of wines, but lets restaurants charge so much more. But for the fun discovery on its own, I won’t complain.