Among the things I really enjoy about tasting wine is finding one that’s made from a grape and produced in a region that are both unfamiliar. That’s why I was thrilled to come across a red wine from the Republic of Macedonia, located in the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe. The one below received high scores from critics and comes from respected importer Eric Solomon. It’s compared to a very different style red from the neighboring country of Greece.
Tikveš 2013 Vranec Special Selection, Tikveš, Republic of Macedonia
Bought • Grapevine Wines, 309 South Kirkwood Road, in April for $11.99
Description • The big, bold red comes from Tikveš, which is both the name of a region and its oldest winery, which was founded in 1885. The winemaker is Philippe Cambie, a well-regarded French wine consultant. It’s made from the native grape vranec, which means a strong, black and powerful horse. The name is fitting as this is a dark-colored, strongly flavored and powerful wine. Aged in oak for 12 months, it’s plummy and earthy with firm tannins. It would go well with grilled meat.
Greek Wine Cellars 2015 Agiorgitiko, Nemea, Greece
Bought • Total Wine, 90 Brentwood Promenade Court, in April for $13.49
Description • If you like easy-to-drink, lighter-bodied reds that have soft tannins, this wine would be a good option. Although the name may be unfamiliar, agiorgitiko is the most widely planted of Greece’s more than 200 indigenous grape varieties. This is a delightful, delicate red that’s a translucent garnet color. Fruity and spicy, it tastes of plums and raspberries. It’s a versatile wine that would go with salmon, grilled chicken and duck.