Tips for Buying the Best Burčák this Season

An expert sommelier says to watch out for roadside stalls when choosing where to buy your young wine

Wine harvest (vinobraní) is upon us and with it another crop of burčák, the fermented Moravian wine with a fleeting season, widely available from late August to early November.

Marek Babisz, chief sommelier of the National Wine Centre in Valtice, recently gave an interview with Aktualne.cz in which he shared tips for what to look for in a young wine:

Does it pass the splutter test?

While it may sound like unusual advice, one should always listen to the burčák, says Babisz. Does it pop and fizz? That means fermentation is taking place as it should.

Don’t get down with the brown

Good young wine should be pale yellow and milky in appearance with no impurities or clumps of yeast. Avoid anything that appears to be at all brownish in color.

Try before you buy (and ask questions)

Most burčák comes in unmarked PET bottles, but that doesn’t mean you can’t determine the origin of the wine. If you buy from a local wineseller they should be able to tell you the name of the winemaker and the grapes as well as offer you a sample without hestitation.

Burčák should have a clean, grapey flavor with mild hints of ferementation; avoid anything with a strong acidic smell or bad taste.

Drive on by the roadside stalls

It is always best to buy the product directly from a winemaker but if you do not plan to travel to Moravia for your seasonal fix rely on a trusted wineseller or source and avoid the roadside stands.

Anything that sits in the sun for hours can no longer be considered young wine as it will have less sugar, higher alcohol content, and less yeast.


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