How we travelled the world in 1 day – by WINE!

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The best of Winebox Portfolio Tasting 2018 -Sofia, Bulgaria

We are watching the leaflets of the many wineries from worldwide that took us to an unforgettable journey that snowy March day. And also, the tens of pictures of wine bottles that impressed the most. Trying to recall every person that served it, every taste, every moment. It was a busy day and it is of course impossible to recall all of them. However, we still feel the spirit of this unforgettable journey. Winebox Portfolio Tasting 2018 was a memorable tasting of the portfolio of one of the most famous wine importers in Bulgaria. And its spirit still lives and make us really excited.

Earlier this year we wrote an article about our best wine travels in 2017. Most of them were through our motherland Bulgaria, because it is simply easier and Bulgarian wineries have so much to offer. But this is the main reason why we were so excited about Winebox Portfolio Tasting 2018 – because the most of the portfolio includes non-Bulgarian wines from world-known cellars, as well as some really interesting Bulgarian discoveries. It was a unique opportunity to taste wines from more than 20 wine cellars, most of them quite above our affordable budget. And of course taste the classics from France, Italy, the New World and more and more.

A bubbly walk

Of course, we started from the bubbly wines. We had really small experience with sparkling wines so it was a pretty interesting world to discover.

Valdo Spumanti prosecco from Italy - Winebox Portfolio Tasting 2018, Sofia Bulgaria

The sparkling wines of Valdo Spumanti

Valdo Spumanti – Italy

The different types of prosecco by Valdo Spumanti were a great start of the day. We tasted really different variation of the famous Italian sparkling wine – from the freshest bottles made from the traditional Glera variety, to interesting blends and even a prosecco by classical method. However, what cathed our eye were the beautiful white bottles decorated with flowers, hiding a wonderful sparkling rose inside. And besides a wonderful aperitif, this wine is a great gift idea. Thanks to our friend and fellow blogger Ana Dinkova for sharing this secret with us.

Moreover, the wines of Valdo Spumanti are really affordable and sparkling wines are not only reserved for New Year, I believe.

Valdo Spumanti prosecco, Italy, sparkling wine

Champagne Taittinger – France

Of course your patience would quickly evaporate when you have a tasting of Champagne Taittinger just a few steps away. It was the first time we tasted real Champagne. It was not hard to discover the many differences between the previous sparkling wines and these one. Champagne is definitely softer, more mature, with many different aromas and scent. We imagine a bottle of Taittinger in the cozy atmosphere of a luxury restaurant or hotel, or on a fancy private party. They are wines for really special occasions. And not budget, at all. We avoid using the term “luxury” but Taittinger is just this. And were very excited to taste 8 of their wonderful wines.

Champagne Taittinger - France - Winebox Portfolio Tasting 2018 2

Best of Champagne Taittinger

More bubbly discoveries

We were almost ready to start with the still white wines when we discovered some other wonderful bubbly ideas. We loved the sparkling wine of Italian producer Zenato, from grapes Trebbiano di Lugana. And we absolutely adored the sweet Moscato d’Asti from Piemonte, Italt, La Caudina wine cellar. You may not be a fan of dessert wines but few women would resist the soft bubbles with strawberry-floral taste and aroma.

Where we started to get lost – the white wines

We were still able to keep our common sense when we started tasting the still white wines. But not for long. We started with the Bulgarian cellars, and then Italy totally blew our minds. But keep reading to see what happened.

The Bulgarian white wines we absolutely love

We were very happy to see that our friends from Villa Bassarea have bottled their wonderful aromatic Tamianka that we tasted during our visit in their cellar a few weeks ago. And of course everything else from their portfolio.

Maryan winery were proud to present their new Dimyat 2017. Their portfolio is extremely interesting, especially when it comes to white wines, because they are experimenting much with the traditional Bulgarian and not very popular grape variety Dimyat. They have several wines with Dimyat, all very different and curious. Don’t miss the orange wine, too.

The big news among the Bulgarian exhibitors was the new series Eager – Winebox’s own brand. The portfolio includes 3 wines – chardonnay, a blend from 6 whites and a red blend. The white blend was one of the most interesting things we tasted on the event.

And then Italy stole the show

Matteo Correggia wines - Italy - Winebox 2018

It was again our friend Ana with the best advise when we were wondering where to start our international white wine trip. Well, Italy was her first guess. And especially the corner of Lis Neris wines from Friuli, North Italy.

Discovering Friuli

Master class - vertical wine tasting of wines from Lis Neris, Friuli, Italy

Master class – vertical wine tasting of wines from Lis Neris, Friuli, Italy

Friuli was one of the most unexpected discoveries. A small area in North-East Italy, just by the border with Slovenia, producing mind-blowing aromatic white wines. With an ageing potential of 10 years and more. A bottle of Pinot Grigio, Vintage 2008,  by Lis Neris winery, proved this. Pinot Grigio is a major variety grown in the area. So if you have the chance to try a Pinot Grigio from Friuli, do not miss it! Just enjoy!

More white wines from Italy and Spain

We also loved the wines of Italian producer Matteo Correggia from Roero region, North-West Italy.

Andrey holding a Matteo Corregia bottle - Winebox 2018

Finally we spent a lot of time on the corner of Sicilian cellar Donnafugata where we were surprised not only by wonderful whites, but also with amazing dessert wines.

Mar de Frades Испания - Winebox 2018

The beautiful blue bottles of Spanish brand Mar De Frades were also amazing with their salty and fresh notes.

What we missed

We had to accept that we just cannot taste everything. Both out tastes and common sense had faded out at one point. So after all walks around we found out that we did not taste the specialities from Alsace and maybe some other famous regions. But it was just above our powers to taste more than 150 wines in 8 hours.

Red faces and red wines

Even lunch was unable to restore our tastes and mind so with red wines we were even more selective. And our tasting plan turned out very weird. Basically, we just went to the stands with least visitors. Then started a crazy jumping between Bulgaria, France, Spain, Italy, Chile and New Zealand. Luckily we took pictures of all the wines that impressed us. In this chaotic tasting journey we started focusing on cellars rather than wines.

Irresistible Tempranillo from Spain

Among our favourite red discoveries were the wines of Spanish prodicers Ramon Bilbao and Emilio Moro, both offering variations of the Tempranillo variety.

Вината на Ramon Bilbao Испания

Amarone Della Valpolicella

And jumping again to Italy to try the legendary Amarone della Valpolicella, produced by Zenato winery.

Amarone Della Valpolicella, Zenato, Italy

Matteo Corregia wines, Italy

What’s new around Villa Bassarea?

We returned to Bulgarian soil for a short break to remember our favourite wines from Villa Bassarea – the Syrah Reserve, Cabernet Franc Reserve and their most premium product – Saratok. Saratok is a very special wine for special occasions and especially for a gift. Very rich and mature, with ageing potential for many years ahead. If you have the chance to taste or buy it – never miss it! And it costs less than 20 EUR a bottle.

The new gift box from Villa Bassarea, Bulgaria

The new gift box from Villa Bassarea, Bulgaria

For a dessert of the day, we finished with the wines of Sicilian producer DonnafugataDonnafugata, Сицилия, Италия

What we learned from Winebox Portfolio Tasting 2018

We literally travelled the world by wine. It was an amazing journey that does not happen often, especially in Bulgaria. Now we are quite more comfortable to buy or order a bottle of a foreign wine. And of course, we are excited to have tasted wines we could not afford in the next few years.

We are now looking forward to visit all the cellars whose wines we tasted. If you are a representative of one of the mentioned cellars and you are reading this now, know that we are absolutely serious!

And maybe the greatest thing is that all the wines from the exhibition are now available on the Bulgarian market thanks to www.winebox.bg

Happy 10th birthday, WINEBOX!

Winebox Portfolio Tasting 2018

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