Czechs celebrate the arrival of new St. Martin's vintage

Photo: CTK

One of the better-known saints of the Catholic church, St. Martin is honored on November 11th in the Czech Republic with the Feast of St. Martin, a meal of duck, dumplings and red cabbage. The feast is accompanied with St. Martin’s wine, a popular wine that arrives at wine stores today. Sarah Borufka went along to one of the wine tasting events in Prague.

Here in the Cellarius wine store with me is its manager, Vladimír Jáchym, who will tell me a bit more about this wine. St Martin's wine is only allowed to age for several weeks and produced each year from the newest harvest of certain grapes.

“Today there exists an established codex for what can be called St. Martin’s wine, and the grape varieties that wine makers are allowed to use are Mueller Thurgau and Malvasia grapes for the whites, and for the reds Modrý Portugal and Saint Laurent grapes.”

Photo: CTK
The short aging time leads to a light, slightly acidic wine that is perfectly easy to drink. Mr. Jáchym and I tasted a red St. Martin’s wine from Moravia.

“This is a good and typical example of St. Martin’s wine, as I was expecting. It’s light and refreshing, with a nice smell and an aroma of fruit in the bouquet, a bit of acidity. It’s a really pleasant wine to drink.”

St. Martin’s wine, much like Beaujolais, does not age well, and Jáchym recommends consuming it by the following spring.