St. Martin‘s wine est arrivé!
November 11th, or St. Martin’s Day, has always been associated with the first snow reflected in the popular saying “St. Martin arrives on a white horse”. In recent years the day has come to be known for something else altogether: young wine from the year’s harvest goes on sale in shops and at open air markets around the country to light up the autumn gloom with some summer sun.
“It’s true that it got joined with the trend of St. Martin’s goose which is pretty old, already from the Middle Ages. But the hype only really started in 2005 when the Winemakers’ Fund of the Czech Republic started to really actively promote it.”
Similarly to the Beaujolais Nouveau tradition in France, the St. Martin’s brand helps boost winemakers’ cash flow right after the harvest. How do the two traditions compare?
Not every wine makes it to the list that can be marketed as St. Martin’s. Lucie Kohoutová again:
“To have the brand, it has to be made from chosen varietals and it has to be approved by the winemakers’ fund. But to be honest, there are a lot of wines that are young, often even more interesting, but the winemakers choose not to ask for the brand. They make young wines, they sell them to people but either because they don’t want to be associated with the brand or because they know they wouldn’t pass, they sell it as young wine or under different names. But it is young wine from the current harvest.”
Over a glass on a chill November day, I asked Lucie if she was planning a traditional St. Martin’s roast goose dinner this weekend.
The list of St. Martin's wines currently approved by the Wine Fund: www.wineofczechrepublic.cz