Skip to main content

I’m not sure what thread this belongs under – it’s not exactly tasting notes nor does it quite fit under dining & cooking – it’s more like ‘Wine & Food Experiences’.

For the last couple of days, I have been in Suceava, which is situated in the Bucovina region of northern Romania. Most people in this region are poor as churchmice, but I have found them to be very hospitable and warm. (My luxury hotel cost just 33 Euros per night.)

I was taken to dinner at the second-best restaurant in the city - for anybody who really cares, the restaurant is called Chagall. I didn’t choose the best restaurant (Latina) because it serves Italian food, and I wanted a more local dining experience.

At Chagall, I asked for a traditional Romanian meal. The first course was a soup referred to as “Chiorba”, although I believe this is a general term for ‘country soup’ made from beans and various greens and it may or may not have meat in it. The second course was a beef and vegetable stew, and for the life of me, I can’t remember what they called it.

You don’t get imported wines in most Romanian restaurants so we asked the restaurant to suggest a dry red wine. The recommended wine was Domeniile Tohani 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon, from the region of Vrancia. The restaurant’s professed wine expert assured us this was one of the very best dry reds produced in Romania.

The wine had a deep burgundy colour right to the rim. The nose offered a lovely currant and plum aroma with a hint of cassis. It had a good amount of glycerin to give it a plush texture, but the flavour was quite subdued and short. As a result the tannin and oak were quite noticeable. I would have rated it an 88 on aroma, but only 82 on flavour.

After dinner, we took the unfinished bottle back to the hotel and the flavours started to come out more after an hour or two. Clearly it should have been decanted, but I rather doubt that this is something that a restaurant would ever do. So I might say that the flavour probably deserved a rating of 86-87 eventually.

The cost of the wine was 250,000 lei (~ $8 US). Pretty good QPR I'd say.
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Next stop on our culinary tour of Romania was dinner at Capsa on Calea Victoriei in downtown Bucharest. I've eaten at Capsa on several previous vivits to Bucharest, and it is a classy traditional restaurant serving Romanian-style food. The waiters still wear tuxedos and treat you as though you are an honoured guest in their establishment.

For dinner, I had Ciorba again followed by venison for the main course. Venison seems to be a rather popular dish that I've seen a many restaurants in Romania and Bulgaria. (But they call it "deer", not venison)

I deferred to the restaurant on the choice of wine, saying only that I wanted a dry red that would complement the "deer". The recommended wine was Cricova Acorex 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve from Moldova. I found the wine quite ripe with cherry and plum flavours mostly. But it had a slightly cloying sweetness which I really didn't like. My rating would be ~80 to 82 points. The price on the menu was 400,000 lei (~ $13.50 US) Not nearly as good a value as the Domeniile Tohani Cab I had a couple of nights ago.

I have had wine made from the Mavrud grape with venison in Sofia, and I found it a much better pairing.

Rather interestingly, I discovered the next day that the Acorex 2003 Terra Verde Cabernet Sauvignon was in the October 1 Vintages release at the LCBO, and that one of the local reviewers had given it a score of 85. (Hard to figure that rating)
Hello On the Wine. I enjoyed reading your posts.

One of my favorite novels is the classic 'Dracula' written by Bram Stoker.

In the book, a character describes a dish called 'Chicken Paprikash,' as being thoroughly delicious, (but requiring the diner to consume a lot of water afterwards).

Are you familiar with this dish? Can you tell me about the difference between Hungarian paprika and american paprika? Also, what wine would you suggest with this?

I appreciate your response.
quote:
Originally posted by on the wine:
The recommended wine was Cricova Acorex 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve from Moldova. I found the wine quite ripe with cherry and plum flavours mostly. But it had a slightly cloying sweetness which I really didn't like.



Cloying sweetness is very common in Moldovan wines. Moldova is quite hot in the summer, even in the South, where climate is moderated by Black Sea. 100+F temperatures are a common occurrence, hence lots of sweet wine of all colors...and armies of cute tanned girls. Wink
DebAnne - I have certainly seen Chicken Paprikash on a lot of restaurant menus, but it is more of a Hungarian dish rather than Romanian. However, there is a considerable Hungarian influence in Romania - especially in Transylvania where a lot of ethnic Hungarians live. (You also find a German influence in western Romania - I was in several towns that looked Bavarian.)

As to your question, I have not eaten Chicken Paprikash - mainly because it just doesn't have much appeal to me. And I certainly can't tell you anything about American vs Hungarian paprika. I just like to eat the stuff, but my knowledge stops there. For wine to serve with Chicken Paprikash, I'd tend to think of either Gewurtztraminer, Viognier, or Riesling.

Grun - I made it to Chisinau for a day but missed the 'armies of cute tanned girls'. I obviously need better directions.
Hello on the wine,

Thank you for responding to my post. Paprika has always been an important condiment in my family's cooking. When I was a youngster my mother always used it, along with garlic powder and black pepper, to season our meats.

In addition, she sprinkled it generously on the potato salad that she created during the winter holidays. I worship that potato salad!

Anyway, as a Riesling girl, I welcome any opportunity to drink this wine, but I think that with a dish like Chicken Paprikash, a Gewurtztraminer would probably best compliment the spiciness of the paprika.
quote:
Originally posted by DebAnne:
...as a 'Riesling girl'
That has a nice ring to it! But I agree that gewurtztraminer would be the best match.

Having a central/eastern European family background, I grew up with these foods in the home. However, being rather incompetent in the kitchen, I have always enjoyed the eating part much more than the making part.

Ironically, my father was a chef who had a real flair for making things taste good. On the other hand, my mother was a dismal cook. I obviously got her genes. C'est la génétique!
debanne posted:
Hello On the Wine. I enjoyed reading your posts.

One of my favorite novels is the classic 'Dracula' written by Bram Stoker.

In the book, a character describes a dish called 'Chicken Paprikash,' as being thoroughly delicious, (but requiring the diner to consume a lot of water afterwards).

Are you familiar with this dish? Can you tell me about the difference between Hungarian paprika and american paprika? Also, what wine would you suggest with this?

I appreciate your response.

As we know, Bram Stoker never visited Eastern Europe. Transylvania is a part of Romania that at the time the book was written, belonged to Austrio-Habsburgic Empire. 

The dish you are enquire about it is Hungarian actually and that’s the why it is pronounced in their language. A great number of Hungarians live in Romania and the influenced the culture, cuisine and language.

ingredients: chicken break and thighs, onion, garlic, sweet paprika, flour, cream, sunflower oil, salt and pepper, fresh parsley.

for dumplings: eggs, oil, flour, salt.

”Feteasca Neagra” type of wine from  Dealu Mare region would go well with the dish.

 

Add Reply

Post
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×