Photo: Arielle DeSoucey
In uncertain times, we can all appreciate life’s simple pleasures. And given the global pandemic fatigue, there is no better remedy than a locally produced Frankovka. A dark-fruited, late ripening grape variety, Frankovka has been grown in central Europe for centuries.
The wines exhibit an intense ruby/garnet color, accented by aromas of spice and forest berries. Making up 7% of total Czech vineyards, it is the second most planted black grape variety in the country. Some of the best examples are found in the Velké Pavlovice subregion, where Frankovka comprises one of the three permitted grape varieties in the VOC Modré Hory. The villages of Dolní Kounice, Nosislav, and Hustopeče are also top sites for Frankovka. In their youth, these wines offer mouth watering acidity and signature aromas of sour cherry, blackberry, and spice. Although the unoaked wines tend to have slightly rougher tannins, producers are now opting to mature their wines for longer periods in barrel, resulting in wines with a softer, more supple tannin structure. Frankovka is the ideal pairing for traditional Czech fare, like smoked meats and guláš, but can also be delicious with easy takeaway foods, like pizza and burgers. These wines feel like a big hug from an old friend, and I highly recommend picking one up at your local shop. Check out these Frankovka producers- Dva Duby, J. Stávek, Regina Coeli, Válka, U Vrbů.