Heaven of „bottled beauties” – the Best Baltic Wine List

Vieta, a small wine bar in Riga (Latvia) has won Baltic Wine List Award 2019 again, thus it is the second consecutive year for the team to be proud.

The owner, Jānis Volkinšteins thanked to his team and also his regular customers for „keeping all the bottled beauties in movement and making my life harder to maintain good balance in the list. A  static list is a dead list.” Volkinšteins is a WSET diploma holder sommelier with excessive knowledge of the wines of the world, and his deep knowledge is reflected in the wine list. It is far from being comprehensive, you cannot find new world wines on the list, but Europe is beautifully represented with a massive Champagne range. French, Italian, Austrian and Hungarian wines (along with other European wines) are offered in the wine list under headlines like „Easy to drink”, „Treat yourself”, „Wild wines”, „Oldies” (with a Szeremley Kéknyelű 1999).

What’s the secret?

Besides having a witty concept of the wine list, there must be more to it, so we asked Jānis Volkinšteins about the reason behind. „I opened my wine bar Vieta back in 2010, nearly a decade ago. The list was simple and straightforward back then – but ever since 2011 I decided to work a bit with imported wines that are unique to Latvian market. In 2019 the list is wide and conceptual where fine wine classics meet Central European gems. From Hungary we love producers who are focusing on top quality to reflect either traditional values or modern vibes– especially if they offergood value for money to our customers.”

Congratulations and cheers to that, and of course here is a handful of wines from Vieta’s award winning wine list.

Good value: Haraszthy Pinot Noir

Vitea wine list has a whole section with wines under 25 euros. There is no blushed face while finding the cheapest wine, no shame, guests can simply turn to the good value section, because Volkinšteins has done his job finding the best wines under 25 euros. Haraszthy Pinot is a beauty from Etyek wine region: Cherry color. Primal fruitiness on nose, accompanied by some roasted scent. On the palate besides the sour cherry you will find the presence of chocolate, tobacco and bold notes produced by barrel ageing. Aftertaste is medium-long, spicy.”

Big Bottle: Garamvári Tokaji Furmint Brut

Bubbles are valued in Vitea, there is a wonderful selection of bottle fermented sparkling wines. As for Hungary, there are sparklings from Somló, from Tokaj, and a wide selection from Vencel Garamvári, who was the first to make bottle fermented sparkling wine made of Furmint. Character-based fruitiness of the varietal can be sensed alongside the dynamic acids. Quince, citruses, mango tastes combined with sweet spices like cloves and cinnamon.”

Treat yourself! Patricius Tokaji Aszú 2003

A Tokaji Aszú is a treat indeed, especially if it comes from a prestigious estate like Patricius.Nicest aromas of botrytized berries followed by enormous, high structure and full body. Long, smooth, endless taste and exceptional deepness of peach, apricot and fig character. Full of Tokaj.”

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