Let's play wine
KONSTANTINOS LAZARAKIS MW
The charm to be different
It was more than four years when, together with my friend Galina Niforou, had the idea of creating a wine competition focusing completely on promoting Balkan wines. For many people this seems strange – “what Balkan wines have in common? These countries are competitors!”
I beg to differ.
Balkan wines share a huge number of characteristics. They have a very long history in wine. They have names and alphabets that the primary wine markets in the world have a hell of a time pronouncing/understanding. They have a vast range of local grape varieties. They are in most cases bad in promoting themselves. They make wines that are not the easiest to grasp. However, if we are all different, doesn’t make us all the same? Or at least equal?
So, we decided to create the Balkan International Wine Competition. And after this year’s fourth edition, we can say that our idea was valid. The number of wines is increasing every year. More tasters around the world ask us for an invitation for judging. Other countries, beyond Balkans, want to participate (this year we had Abkhazia!!!!). But the most important thing is this: the wines that get medals or trophies out of that competition are interesting wines. Not your average blockbuster medal carrier.
I can argue that the borders in Balkans are some of the most artificial in our world and history shows they are also very fragile. Wine relates to smell and taste which directly relate with the deepest human instincts. So, the wine must be all about demolishing borders, not creating.
P.S. Another important aspect of the BIWC is that we do not work with the standard OIV system, but we rather place ourselves closer to the Australian Wine Judging style. But this deserves a whole new article in here!
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