söndag 4 september 2011

Semi-dry Cava, [the drinks issue]

After a busy Friday of work and apps at uni, I wanted a semi- dry Cava , bubbly which is perfect with red currants. I usually have brut in Western Europe, but in Ukraine I love a semi- dry Sovetskoe Shampanskoye (Советское Шампанское) - (Soviet Champagne). It is the best bubbly in the world, not only because of the taste, but also because of its iconic status as a drink in Eastern Europe.

Russian Tsar Pavel I was the first who brought Crimean vines and French master Champagne-makers together, but it was a Russian aristocrat, Prince Golitsyn, who established the first economically successful Russian sparkling wine at Abrau-Dyurso.  Golitsyn was so successful that in 1900 at the Paris World Fair, Novy Svet champagne defeated all the French entries to claim the internationally coveted 'Grand Prix de Champagne'.

When the Russian revolution swept the Bolsheviks to power in October 1917 the brand name-industry was nearly washed away. But as the Soviet Union developed in the early 1920s, the government asked the Russian wine-makers to devise a recipe for a new 'champagne for the people' that would be cheap, quick to produce and accessible to the working masses. The new brand, named "Sovetskoye Shampanskoye", was created in 1928 by a Sovnarkhoz team. The "father" of the new technology was Anton Frolov-Bagreyev, a former employee of Prince Golitsyn at Abrau-Dyurso.

Interestingly, in a dramatic incident during the Russian civil war, Frolov-Bagreyev had nearly been killed for refusing the demand of a proletarian squad to yield all of the factory's wine stock. He only survived because of the help of the factory workers who hid him behind the wine barrels and alerted the Soviet authorities. Frolov-Bagreyev went on to receive a number of state scholarships, academic degrees, and the Stalin Prize for his work in Soviet wine-making. The technology of production was further improved and made more economical in 1953 by Professor Georgy Agabalyanc, who received the Lenin Prize for that achievement.

Since it is a tradition that a man pours the drinks and opens "hard-to-open" bottles, I never had to learn how to open a champagne bottle. This time, I had to learn how to open the bottle by my self =)


And my favourite bottle of sparkling ;)
Советское Шампанское
 Waking up with hampanskoye on New Years day.
Kiev, Ukraine 2011

Cherkassy, Ukraine - Summer 2011

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