Not just beer - A Moravian Rhapsody
On Czechia's big advantage and its burgeoning natural wine community
I’m trying hard to resist the puns, but I guess I need to Czech in. Last week was spent visiting growers in Moravia and attending Bottled Alive in Tábor, Southern Bohemia. It was my first time in this pristine, well organised nation, and the biggest challenge to its wine scene became immediately clear: when people say Czechia has the best and freshest beer in the world, it’s no exaggeration. If you’re partial to an unpasteurised pilsner or lager, there is no better place to be than one of the country’s many thousands of traditional taverns. It’s easy to forget all about the charm of fermented grape juice, as evidenced by the numbers. The average Czech drinks 140 litres of beer a year, compared to just 20 litres of wine1.
Even if it was mostly beer that flowed into my gullet after-hours, I came for the wine.