Monday, October 5, 2009

Wine Bar: Podrum Wine Art and Question Mark, Belgrade/Serbia

Picture: Christian G.E. and Benjamin Schiller in Belgrade, 2009

This cannot be more of a contrast.

Podrum Wine Art, Visujiceva 7

Podrum Wine Art just opened a few days ago and has a state of the art wine dispenser, an enomatic-- a $10,000 machine that spits out wine pours for 31 bottles. The wine bar could easily draw a crowd in New York City. It is fancy, stylish, pop music.

As a big disappointment to me, the enomatic has only 3 Serbian wines by the glass, a red one, a white one and a rose wine. Half of the wines that you can buy by the glass are Italian wines. Still, the two wines we tried were excellent.

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Barique, Podrum Radovanovic

Radovanovic is one of the top winemakers in Serbia now; his wine estate is not too far away from Belgrade. Dark red in the glass. Hint of vanilla and raspberries on the nose. A lush and fruity New World-style wine. I paid RSD 400 for the glass, which is about Euro 4.

2007 Sauvignon Blanc, Do Kraja Sveta

Attack of peach and tropical fruit on the nose, fruity and juicy on the palate, full body. RSD 400. I reviewed the Cabernet Sauvignon on October 1, 2009.

Podrum Wine Art is a wine store and a wine bar at the same time. All wines can be either bought to go or to drink at the premise. In terms of prices, if you drink the bottle at the premise, the price is about double compared with the to-go prices.

“?” Taverne, Kralja Petra 6

The Question Mark (Znak Pitanja) has been around for many years. It is a simple wine tavern, where the clergymen from the orthodox Saborna church across the street still come in and have a glass of wine with hearty Serbian food. Booming trade and political stability following the Second Serbian Uprising , in 1815, prompted entrepreneurs to open a large number of taverns in a short period of time. Some of these stayed on for a very long time. The “?” tavern is one of them.

I never ordered a bottle of wine there, not only because I had a hard time reading the wine list, but because I loved the house wine in the carafe. The white one was a delicious muscat wine with the typical strong perfumed aroma and distinctive musky flavor. And I always had a shopska salad, the traditional Serbian salad that is a must for every meal when you are in Belgrade

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