When in Prague… drink French wine!

I was just in a very nice wine bar in the heart of the wonderful city of Prague. And I must say: some French wines here, miles away from their origin, are … less expensive. I am taking a course in teaching English as a foreign language – to try something new – and being a wine lover, I had to check out the wine bar scene. Proof positive that wine is popular even in a country known for its inexpensive (and appealing) beer. Almost every other street has a wine boutique, mostly with Czech wine. Now, I have tried some Cabernet Sauvignons and other varieties grown here and – so far – I have been less than convinced of the quality. So when I went for the second time to Monarch wine bar, I could scarcely believe the tempting prices of some very good  2007 vintage Rhone valley (French 😉 wines… With some duck and mushroom terrine at about four euros each, I enjoyed a bottle of Domaine Raspail-Ay Gigondas for only about 20 euros – restaurant price! Can you easily find that in France? In the US? I doubt it… Even better was the Domaine des Bosquets Gigondas of the same vintage for about the same price: a better wine, more focused in its red cherry flavors, less jammy than the previous wine. Now, at 15% alcohol, it is not my preferred wine. But with duck and mushroom terrine in a festive setting, I thought to myself: what the hell… And what a price. And finally, a fine St Joseph from Chave: the Offerus 2006. Once again, just 20 euros, restaurant price. Beat that? Not sure. The first bottle was corked and the restaurant replaced it with a new, pristine (cork) bottle with a smile. Very peppery and pure red licorice flavors. “Just” 13.5% alcohol. More “disciplined” … perhaps just a slight relief after the big Grenache wines from the southern Rhone? All in all, a very good time! If ever in Prague, try Monarch Wine Bar.

Leave a Reply