I have always loved catalogues. They give me a sense of security, calmness and predictability. So do maps, atlases, and encyclopedias, but they are actually different types of catalogues. The word catalogue itself is of Greek origin - and means a list of information about objects compiled to make identification of these objects easier by employing certain characteristics.
As wine lovers are generally artistic and absent-minded people, the idea to compile a catalog of Bulgarian wine born seven years ago was quite in place and definitely filled a gap both on the book market, and in the restless soul of Bulgarian wine lovers. Now, the seventh edition of the catalog closes the cycle known as the first seven years, and this allows and even requires a review. The catalog appeared at a time when even specialists had begun to lose themselves among the large number of wine producers and the even greater number of wines on the market. It came out with the bold ambition not only to offer comprehensive information, but also to give an objective assessment of the developments in the Bulgar- ian wine sector. Seven years later, I am extremely happy that Katia and Tzveta succeeded in this endeavor. I feel honored to have been given the opportunity to write the foreword of this edition.
As an active user of the catalog, I can say that it is extremely easy to use, concise and beautiful. At the same time, it con- tains an enormous amount of information organized in an easily perceived way. The catalog is bilingual, which makes it the perfect guide for foreigners wishing to get acquainted with the wines of Bulgaria. And last, but not least, it makes for a wonderful gift. I myself have given a great number of copies to my friends all over the world in the past years. For many of them, it was the first encounter with Bulgarian wine. For none of them did it remain the last one.
The short, but interesting articles at the beginning are a valu- able source of knowledge about the history and the current state of viticulture and wine production in Bulgaria, as well as about other wine topics. Their style is tight and concise, and they make for a light and pleasant reading.
Wine cellars are listed in alphabetical order, with short presen- tations, contact details and brief descriptions and assessments of the wines they produce. The five-star wine assessment system is easy to read for both professionals and anyone who likes wine. Tasting notes are succinct and clear, which is key to such a book, which should present a tremendous amount of valuable information in only a small number of pages.
The list of five-star wines at the beginning of the catalog is a very good idea. It is useful for everyone, and immediately grabs the attention of those leafing through the edition. I can definitely say that this list has become one of the influential Bulgarian wine charts.
The team of tasters boasts some very interesting persons with varying interests, professions and life paths, besides Tzveta and Katia. What unites them are their strong feelings about wine. And the fact that I would love to share a bottle with each of them.
In conclusion, the fact that this book is in your hands is a good start. If you are reading this, you should know that more is yet to come! And definitely I can say that the catalogue of Bulgar- ian wine has had its first seven years ... Cheers!
Radoslav Radev Chairman, National Vine and Wine Chamber of Bulgaria
I am a wine amateur, I will never have the palate of Louis de Funès in the "The Wing or the Thigh” (L'aile ou la cuisse) or the abundant knowledge of a wine expert. I have always been proud to be a member of the spirits drinking popula- tion, but suddenly, about a decade ago, a new, in nite world emerged before my eyes. The world of wine! Since then, I have been trying to explore it with an insatiable thirst not only for knowledge but also for the satisfaction of my exasperated Epicurean instincts. This endeavour in Bulgaria is impossible without the attractive and comprehensive guide of Tzveta Tanovska and Katia Iontcheva. I would easily admit that for the last ve years when at a wine fair, I look for Tzveta and wait for her to take out the BOOK from her bag. Then I read it at once, and throughout the following year I re-open it again to check on something or to see if our opinions about a certain wine are the same. Certainly, this guidebook does not pretend to describe in full detail everything that can be found on the Bulgarian wine market that is lled with enthusiasm and love, but it gives you enough information so you can nd everything you need. Bulgarian wine is still underestimated at pretentious Bulgarian restaurants, that are ready to introduce you to everything from the Old and the New World, and the guide could certainly change that. Let it be that change as wine producers in Bulgaria deserve it not only because of the medals they are constantly winning at prestigious wine exhibitions but because they put a great deal of e ort not just to survive but also to be modern, innovative and up-to-date with wine trends and even set them rst. They deserve respect, recognition and high sales, and this is one of the instruments to achieve that. An invaluable tool that o ers even laymen like me all the necessary information. So let's raise our glasses for Tzveta, Katia and all of those who made it possible to hold in our hands the Bulgarian wine guide for the sixth year in a row!
You cannot make wine without crushing the grapes... I came upon this saying probably long before I even knew what wine was. It is a nice, popular way of living with the acceptable amount of violence that the family, school, government, etc. bring to us. It was later on when I learned that wine itself is an even more wonderful way of dealing with school, family, the government. This fragrant, sunny escape that has been drawing its followers through all the centuries of human civilization, wobbling merry and joyful after Dionysus’s thyrsus.
The Balkan Countries are a fascinating world, very important in terms of total wine production, celebrating history that goes back many centuries. Quality has improved dramatically and what is needed is good communication and clear voices to spread this message.
Tzveta’s and Katia’s or shall I say “spirit of the tastings“ and “sense of the tastings“ Bulgarian Wine Guide, already in its fi fth edition, is exactly on this right path promoting Bulgarian wines that are getting more and more attention during the last few years. Written in both English and Cyrillic it is an excellent tool for those who would like to go beyond mainstream regions and explore Bulgarian wine.
Composed by a series of small informative articles – this year on organic wines, bottles shape and sizes, wine faults and others - along an alphabetical listing of the wineries with tasting notes, it is as complete as possible. It is a very well written Wine Guide with all the required information, concise as it should have been for a pocket wine book but not missing and key information; even coordinates for the wineries’ location are included along address, etc.
The truth is, I am interested in the world of wine and excited by it. I am a bit reckless, which to a certain extend goes well with wine. It is strange that I was invited to write the introductory words to such a serious professional catalogue dedicated to the wine production in Bulgaria. I am a regular customer of the wine industry and that is why I am considered important. Got it!