Sparkling wine: Grande Vallée 2016
Grande Vallée winery is located near Odesa and is one of the biggest manufacturers of the limited series of wines in Ukraine. The winery is equipped with cutting-edge equipment from France, Italy and Germany. This wine scored first among sparkling wines produced with the Charmat method in the 2018 UWINES Awards. It boasts a fresh, juicy aroma with the notes of apricot, peach and pineapple. The wine is quite balanced and has a long, pleasant aftertaste. It is served best with seafood, especially oysters, pasta, soft cheese and berries.
White wine: Riesling Château Chizay
Chizay wine production is located in the Zakarpattia and is one of the most popular Carpathian wines in Ukraine. The winery produces white, red and rosé in limited and original collections. In 2018, it granted the prestigious UWINES Award. Riesling has a rich aroma and flavor bouquet pointed out by many connoisseurs. The intense aroma of fruits and wildflowers is paired with light notes of spices and citrus. The wine has a refreshing taste and a long, delicate aftertaste. It is best served with fruit, sweet mousses, and chocolate.
Red wine: Cabernet Sauvignon Koblevo Reserve Wine
Koblevo is by far one of the most well-known Ukrainian wine brands. The winery also has quite a massive production, releasing more than 45 million bottles a year. Cabernet Sauvignon is made by the duo of Ukrainian and Italian winemakers and received the 2018 UWINES Award.
Cabernet is quite juicy and well-balanced, combining ripe tannins and spicy notes. The aroma is mostly focused on a bouquet of berries. As for the best food pairings, Cabernet Sauvignon tastes best with meat starting from beef steaks and kebabs to lamb and spicy meat dishes. Besides, it also goes well with mushroom pizza.
Rosé wine: Shabo Classic Rosé
One more iconic Odesa vineyard, Shabo, has a rich history - its name refers to one of the most ancient terroirs in Europe. Throughout the centuries, Shabo was tended by Greeks, Turks, Swiss immigrants and Ukrainians. Nowadays, the company has a Wine Culture Center in Odesa, where visitors can visit the old cellars and try the local specialties.
Shabo Classic Rosé is made from French Cabernet-Sauvignon and Pinot Noir red grape varieties and is processed according to the ‘white’ method. The pink wine has an intense flavor with raspberry and strawberry tones and a lasting aftertaste. It is recommended to serve with fish, cold white meat, soft cheese, and desserts.
Cider: Cidre Royal
In 2000, the founder of Cidre Royal Herbert Hauswirth decided to start a cider business in Ukraine. The company was the first in contemporary Ukraine to revive the production of natural ciders by traditional European technology, supported by Austrian and German experts.
The apples for cider are grown in Zolotonosha village of Cherkasy region, as well as other local farms. Cidre Royal has an iconic golden color and bright flavor. It can be served as apéritif with light salads or charcuterie. Another classic food pairing with cider is Fine de Claire oysters. As for the desserts, the drink suits apple-based baked goods like Strudel.
Horilka: Khortytsia Ice
Horilka is definitely one of the most iconic Ukrainian alcohol drinks. Its name derives from the Ukrainian verb ‘hority’, which means ‘to burn’. The main difference between Russian vodka and Ukrainian horilka lies in the manufacturing technology — vodka is traditionally made from rye, often with the addition of wheat or oats, horilka is based solely on wheat.
Khortytsia is one of the most famous brands of horilka, sold in 87 countries of the world. Khortytsia Ice has a unique bottle: it changes color in +5°С. The 40% alcohol drink has spirits of mint, linden and menthol. Horilka should be served cold and usually suits the fatty dishes the best. To give an idea, Ukrainians like to serve it with baked or boiled potatoes, pork lard (salo), pickled herring and red caviar.
Nalyvka: Bilyi Nalyv
Bilyi Nalyv, located on Khreshchatyk Street in Kyiv, is well-known for its cheap and delicious cider. However, the cafe has another iconic Ukrainian drink - nalyvka. The homemade liquor has been a popular folk drink for many centuries thanks to its sweet intense flavor. In Bilyi Nalyv, nalyvka is made from organic apples and is high in tannins. It is sold in convenient glass bottles: 0,1, 0,2 and 0,5 l are available for sale in Bilyi Nalyv cafe.
Cognac: Shustoff Grand Prix Paris V.S.O.P.
The history of Shustoff brand dates back to 1863 when Nikolai Shustov founded his own distilling enterprise. During the first years of the production, the product range included wine, liqueur, nastoykas and spotykach. Nowadays, Shustoff specializes in cognacs.
Shustoff Grand Prix Paris V.S.O.P. is a unique and historically-significant blend - it is the winner of the 1900 Paris exhibition. The drink has an assembly of three French ordinary spirits and three Ukrainian domestic premium spirits with at least 10-year maturation. The delicate aroma has chocolate and vanilla notes, and the cognac's flavor is velvety with hints of honey, salted nuts and white cherries. It is best served as a digestif with cheeses, pates and dark bitter chocolate.
The following list is the editor's choice. All businesses are mentioned in a random order.
Sources: websites of businesses mentioned above.
Photo sources: depositphotos.com, unsplash.com. All images belong to their rightful authors.