A Pocket Guide- White Romanian Grapes- Zghihara de Huși
After you tone down the amazement of learning that Romania is the 13th wine producing country in the world, if you decide to spend your time here, it’s time to enjoy some local wines. Unfortunately, you could find yourself puzzled in front of a wine list since neither the producers or the names on the labels sound familiar. Some have a very exotic ring to them, and you might have fun learning to pronounce them, but which ones should you choose? This is where the Unconnaisser’s guide comes in handy. We’re here to help you select something that is to your taste while knowing nothing about Romania or our wines. How is that possible? We will compare our local varieties to popular varieties or styles and try to explain the subtle differences. Of course, some food pairing is on the menu too. We kick off this series with Zghihara de Husi.
Zghihara de Husi- A Short Description
This is a grape mainly grown in the eastern part of the country, in the Moldova Region, around the town of Husi. The vines take some time to ripen, mid-September is the earliest you can expect to see these to turn from bright green to green-yellow. They don’t accumulate a lot of sugar but have high acidity which also makes this type suitable even to craft sparkling wines.
The color is a pale lemon, translucent and the wine is best enjoyed while young. The nose can bring hints of green apple, grapes, and gooseberry, but very subtle. The style is always dry, with high acidity and lower alcohol, which makes it perfect for the summer. The flavors include lime, grapefruit and most of all green apple with hints of pear. Best served chilled, 10-12 degrees.
This white number can successfully replace some crisp international varieties. The wines we will suggest are similar in taste; we don’t imply these are related from a DNA perspective. The most striking difference is a more rural feeling, not polished. Ofter, you can feel some unbalance in acidity and a more explosive character. Without further ado, you could enjoy the Zghihara de Husi if you usually like:
Albariño- Preserves that same acidity with citric notes, but lacks the complexity and the hint of tropical fruits.
Chablis- You can find some citrus and white flower aromas and similar lean, light-bodied flavors of lemon and pear, without the minerality and salinity hints.
Pinot Grigio- If you love the neutral and refreshing character of a stainless steel Pinot Grigio, in Romania you can bet on the Zghihara. It has that clean, crisp feeling which makes it a good wine for aperitives.
Food Pairing for Zghihara de Husi
As you can guess by thinking about the previously mentioned wines, it goes fantastic with seafood like mussels, oysters, and shrimps. Don’t shy away from it if you have some sea bass or trout in mind. It’s also an excellent companion for chicken dishes in aromatic sauces, like Indian curries. It works perfectly with soft cheeses like goat cheese or brie.
If you want to take your Romanian experience to the max, we’d recommend you try this with some trout, either grilled with polenta or cooked in a decadent sauce.