During the last two months a series of scientific and practical seminars-tastings of vintage drinks of 20-80 years old were held on the basis of Analytical center “Club of experts” with the assistance of a public association “Ukrsadvindindprom” and Charity fund “Reconstruction and development of Ukraine”. Representatives of Ukrainian wine industry, retail, mass media and other experts took part in these seminars.
All in all, participants of the workshops got acquainted with more than 40 kinds of vintage alcohol, produced in Ukraine and European countries in the second half of the last century. The total age of the drinks exceeds 3000 years.
In particular, such famous Ukrainian collection brands, as “Massandra sherry” from the 1980s and “Black Doctor” from 2007 were presented at the conferences. Among the European alcoholic brands the participants distinguished a rare sherry brandy “Hispano” 1870 (!), another Spanish drink “Ponche Rives” 1978, vermouth “Marsala” 1950-ies and other drinks. All in all 15 different vintage drinks were evaluated by the participants.
According to the words of the expert-collector of vintage alcoholic drinks Igor Magalas, the cost of the majority of samples which were presented at the seminars does not exceed the prices of similar drinks on supermarket shelves. At the same time, the taste and eco-friendliness of vintage drinks are an order of magnitude superior to many modern brands.
“The thing is that the automation of alcohol production lines, which became widespread at the end of the last century, led to a natural decline in quality for the sake of quantity. More than once I faced situations when at closed tastings sommelier experts preferred lower class vintage alcohol produced in the 1960s-1970s to modern expensive brands bottled in the 2000s-2010s,” Magalyas noted.
According to the expert, the reason for this is not the number of years the drink has been in the bottle, but the technological process of production at the initial stages, which largely affects the bouquet and taste of any alcohol.
Maxim Urakin, the organizer of the series of seminars, in turn, expressed hope for the further development of the vintage drinks market in Ukraine and for promotion of the culture of their consumption in the new year 2023.
“We will continue the promotion of vintage alcohol in the Ukrainian market. In Europe this product has a wide consumer audience for a long time, while in our country it is still considered “elite” and unavailable, although in my opinion it is a delusion. Therefore, the main purpose of our seminars, to make vintage alcohol more accessible to Ukrainians” – he stressed.
Vintage (molesim) in wine-making means the year of ripening of a certain grape variety which is used to produce wine, brandy, cognac or other vintage-based drinks. This indicator is important in determining the characteristics of the drink because weather and climatic conditions change every season, which may affect both positive and negative effects on the organoleptic characteristics of beverages of the same brand.
The Club of Experts is Kiev analytical center, which is engaged in researches in the field of economics, sociology and other scientific disciplines. In particular, with the assistance of the Club of experts during the last year there were held several events for the promotion of the national winemaking products.
Public Union “Ukrsadvindindprom” was a partner of the seminar and tasting. “Ukrsadvindwinprom” unites about 200 producers of fruits, berries, nuts and grapes, enterprises that process fruits and berries and produce wine, as well as scientific institutions for implementation of new scientific approaches in production.
The “Reconstruction and Development of Ukraine” Charitable Foundation has been providing extensive volunteer support to the army and civilians since the war began. In particular, with the support of KNUSA Rector Petr Kulikov, the foundation donated a modern mobile hospital for the needs of the military.
On Saturday, November 7, on the basis of the analytical center “Experts Club” with the assistance of the public association “Ukrsadvinprom” and the charitable foundation “Reconstruction and Development of Ukraine”, the second scientific and practical seminar-tasting of vintage drinks aged from 20 to 80 years was held. The seminar was attended by representatives of the Ukrainian wine industry, retail, media, and other experts.
At the seminar, Igor Magalyas, an expert collector of vintage alcoholic beverages, introduced the participants to the most popular varieties of Ukrainian and European vintage wines, brandy and other drinks aged up to 80 years. Ukrainian products were presented at the conference by such brands as Sherry Massandra 1983 and Black Doctor 2007. Of the foreign alcoholic brands, Curasao liqueur from the 1950s, the rare sherry brandy Hispano from 1870 and another Spanish drink Ponche Rives from 1978 received the highest ratings from the participants. In total, the participants of the seminar evaluated 15 different vintage drinks.
According to Igor Magalyas, all products presented at the seminar are in the budget price segment and their cost does not exceed the cost of modern branded alcohol on the shelves of Ukrainian supermarkets.
“Most of the drinks presented here were purchased by collectors in Europe at auctions or at sales of private collections. At the same time, they have a number of taste and quality advantages over more modern drinks that can be freely bought at retail outlets, even if it is the same brand,” he said.
According to the expert, the fact is that in the 80-90s of the last century, the automation of alcohol production, introduced in order to increase the volume of products sold, had a negative impact on the quality of wine and distilled drinks.
“In particular, in my opinion, the ability of the same brandies to improve their palatability as they age after bottling was practically lost. In other words, if we open a bottle of good brandy from 1970 today, then such a drink will have a much richer flavor bouquet than if we opened a bottle of the same brandy 30 years later, but, say, 2020 bottling,” Igor explained Magalyas.
The organizer of the seminar Maxim Urakin, in turn, emphasized the importance of developing the vintage drinks market in Ukraine and popularizing the culture of drinking them.
“Each bottle of such wine or brandy has its own history; it is a rather rare, almost unique product, but at the same time it is quite affordable and popular in Europe. If we add up the age of drinks at today’s tasting, we get an impressive figure of more than 700 years of the total age of drinks, which also makes our event unique,” he stressed.
Vintage (milezim) – in winemaking means the year of ripening of the harvest of a certain grape variety from which wine, brandy, cognac or other drink based on it is produced. This indicator is important in determining the characteristics of the drink, since weather and climate conditions change every season, which can both positively and negatively affect the organoleptic characteristics of drinks of the same brand.
“Experts Club” is an analytical center engaged in research in the field of economics, sociology and other scientific disciplines. In particular, with the assistance of the Club of Experts, several events were held last year to promote domestic winemaking products.
Public Union “Ukrsadvinprom” acted as a partner of the seminar and tasting. “Ukrsadvinprom” unites about 200 producers of fruits, berries, nuts and grapes, enterprises engaged in the processing of fruits and berries, wine production, as well as scientific institutions for the introduction of new scientific approaches to production.
Charitable Foundation “Reconstruction and Development of Ukraine” carries out extensive volunteer activities. In particular, with the support of the rector of KNUCA (KNUBA) Petr Kulikov, the fund will soon hand over a modern mobile hospital. The head of the fund is Artem Goncharenko.
Organizers will send part of the proceeds from the event to purchase a mobile hospital.