Sunday, 13 June 2010
World Cup Wines. Four. Denmark vs Holland
Not renowned for its winemaking Denmark. Maybe you didn't know the Danes make wine? The country is famous for its beer. Well, two beers, Tuborg and Carlsberg. Danish drinkers drink one or the other. None drink both and there's something of a rivalry between drinkers. Oddly, Tuborg is owned by Carslberg.
Anyhow, to wine. Yes the Danes make a little wine. About 40,000 bottles. The long long days mean that while being so northerly, sunshine is at a premium, when it does shine it shines almost until midnight.
The wine to have is Skærsøgaard Vin. Best of all is the international award winning sparkling version called Don's Cuvée.
Which brings us to Holland.
Not renowned for its winemaking. Holland. Maybe you didn't know the Dutch make wine? They do, but it's a problem. Being so northerly the nations' winemakers have little choice but to add sugar to their wine. The grapes simply don't produce enough themselves to create the level of alcohol required. And the reason that's a problem is the European Union doesn't like it and has previously proposed to ban the addition of sugar.
Some 60 winemakers currently choose from some 80 differing grape varieties and deliver about a million bottles from a couple of hundred vineyards. Dutch wineries, probably as you'd expect, make mostly light wines. The Dutch market itself is big on rosé too.
Wijndomein de Vier Ambachten offers five reds, four whites, a rosé, and two dessert wines all on sale at the winery.
Some wineries are also run as Bed & Breakfasts, others offer camping. Indeed, most are tourist businesses, grown from hobbies but there are now 160 of these professional grape growers.
One winery, Domain van Stokkom, got its leading wine onto the KLM (Dutch airline) business class wine list. Before it was taken over by Air France. Look out for its De Linie range.
Denmark 1 Holland 2