Beware of the Burčák
The dangers and delights of young Czech wine
Burčák is partially fermented young wine, which hits the wine bars of Prague in August, slightly ahead of vinobraní, the traditional festival celebrating the new wine harvest.
The opaque, yellowy-orange liquid is surprisingly drinkable, leading the unsuspecting drinker into a false sense of security.
Because burčák is so sweet, it doesn’t really taste like an alcoholic beverage, even though the alcohol content is between 5% and 8%.
Some even claim that because it’s only partially fermented, it’s possible for burčák to carry on fermenting in the blood stream, though this is, in fact, scientifically impossible.
Either way, it can provide a little more merriness than you’ve bargained for.
Burčák production is shrouded in mystery, with each winemaker closely guarding the secrets of their own particular technique, but the basics remain the same across the country.
Burčák is derived from fermenting grape juice, known as must, shortly after the grapes have been crushed. At a point determined by the winegrower, the must is deemed worthy of consumption and a part of it is sold as burčák. The rest is allowed to mature into adult wine.
In common with most other alcoholic drinks produced in the Czech Republic, burčák is supposed to offer great health benefits. In this case, however, the drink’s proponents might actually have a point: Burčák is rich in vitamins, particularly Vitamin B, and certain essential minerals.
You’ll have to move fast to reap those benefits, however: Because of its short shelf-life, burčák can only legally be sold between the 1st August and 30th November.
While the country’s best burčák – and, indeed, the best Czech wine – is found in Moravia (the eastern half of the Czech Republic), Prague gets its share of the golden liquid.
The city’s fancier wine bars are all likely to offer burčák, but for an authentically Czech experience, we’d recommend the cavernous halls of Vinárna U Sudu.
If nothing else, U Sudu will challenge any preconceptions you have about wine being the sole domain of the sophisticate, housing seven subterranean rooms stuffed with increasingly rowdy (and suspiciously young-looking) burčák quaffers.
September 22nd, 2006
Video on YouTube
The Grand Restaurant Festival 2017 starts on January 15th by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
The theme for the eighth edition will make restaurants go for Baroque
Pubs may become responsible for drinkers' damages by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
The pending anti-smoking law also holds establishments responsible for patrons' actions
Mayor will serve free carp soup for Christmas by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
Several politicians will give traditional soup to the public Dec. 24
La Loca shares a new menu by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
The restaurant in Mosaic House offers healthy food that actually tastes good
Japan's Asahi to acquire Plzeňský Prazdroj by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
Sale is to facilitate the merger of Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller
Alcron retains crown as top Czech restaurant by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
Maurer's list of 10 best restaurants now has four outside of Prague
Celebrating Thanksgiving in Prague 2016 by Olena Kagui - Prague.TV
Where to go for Thanksgiving dinner (or brunch) in Prague
Czech Thanksgiving – St. Martin’s Day 2016 by Olena Kagui - Prague.TV (Foto: czechtourism.com)
More than just a reason to eat goose and drink wine
La Loca has a new chef by La Loca Prague - Prague.TV
Together tastes better than ever before
Czech beer of the year named by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
Annual competition comes ahead of the feast of St Wenceslas, patron of beer
Take a guided tour to Sapa, Prague’s “Little Vietnam”
Become a Good Angel!
Have fun. Help. Volunteer overseas - Let us organize your...
Your cheapest calls home!
Austrian Restaurant in Prague
Czech culinary inspired by the ages of 1st Republic
American style chicken wings
Nespresso. What else?