17 Sep Burčák – Czech young wine specialty
An unthinkable part of every wine harvest is “burčák”. Never heard that word before? Well, it’s young, still fermenting wine, traditionally served on every wine festival throughout the entire autumn.
How burčák is made
The process of making burčák is very simple. Freshly squeezed wine grape “cider” starts after few days its fermentation, which is an ideal time when the total amount of sugar an alcohol is “just right”. Typically it’s a sweet, low-alcohol drink (2-5%), usually made out of white wine, therefore looks like yellow, cloudy drink. Because the wine is still fermenting, burčák has to be consumed very quickly, just within one or two days after you buy it.
Due to a high amount of yeasts, burčák is rich on B vitamins. Locals tend to say that it’s beneficial for your hair, nails, skin and even nervous system (especially after drinking liter or two). Even though it tastes just like good wine lemonade, don’t forget that there is an alcohol in it – therefore there is only so much you should drink.
If you decide to get a bottle or two, just keep in mind these things:
- burčák is still fermenting (therefore producing CO2). If you tighten up the top of the bottle, burčák can easily explode after couple of hours. No kidding. And trust us – you don’t want to clean all of that mess
- The best time to consume burčák is within a day or two. As fermentation continues, amount of sugar is decreasing, leaving burčák not as tasty as before
Burčák and Czech laws
Even though burčák is not strictly a Czech thing (they make it in Slovakia and Austria as well), Czech laws define real local burčák following way:
- It must be made from grapes grown and harvested in Czech Republic only
- It can be sold from 1st of August to 30th of November
- Reducing burčák by water is strictly forbidden
So you say you never had it before? Well, than you just HAVE TO try :-) there are various wine festivals around Prague throughout September so make sure you will get it somewhere!