Research into the range of tasting material was quickly concluded, as there is only one wine producer in Vietnam: Ladofoods, Dalat. A privatised former government company. Their brand name is “Vang Dalat”. “Vang” for wine can’t deny the French influence It sounds nearly like the “veng” that my French friends from the South would call that drink But that’s about where similarity ends.
They produce three major kinds of red wine: “Superior”, “Export” and “Strong WIne”.
Reading the labels showed the following astounding findings: the “export” wine is a mixture of wine made from “Cardinal” grapes – and mulberry fruits! It contains 12% alcohol. The “strong wine” contains 16% alcohol and is made from mulberry and other fruits – it does not mention any grapes nor the other fruits that participate.
The only real red wine they produce (at least according to the labels) is the “Superior”, which supposedly is a blend of Cardinal and Syrah. So, one went into the shopping bag.
After some longer searching and probing I found a bottle of “Premium” – a blend of Cabernet and Merlot.
Needless to say, that none of their wines has a specific year
OK, since I am on my own anyway I decided to leave it at these two bottles for today’s tasting.
I also made a quick detour to the market. To buy some pains and something “to soak up the alcohol”. While other people might have opted for a “ring of scampi” – I went straight for a crispy “ring of pork”…:)
…the meat looked so harmlessly little when I bought it – but once the lady started to chop it up it turned out more than I possible can integrate into the wine tasting …and the Vietnamese like their pigs to have a lot of fat! Much like Bulgarians!
I also decided on some cashew nuts – they are being produced here – and you can’t get them any fresher. In fact once you have tried these here, like fresh from the tree you don’t want to touch the dry and tasteless stuff they sell as cashew nuts in our countries:
Now the tasting has been in progress for the last two hours or so. One glass of “Premium”, some snacks, one glass of “Superior”, some snacks – and a little dozing on the bed. And again. Now it’s the third round. And the wine still has not become any better! And I can’t take any more of the fat pork! It seems there should be a somewhat bigger break this time….
…well, the wine tasting is all over now. Prematurely cancelled in favour of a cold Saigon beer and a pork noodle soup. No problem, as the jury came to an early verdict:
None of the wines is good for a professional alcoholic’s consumption.
Maybe Vietnamese should stick to their mulberry wines, lemon and strawberry liquor, and other such beauties that may appeal to the tastes of cocktail lovers. But, please, leave us professionals alone!
Now, of course, I have the usual problem of the Vietnamese lifestyle I became used to after only one month: by 7 pm you are finished with dinner – and if there is nothing to be posted on the internet you will end up in bed by 8 or 9 pm. Which makes you wait in frustration in the morning for the breakfast room of the hotel to open up at 6 or 6.30am…
Well, that’s the way it is. Can’t change it now. See you guys…