Serbia, grapes and wine

Tamjanika grape

Tamjanika or Temjanika grape variety has a rumored relation to famous French grape variety Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains. While that relation has neither been affirmed nor disproven, it is interesting to note the grape’s etymology. Tamjan is a Slavic word for “frankincense”. This name was applied to the grape as the resulting wines displayed a spicy, piquant nose.

This second oldest local variety is originated from Southern France in the Middle Ages but has been grown in Serbia for over half a millenia.  The fruit of the grape is known for both its heavy, sweet smell, which can be sensed from hundreds of meters away, and the rich, fruity white wines that it yields.  It has characteristic Muscat notes of cinnamon, basil, pineapple and strawberry. Berries are small, yellow, almost perfect balls. It ripens in mid-October.

From the fruit of Tamjanika on the market you can find mainly a white wine. There is also the very exclusive red wine made from the Tamjanika sort. The Black Tamjanika is a rare, smooth wine of particularly harmonized and strong taste. A real treat should you come across it. This happened to be the favorite wine of the late leader of the former Yugoslavia, Tito himself.

Black Tamjanika is a rarity, but of exceptional quality. Most who has ever tasted Tamjanika, the wine has become a favorite wine. If Prokupac is the King of region, then surely Tamjanika is his Queen.

It goes nicely with fish and seafood, especially with cakes of walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds.