Samobor bermet wine

Samobor bermet wine

The Samobor bermet wine is an aromatic, autochthonous wine from central Croatia which used to be made by every family in Samobor. Nowadays only a handful of winemakers still preserve this tradition in Samobor and they showcase their bermet wine at various fairs and public events. Bermet can be served as an aperitif or as a digestif, and is often included on the menu for state ceremonies.

 

Bermet is made from red grapes cultivated in the vineyards of Samobor, where the Blauer Portugieser and Blaufränkisch varieties are the most prevalent. Numerous ingredients are added to bermet wine to give it its particular flavour. This unique drink used to be prepared on an open fire by adding boiled must to the one already boiling on the fire, after which spices such as mugwort, cloves, nutmeg, liquorice, coriander or even mustard seeds were added, as well as fruit such as dried figs, carob, quinces, raisins and lemon or orange zest. Once boiled and prepared, bermet wine matures in oak barrels from harvest until Christmas day, when it is served as a dessert wine. It contains between 15 and 18 percent ABV, and has a bitter flavour due to the added mugwort and mustard seeds, but also a sweet note because of the figs, raisins and candi sugar.

 

Although many people believe that the recipe for bermet wine was introduced in these parts by Napoleon’s soldiers, church records mention bermet as a stomach cure almost half a century before the arrival of the French. Nowadays bermet wine can be bought from numerous local producers, in delicatessens and well-stocked wine shops. Apart from being served as an aperitif or digestif with dessert, bermet wine can be used in cooking to add a specific flavour to meat sauces or desserts such as sponge cakes or poached pears in wine.