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Amb. Andonov of Bulgaria hosts Bulgarian wine party

Introducing famed Telish wines of Bulgaria

Ambassador Petar Andonov of the Republic of Bulgaria in Seoul hosted a Bulgarian Wine-tasting Party at his Embassy in Hannam-dong, Seoul on the evening of April 16, 2014 with the attendance of many Korean business leaders, civic figures and media representatives and reporters?as well as fellow diplomats, including Ambassador and Mrs. Nikoloz Apkhazava of Georgia.

Ambassador Petar Andonov of Bulgaria (right) toasts with Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post.

Among other guests in attendance were CEO Jair Agoplan of Telish Jsco, Chairman Hyun-Yul Choi of the Korea-Bulgaria Economic Cooperation Committee of the Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry, President Cho Hyun-Choi of Korea-Bulgaria Friendship Association, Counsellor Boyko Godev of the Bulgarian Embassy in Seoul (head of the Commercial and Economic Office) and Director Kim Wonhoi of the General Affairs Department of the Korean Association of Slavic Studies. Among the media representatives was Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post.

From left, Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post, Ambassador Nikoloz Apkhazava of Georgia, Interpreter Otar Berejiani and Mrs. Apkhazava.

There was a line-up of 17 premium wines of Bulgaria on a long table at the entrance of the reception room which had a taste and variety of special features different from one another. Introducing the wines of Bulgaria, CEO Agoplan of Telish Jsco said that there were 15 more representative wines of Romania in addition to the 17 mentioned above.
On the opposite side of the wine table were a fine spread of mouth-watering traditional Bulgarian delicacies and fresh fruits, which went remarkably well with the wines. Little wonder, the foods were consumed substantially the guests who took them and wine with a gusto.

Ambassador Petar Andonov of Bulgaria (fourth from left), CEO Jair Agopian of Telish Jsco (second from right) pose for camera with Chairman Hyun Yul Choi of Korea-Bulgaria Cooperation Committee (right) and Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post (second from left).

Presently, Ambassador Andonov spoke to the guests in a welcome speech, which he began with a silent prayer for the victims of the most unfortunate sinking of the Sewol-Ho Ferry Ship with 400 passengers on board (mostly students of the Ansan Danwon Highschool), of whom six died and 190 went missing.
Following the considerate silence, Ambassador Andonov said: “Wine production has over a thousand year-long tradition in Bulgaria with the ancient Thracians who used wine as an important part of their religious rituals and as a means for communication with their gods. Wine is an integral part of the history of Bulgaria, which is also very much a part of Bulgarian culture, customs and spirit.” (See excerpts from his speech at the end of this Article.)
The guests asked CEO Agoplan to introduce the particular features of some of the wine bottles on display, whereupon he gave a briefly explanations on the commonly circulated bottle named Castra Rubra which was in the original price of about 15,000 won. Some of the Korean guests said that the price would rise to about 50,000 won in the process of distribution and at deluxe hotels a bottle of that wine would cost somewhere around several hundred thousand won.

A lineup of premium Bulgarian wines at the Bulgarian wine-tasting party at the Embassy of Bulgaria in Seoul

Asked on the most popular brand, CEO Agoplan cited Nimbus Pinot Noir Premium, Himbus Syrah Premium and Buttefly’s Rock Red Wine.
Nimbus Pinot Noir Premium (red bio wine) 100% Pinot Noir: Bright ruby in color, typical for the variety. The nose is juicy, subtle, with jammy character of wild strawberry, mocca, sweet cream and vanilla. The second impression is with noble earthy and meaty tones, black olives. Splendid structure: full body with velvet tannins and fresh wild fruits in the long, grainy, impressive finish. Wine with a distinguish potential for aging.
Nimbus Syrah Premium (red bio wine) 100% Syrah: The color is very intensive inky. Subtle, complex nose with notes of chocolate and blackberry pie with cinnamon. Satin tannins, full body and excellent ripe fruits flavor. Attractive, jiicy finish with long aftertaste of black berries, plums and dark chocolate.
Castra Rubra(red wine) 15% Cabernet Franc + 25% Cabernet Sauvigon + 60% Merlot: Beautiful, intensive dark red color with soft garnet nuances. Classy and attractive nose: multilayered aromas ? ripe black berries, mocha caf?, vanilla, eucalyptus, leather and sweet spices.
Lavish, full body with excellent tannic structure and fruity freshness. The finish is long, grainy, fresh and balanced. The wine has remarkable aging potential (5-10 years)
Offering a toast with the guests, Chairman Choi of the Korea-Bulgaria Economic Cooperation Committee said that Korean consumers mostly asked for wines from Italy, France, Chile and some other countries who have done public relations activities but that it was about time Koreans did some justice to the excellent wines of Bulgaria, which had such a wonderful tradition as well as taste and other outstanding features.
Professor Kim Wonhoi performed the role of an interpreter together with a Bulgarian interpreter, who obviously did their job excellently as the interpretations really made sense unlike those on some other occasions. Some guests said that they merited a nice comment for the job well done.

Ambassador Petar Andonov of Bulgaria in Seoul (third from left, foreground), CEO Jair Agoplan of Telish Jsco of Bulgaria (second from right), Chairman Hyun Yul Choi of Korea-Bulgaria Cooperation Committee (second from left) and Chain Wine Manager Louis Kong of Lotte Hotel (left) examine Bulgarian wines.

First of all, I would like to thank all of you who have come here tonight to our Bulgarian wine tasting party. We will introduce to you the products of the famous Telish Bulgarian winery.
Telish winery was built in the late 1960s but its new history began in 1999 when Mr. Jair Agopian obtained the winery from the state and set a completely new and very successful business model for it. The winery became a leader in introducing a number of innovations in this industry in the name of the customers’ satisfaction.
The Telish winery has participated in many international wine exhibitions proving its quality and taste worldwide. I would recall its successful participation in FOODEX exhibition in Japan in 2001 when I was ambassador there. The wines of Telish can be found in more than 15 countries, on three continents in the world. Telish winery is also among the leaders in the creation of the new image of Bulgarian wines with its management working hard for their continuous improvement.
That is the reason why I am very happy that with tonight’s wine tasting party and its participation again in the Seoul International Wines & Spirits Expo in the next three days Telish winery is re-entering the wine market of South Korea. I will not deny my ambition to let Korean people know more about the qualities of the Bulgarian wines because I am sure they will like it.
I would like also to use this opportunity to thank Mr. Mihal Ashminov, Mr. Philip Ashminov and Mr. Vassil Terziyski from Zelen Bulgarian Restaurant in Seoul not only for preparing delicious dishes of Bulgarian cuisine for tonight’s Telish wine-tasting party, but also for being such successful ambassadors of Bulgarian food culture in Korea
.
The wine is perceived mostly as a pleasure for the senses. I hope you will enjoy this evening of Bulgarian wine and cuisine and that you will carry with you good memories and positive emotions from this event!

이경식 기자  edt@koreapost.com

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