czech wine?

Feb 12th, 2004, 10:40 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22
czech wine?

hey friends-
i don't drink and i know very little about
wine but i would like to bring my friends
a couple of bottles back from the czech republic as souvenirs...any suggestions?
...preferably in the 7-20 euro range...i'm
looking for something that may not be available in the states

and what kind of hoops should i expect to
have to jump through in customs?

thank ya kindly
otis is offline  
Feb 12th, 2004, 11:04 AM
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I know a lot of wines, but none from the Czech Republic. What's really good over there is the beer - Czechs invented Pilsner and still make some of the best.

I don't know if it's still made (because A-B may have bought up the name) but Czechoslovakia - or whatever it was at the time - was where the original Budweiser was brewed. Adolphus Busch got the idea for brewing a pilsner-like beer in the US and stole the name. A couple cans of Czech Budweiser would make a unique gift.

FlyFish is offline  
Feb 12th, 2004, 11:52 AM
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the czech "champagne" and whites are very nice - they still need to work on their reds
marktynernyc is offline  
Feb 12th, 2004, 01:11 PM
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We had an excellent bottle of czech red wine in the Zahrada v Opere restaurant in Prague in January (sorry I can't remember the name!) The problem we encountered was that although we visited about 4 wine shops we couldn't find the same wine anywhere. Apparently alot of wine is sold directly to restaurants and we couldn't find it retail.
welltraveledbrit is offline  
Feb 12th, 2004, 01:25 PM
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Real Budweiser is indeed still brewed in Ceske Budejovice (which I may have not quite got right), and has NOT been bought by AB.

It's sold in all countries that take beer seriously, either as Budweiser (because they had the name first) or Budvar. In spite of AB's attempt to get the real product to change its name, it's widely available in
most of Europe

It conforms to the Reinheitsgebot. So it has a taste, and consists of more than water and gas.

And yes. It's odd to take Czech wine (which is at best OK) home, and ignore Czech beer (which is one of the glories of the world).

Take real Budweiser home. Strike a blow for proper beer.
flanneruk is offline  
Feb 12th, 2004, 01:52 PM
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I don't think I"m that picky, but I really really did not like Czech wine. After one taste (of some restaurant house Czech wine), I switched to Spanish when I was there, as cheaper Spanish red wine seemed fairly available. Bring them back some crystal wineglasses for dirt cheap instead, if they are into wine and that's why you are thinking of that. You can get a couple crystal wineglasses for your price range (I paid about 4-5 euro each). No hoops to jump through, either.
Christina is offline  
Feb 12th, 2004, 01:54 PM
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flanneruk - Thanks for the info, that's good news indeed. I'm going to be in France in couple weeks and I think invest a bit of time in tracking down some real Budweiser.
FlyFish is offline  
Feb 12th, 2004, 01:55 PM
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thanks for the input-
i should have pointed out that this
is my fourth trip to the czech republic
and i planned to take back some girlfriend is a wine drinker
so i figured i'd try to suprise her

i really like the idea of buying things
that are not sold sounds
very indigenous to the area

does anyone have any thoughts on
what i should expect at customs?...can
i bring booze back to america?...will
i have to pay a fee to the folks
at customs?...

thanks again
otis is offline  
Feb 12th, 2004, 01:55 PM
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Budvar and Pilsner Urquele are the names to know when it comes to Czech beverages. They are among the premium beers in the world as noted by other posters here. Skip the wine, unremarkable at best.

Bring back wine glasses. The Czech Republic has some of the most highly skilled glass craftsmen in the world producing great cut stemware and the prices are just as beautiful. We brought back wine and champagne glasses. They last for years -- until you're ready to throw them in the fireplace when you break the bank at Monte Carlo.

hopscotch is offline  
Feb 12th, 2004, 02:28 PM
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Go for the Gusto -- er, Beer. It's the best.

You'd be surprised how much of the glassware in Venice is Czech and not Murano.
metlc is offline  
Feb 12th, 2004, 04:08 PM
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otis - As with so many other things that involve government, there's no simple answer to your question. It depends in part on what state you clear customs in. If you go to the US Customs web site and click on the "FAQ" that'll get you started:

That said, my experience and that of others has been that you can bring back quite a few bottles of wine before anyone will bother you for the duty. My own record is a measly 6 bottles, but I have friends who have waltzed through customs with a case or more. Even if you end up having to pay, it won't be all that much.
FlyFish is offline  
Feb 12th, 2004, 04:20 PM
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In Czech Republic I have enjoyed drinking the red wine made from the Frankovka grape.

Here are a couple of links:
And one I wrote in 1997:
sfowler is offline  
Feb 12th, 2004, 04:27 PM
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Budvar is sold here in the states under Czechvar. Trader Joe's has it for 6.99 a six pack. A bit more expensive than the 50 cents a liter you pay in the CR, but you get that. I've got 5 sitting in my fridge right now.

I agree...Czech wine isn't exactly up there, especially in the red category. Beer is the way to go.

As for booze, you can bring 2 liters (don't quote me on that) into the country duty free. I just came back from Australia where I bought 12 bottles of wine back. The lady at the winery told me 2 liters duty free and 36 cents tax on every liter after that. We checked and it was 31 cents a liter, so I bought a bit and brought it back. I declared it at customs and they just nodded and let me through. I was told that they probably would not make me pay 3 dollars in duty, and indeed they did not.

Honesty is the best policy, but I really had no choice...kind of hard to hide a case of wine!
crazymina is offline  
Feb 12th, 2004, 06:04 PM
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Try Bercherovka, a Czech, secret recipe aperitif made of minerals and about 30% alcohol. We had it in an old world restaurant in Prague and have been buying it ever since. It was recommended by the waiter, an older gentleman who said it was an ancient Czech drink. They mix it with tonic water and a sqeeze of lime. Tastes something like bitters in tonic water, but, of course, more alcoholic.
joegri is offline  
Feb 12th, 2004, 06:25 PM
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Czech Pilsner is readily available in the States. You might want to do some investigating in the Czech Republic, and maybe come back with more unusual beers, such a their dark beer with a 10% alcohol content.
Michael is online now  
Feb 12th, 2004, 06:27 PM
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joegri, you can drink it straight too...which I like. But it can pack a mean punch!!
crazymina is offline  
Feb 12th, 2004, 11:23 PM
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Re: wine - you'll have a hard time to find good Czech wine, but you finally can succeed. I am fortunate to have a good Czech friend, whose uncle is a winegrower there.

I agree with a previous poster that the wine made of "Blaufränkisch" grapes is the best. Very Austrian-like. Try to get a bottle from Velke Pavlovice in Moravia. Btw, they are much cheaper than 7 - 20 Euro.

Ingo is offline  
Feb 13th, 2004, 07:08 AM
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thanks to everyone for the
info...i think that i'll
grab a couple bottles of
the blaufränkisch stuff
otis is offline  

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