Wliu' is the first and last word in the drink world in both Romania and

Moldova, which each produce excellent wines (and brandies, especially in Moldova). Among the best Romanian wines are Cotnari, Murfatlar, i lilobe$ti, Tárnave and Valea Cálugáreascá. In Moldova, the big names

¡Mr < i icova, Ialoveni, Coju^na and Stra§eni. Red wines are called negru For a rundown on mil rofu, white wine is vin alb, while sec means 'dry', dulce is 'sweet' and Romanian wines, visit

•/'iiinos translates as 'sparkling'. You'll find that Romanian semisweet is http://romania-on-line

most people's idea of sweet, and dry is closer to semisweet. Wine is still .net/business/wines.htm.

■ alcgorised along the sweet-dry continuum more than by the kind of

Ijiiipe used (a legacy of the Communist era).

A common practice is to mix the sweeter wines with mineral water; I In1, idea makes connoisseurs' skin crawl - until they taste how sweet it »vi Mild be otherwise. A bottle of wine in a restaurant should cost no more than €4, and less in a wine shop or cellar (vin or vinuri) - the cheapest mil most fun way to sample local wine. The harder stuff is worth trying as well - if you're a male, you're

I mil nd to be offered this on social occasions, but beware of the wallop

II packs. Tuica is a once-filtered clear brandy made from fermented IiiiiI (the tastiest and most popular is plum Tuica), usually 30 proof. I'iilincá (called Horinca in Maramure? and Jinars in the Cluj-Napoca irgion) is similar, only it's filtered twice and is usually around 60

proof; the stuff can knock your socks off. Both of these are often made Something you might be .il home, where the resulting moonshine can either be much tastier offered as you stagger lluin the store-bought versions or much stronger and wince-inducing. out of your Romanian or

III northern Moldavia, moonshine is called samahonca, similar to the Moldovan friends' house: Kllssian word for it. labottil calului(literally

I n Northern Dobrogea, you're likely to find cafés which make a mean 'horse's mouth'). It means I urkish coffee, with a thick sludge at the bottom and a generous spoon- 'one for the road'! I ill of sugar. Unless you specifically ask, coffee and ceai (tea) are served black and with sugar. If you want it white ask for it cu lapte (with milk); without sugar, fará zahar.

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