15 MAY 1964, Page 13


SIR,-1 hate to carp, particularly when the writer in question is Leslie Adrian, whose column I read with great pleasure and profit. But it is said in your issue of May 1: 'Under the modern-minded Titoist regime the Yugoslays have begun to de- velop their impoverished south . . . the Yugoslays have begun the production of a beautiful full-bodied white wine, Zilavka. . . .' and goes on to name three others, Smederevka, Kavadarka and Prokupac.

I remember large quantities of all four' wines, under the names quoted by Leslie Adrian, being drunk in Belgrade in the 1930s. The favourite was Smedereieka, from Smederevo on the Danube in Serbia, where the wine producers' co-operative was an established concern before the First World War. And to go back further, there are references to red wine as distinct from water in folk poems dating back to the early fifteenth century, notably in the one called 'Kosovka Devojka', ('The Maid of Kossovo') which refers to the battle fought in, 1389.

Granted the export to England of these wines is a recent development, a natural response to the great post-war increase in wine-drinking here, but hardly their production.

16 Limerton Street, SW10