Drinks are inseparable part of the table in Bulgaria. Some claim that grapes were first cultivated for wine around the Black Sea region and that the temple of Dionysus, Greek god of wine, was in Bulgaria. True or not, Bulgaria offers many excellent wines and as a result imports few from abroad. As a traditional viticultural country, Bulgaria offers the connoisseurs superb wines - red "heavy" Cabernet, Merlo, Gumza and light white Dimyat, Misket, Riesling. Many of the wine cellars offer the tourists wine tasting from various sorts, typical for the region.
There are some excellent local grapes. Recommended Reds are: Mavrud, a heavy red from Assenovgrad; Melnik, a fruity wine high in acidity and tannin; and Gamza. Local whites are Misket and Dimyat. Wines in Bulgaria are at very reasonable prices – even the high-quality ones.
Most of Bulgaria's breweries have been acquired by foreign companies and produce a good to high quality lager beer. The most popular brews are: Astika, Kamenitsa, Zagorka, Shumensko, Bolyarka and others.
Spirits such as vodka and whisky are popular with Bulgarians along with rakia, a potent traditional drink, obligatory for "bon appetite", usually grape or plum, but it is also made from apricots, pears, and other fruits. In winter, rakia is often served hot; in summer, its drunk ice-cold, accompanied by a fresh salad. In rural areas, you'll find unforgettable home-made wine and rakia offered to you by the locals.