Santomas BIG RED tasting in CA and on TV

Tamara Glavina with Roger and Cindy at Caffe Venezia in Berkeley. This is what’s called “Just In Time Delivery”. When our guest Tamara Glavina, the wine maker of the top Slovenian winery Santomas, hopped on the plane to visit San Francisco for the first time in her life, our friends at IntoWineTV posted the video of the Santomas Big Red tasting on their web site. Then Roger and Cindy followed up with a delicious Slovenian wine maker dinner at Caffe Venezia in Berkeley. What a nice way to welcome Tamara in California. We always knew that the Santomas Big Red is a great wine but now our opinion has been confirmed by a group of expert tasters which gave it excellent ratings. Made from 100% Refosk, the Slovenian name for what Italians call Terlano and Croatians call Teran, it is easily recognizable by just looking at its deep purple color. The Big Red sports dark red cherry and black berry flavors. A good dose of acidity makes it an ideal wine to pair with many foods. But watch the show yourself and then pop a cork of this inexpensive beauty.

The Wine Century Club Turns 4!

The Wine Century Club celebrates its 4th anniversary this week. Becoming an honorary member of the exlusive Wine Century Club is easy and fun. This funky club has no membership fees, no monthly wine shipments, and no entry exams. The only requirement is that you’ll have to taste wines made from at least 100 different grape varietals. We help you to achieve this lofty goal. In our wine-web shop we offer more than three dozen different varietals, many you have never heard of and much less tasted before. Be adventurous and have some fun: Try something new today! Auxerrois – Babich – Bena – Blatina – Blaufrankisch – Bouvier – Cabernet Franc – Cabernet Sauvignon – Chardonnay – Cserszegi Fuszeres – Debejan – Debit – Frankovka – Furmint – Gamay – Gewurztraminer – Grasevina – Gruner Veltliner – Irsai Oliver – Harslevelu – Kadarka – Kekfrankos – Kerner – Kiralyleanyka – Krkosija – Krstac – Lasin – Malvasia – Marastina – Merlot – Muskat Lunel – Muskat Ottonel – Olaszrizling – Pinela – Pinot Blanc – Pinot Gris – Pinot Noir – Plavac Mali – Plavina – Posip – Refosk – Riesling – Rotgipfler – Rumeni Plavec – Saemling – … Continue reading The Wine Century Club Turns 4!

Kogl Saemling 2007 at an IntoWineTV Tasting

As seen on TV: the Kogl Mea Culpa Saemling 2007. These days wine blogs are almost passé, Twitter is on the go, Wine TV is in, and social wine sites mushroom. Witness the many new entries in this field. I was made aware of yet another social site called with a wine tasting TV section build in when its founder Brad Prescott contacted us. He was planning to produce a future segment on “Wines from Strange Places”. Well, that sounded a little better than the usual “Weird Wines of the World” so we complied and offered a selection of our wines from Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, and Croatia to be put through the ringer by an illustrious tasting panel at an equally illustrious place, namely the Incanto Restaurant in San Francisco. The first episode from this shooting has been posted and you can watch it here. It features a wine made by one of my favorite Slovenian producers, master vintner Franci Cvetko of the Kogl estate in the North-Eastern Podravje wine region. It’s a Saemling (AKA Scheurebe) mainly found in Germany in a fruity style and sometimes in Austria as a dessert wine. In the hands of Franci Cvetko it … Continue reading Kogl Saemling 2007 at an IntoWineTV Tasting

Weinrieder Extreme

Invitation to a tasting at the Weinrieder estate. Weinrieder has done it again! The Wine Enthusiast selected the Weinrieder Grüner Veltliner Alte Reben 2006 as the Editor’s Choice of the new Austrian vintage and awarded it 92 points. They also liked his Kugler Riesling 2007 with 91 points and even gave his great value wine, the Weinrieder Grüner Veltliner DAC respectable 86 points. Not bad for a wine that costs less than $15. Visit our online shop now and buy them before they are gone. Also very noteworthy, the terrific Eisweins (icewines) Weinrieder produces. If you had never tasted this specialty wine before we definitely encourage you to do so now with hisRiesling Eiswein from the Schneiderberg vineyard in Poysdorf just north of the capital Vienna. You are in for a special treat and an explosion of tropical fruit on your palate. On par with the ice wines from top Canadian producers like Inniskillin and Jackson-Triggs but much more refined and with an elegant lightness. Plus, the Weinrieder Eisweins cost a fraction less than their Canadian or German rivals.

Croatian/Slovenian Tidbits and Praise

Providence in L.A. features a number of our wines Just a few quick words about goings on in the blog world. The rather exotically-titled blog, Exile Kiss has a comprehensive nice article with even nicer photographs extolling the virtues of an IRON CHEF tasting menu at Providence restaurant in L.A. They paired our Peljesac from the Dalmatian coast with “Assorted Shellfish” of squid and mussels. Earlier this summer we were lucky enough to be invited by sommelier Drew Langley to pair our wines with the exquisite cuisine of chef Michael Cimarusti at a private cooking class. We were blown away how good the food was but equally how well the Weinrieder Kugler Riesling, the Crnko Yellow Muskat and the JURIS Pinot Noir Selection paired with it, a real pleasure for our taste buds. chef Michael Cimarusti. Also from a culinary perspective a little further south, Food GPS writes about a recent dinner at Mesa in Orange County, CA. The photos can be a bit tricky at points because they were taken with a flash, but it looks like it was a tasty meal. It appears that the meal was made even tastier by the addition of the Croatian Bibich Riserva … Continue reading Croatian/Slovenian Tidbits and Praise

Croatia is bursting on the Scene…

Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library TV tasting Zlatan Plavac. …says Gary Vaynerchuk of the Wine Library TV after tasting his first Zlatan Plavac Barrique. Gary continued all excited about this find: “This wine is sensational, downright great sensational.” Thanks for your kind words, Gary, you confirm what we and many of our customers already knew: There are excellent wines produced in Croatia today and Zlatan Plenkovic is one of the top producers in the country. For details on Gary’s excitement tune into the third part of the recent edition of the Wine Library TV, episode 553: Wine Library TV, episode 553. And if you like to encounter some really good Croatian Malvasia and Grasevina we recommend the wines made by Kozlovic and Enginji. They rock just like the Zlatan Plavac rocks. Cheers!

Palate Builder Class in Southern California

Visual Aid :} to demonstrate different taste bud sections of the human palate Under this funny title two wine professionals will offer a series of six sessions in Orange County. Both instructors are well known to us as very competent and passionate about wine. They are David Scales, owner of MAWL, a wine store in Garden Grove, CA and Blue Danube Wine’s new sales representative for Southern California, Stetson Robbins. In their promotional flyer for this innovative class they state: “Palate Builders is an in-depth, 6 week course designed to aid in your journey to identify what you like and why you like it. Our classes will help you to develop the faculties for understanding wine in a way that adds to the pleasure of buying wine, tasting it, analyzing it and sharing it with friends in a fun, casual and informative setting. Our classes will take place at various restaurants through North Orange County on Monday evenings beginning August 4th. Each class is $50 and includes a tasting of 8-10 wines. We will have special guest speakers and guest winemakers. It is strongly encouraged that you sign-up for all 6 classes in the series as they are designed as … Continue reading Palate Builder Class in Southern California

Insiders Wine Tour to Slovenia

a guided tour through Slovenia’s wine regions – Vipava Valley This blog entry is a shameless plug for a guided tour through Slovenia’s wine regions, commencing on October 10 to 18 or on a second date, November 7 to 15, 2008. Insider’s Slovenia If you have never been to Slovenia this is your chance to visit her vineyards in style. Just take a look at this gorgeous brochure and you’ll see that Slovenia could be considered the Promised Land – if not of milk and honey then of excellent wine and gourmet food. This tour is not cheap but worth it if you can shell out $7,380 PLUS airfare. At least you don’t have to bring some change to buy a glass of wine. Enjoy your trip! Let me just add that I had the good fortune to travel through Slovenia’s wine country with Emil Gaspari, our importer friend and owner of Slovenian Premium Wines. Emil knows and loves his home country and he was a superb guide to the estates of his portfolio. What a pleasant and informative way to get to know the wine makers and their terroir.

SLO and CRO wines on the air in L.A.

George at Silverlake Wine Wine expert and co-owner George Cossette of Silverlake Wine in Hollywood decants Croatian and Slovenian wines from the Adriatic region for L.A. radio station KCRW. The station aired an interview with him in the show “Good Food” hosted by Evan Kleiman. You can listen to the entire show at the KCRW web site or download the interview only (5MB) as an mp3 file here. Croatian & Slovenian bottles During a recent Sunday wine tasting, George featured these unique wines in his store and sold almost every bottle in stock. Here is the good news: Silverlake Wine has all these nice wines back in stock. So come on down…

Blue Danube Wine Co Shows off its New Wines

A pour for a guest ready to take notes. Last Monday on November 12th, we hosted a private tasting event for the trade of all our new arrivals. Frank with wines. This is a fun time for us because it allows us to share the wines that we’ve carefully selected to import for the first time with our colleagues in the trade and the media. This event was particularly enjoyable because we had new wines from all areas that Blue Danube Wine Company imports including: Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, and Montenegro. The well known Bacar Restaurant and Wine Salon provided a most suitable setting for this tasting event. This restaurant in the heart of SOMA in San Francisco is hip and modern, yet at the same time inviting and warm; a perfect place for sipping exciting new wines amongst others who love wine. Joining us for the invited tasting were the wine buyers and sommeliers of local wine shops, restaurants and wine bars as well as wine writers and critics. Checking the list It was great to see such a diverse crowd because everyone tasted the wines differently and they’re all looking for something unique to match whatever exciting plans … Continue reading Blue Danube Wine Co Shows off its New Wines