Hungarian Heritage Month at Maximilians

A full program during the month of November. It is our pleasure to announce that the one and only Hungarian restaurant in Los Angeles, Maximilian’s is celebrating the Hungarian Heritage Month in November. There will be a series of cultural events, dances and music, special menus, and of course: Hungarian wines. Please see Maximilian’s web site for more information. We invite all of you to a special tasting event with a superlative line-up of wines at Maximilian’s on Sunday, November 28th from 2 to 5pm. On this day we will present for the first time our new arrivals from Hungary. We are convinced that our Hungarian portfolio has never been better and is really showcasing what this ancient wine country has to offer: Taste with us the first organic Kekfrankos made by the Pfneiszl sister. Another premier in the U.S. is the spicy Kadarka from Eszterbauer in Szekszard. From the red wine paradise Villany we’ll pour wines from wine maker super star Attila Gere, including his famous KOPAR. And from Tokaj we’ll bring the dry and sweet wines from top estate Patricius. These fine wines will please everybody and they demonstrate that quality wine production is back and alive in … Continue reading Hungarian Heritage Month at Maximilians

25 Grapes and Portfolilo Tastings in San Diego

Portfolio for the trade – 25 Grapes for consumers. We are very happy to bring our wines after San Francsico and Los Angeles, now to San Diego. Together with our friends from Vinos Unico who are importing Spanish and Portuguese wines we are inviting you to two tasting events on Monday, October 25th at 3rd Corner Wine Shop and Bistro. The first one from 2 to 4pm is called ‘Portfolio’ and is addressed to the trade. The second one is open to the public from 5 to 7pm. We call it ’25 Grapes you have never tasted before.’ You are invited to explore with us new and exciting grapes with unique tasty flavors. Both events are not to be missed. We are looking forward to see you there.

LOU on Vine: Gastronomic Culture both Foreign and Domestic

Lou loves 3 Liter Batič. One of our early supporters, Lou Amdur of LOU on Vine has always been one of my favorite people to work with. His love of wine and food extends far beyond his sensitive nose, palate. Tasting with Lou is more history, science, farming and people than strawberries and tannins. As a space LOU is intimate, slightly psychedelic and smells good, it attracts a whole host of interesting food and wine affiliated individuals oftentimes to dine and sometimes to host events. Coincidentally “A Feast for Ed Behr” editor of “The Art of Eating” was to be held the same day as our follow up tasting of all of the Croatian samples from our trip this summer with our partners Empty Glass. All of us really wanted to go to the Ed Behr dinner; the guy is kind of a legend. Thankfully Lou offered to let us hold the tasting there before hand so that we could. In 3 hours we tasted 60 wines that ranged from international varietals produced in a global style to obscurities like the white grape Gegic. Lou tasted most everything and at the same time readied the restaurant for the dinner, wrote … Continue reading LOU on Vine: Gastronomic Culture both Foreign and Domestic

Tasting event at Seasons

Mike Dunne’s Blog: A Year in Wine. Our friend Tamas Torok recently hosted an extended sit-down tasting at his restaurant Seasons in Davis, CA. We designed a flight showcasing Hungary’s best white, red, and sweet wines. Well known wine connoisseur Darrell Corti of Corti Brothers in Sacramento attended together with Mike Dunne, the Sacramento Bee’s former wine and food editor. Read Mike’s article From Hungary, Diversity and Quality. The stars of the tasting were Tokaj’s classic grapes: Furmint, Harslevelu, Yellow Muscat from Patricius and Zoltan Demeter in their dry & Aszu styles. Medium bodied reds made from native grapes paired well with home-made Hungarian food: Gere Portugieser and Pfneiszl Kekfrankos.

Experiencing Texture and Flavor at BREADBAR

BREADBAR Hatchi Series features two Blue Danube Wines The BREADBAR Hatchi Series Wine Dinner event was packed! There was literally a “club line” at the reception stand that was about 30 people deep. To see so many people at a mall for an 8 course meal was both surreal and welcoming. BREADBAR Century City regularly hosts a series of dinners that feature guest chefs and sommeliers. This evening, the dinner was managed and featured Chef Michael Voltaggio, the Chef de Cuisine at The Dining Room At The Langham, and a Bravo TV 2009 “Top Chef Las Vegas” Contestant. The beverages were managed by David Haskell, formerly of Bin 8945 Wine Bar. Chef Michael Voltaggio.Photo courtesy of LA.Eater.com David included two of of Blue Danube Wine Company’s Croatian wines in his varied and textural selection. Take a look at the menu pictured above and the food pictured below. From bubbles to beer, to Sherry to Croatia, the libations that David selected reinforced the whole texture and flavor theme. An audible favorite of the night was the Japanese tomato tartare and 2006 Križevci Winery Graševina. This wine works so well with higher acid vegetable dishes containing plenty of fresh herbs. Here, the … Continue reading Experiencing Texture and Flavor at BREADBAR

Albona: San Franciscos Istrian Restaurant

The potato gnocchi, which are a good deal different that what you might be used to. When it comes to Italian restaurants in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood, the choices are nearly endless. When it comes to Italian restaurants in the area that are actually good, the list tightens up a great deal. So enters Albona, which is best described as the Italian restaurant in North Beach that is pretty much not Italian nor in North Beach. A simpler way to say that is to call it an Istrian restaurant. The menu Istria is a peninsula that sticks off the far western corner of Croatia. This wasn’t always the case as the region has been under flags of Venice, Italy, and even France for a spell. This is reflected in the cuisine a great deal. While it’s easy to call it “Italian-esque” and leave it at that, this would do a heavy disservice to what makes the food unique. It’s a crossroads of Central European, Mediterranean, and Slavic foods and you taste that with every bite. Take for instance the strudel. Yes, that’s right, a strudel. Try and find that on an Italian menu! This dish which is oft considered … Continue reading Albona: San Franciscos Istrian Restaurant

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.

Bibich Riserva 2006: Its tasty, says IntoWineTV

IntoWine is a nice, review show for wine that is based in San Francisco. They have a good tendency to pick different wines for review on the web-based episodes. This naturally means that they pick up on a Croatian wine here and there. Recently they reviewed the 2006 Bibich Riserva. It’s a wine that I personally love and was happy to see it get some good press. The reviewers all gave it favorable marks. For some reason, they picked up on the oak of the wine a great deal, which is surprising as I’ve never found it all that oaky, but hey, they’re professionals, so maybe there’s a nuance I’ve been missing or I need to have a glass of the 2006 again. You can also try it for yourself to see what you think. It should be noted that in what Broadbent said, the third grape in the wine actually isn’t Bibich, but Babich. It’s a small detail, but the first is Alen Bibich’s family/winery name and the later is a common varietal grown in the Northern Dalmatia region.

A Taste of Slovenia at CAV

The tasting menu and apparently a complimentary pen. Last Saturday, CAV hosted a tasting of Slovenian wines. Enjoying at the bar Naturally, such a tasting wouldn’t be proper without Frank Dietrich from Blue Danube Wine in attendance to point out the various facets of the extremely long list of wines. In case you missed it, stay up to date at the News & Events section on this site as well as my twits that I write about wines and events in San Francisco. And what it list it was, drifting from whites to reds, to desserts. It showed that not only is Emil able to somehow talk these very small producers in to exporting, but also that Slovenia is really producing a great wealth of wines these days. Starting with such wines as the Guerila Pinela those in attendance wandered in to the Batič Cabernet Franc and Batič Rosso 2005 (which I hadn’t tasted previously, but found to be one of my new favorite vintages). Batič at the ready Then it was off to the bolder reds such as Santomas Big Red and Santomas Antonius to experience the great, full-bodied Refošk that the Slovenes on the coast are producing. Closing … Continue reading A Taste of Slovenia at CAV

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