An Uncertain Future for the World’s Most Iconic Sweet Wines

Is there a future for traditional sweet wines as global taste changes? Zachary Sussman explores the “uncertain” future for the world’s famous sweet wines, like Hungary’s Tokaji Aszú, in this article for Punch. Ironically, the examples that have fallen the furthest out of fashion—basically, port, Sauternes and Tokaji—were once revered as the coveted darlings of kings and counts and royal courts. It was by virtue of their sweetness, in fact, that they first gained international fame. Not only did high sugar contents prevent spoilage during the days before refrigeration, allowing wines to enter the export market as global commodities, but sugar also enjoyed luxury status at the time: The kind of intense sweetness found in a bottle of port or Tokaji was inseparable from its aura of aristocratic splendor….What’s next? Faced with declining sales and a wine culture that increasingly prizes the savory, the saline and the mineral, will these regions take the necessary steps to remain relevant? Or are they destined to survive as mere museum pieces? Our own Stetson Robbins weighs in on the shift away from traditional wine styles in Tokaj: Even at the sweetest levels, producers in Tokaji are moving towards a brighter, modern style. Hopefully, … Continue reading An Uncertain Future for the World’s Most Iconic Sweet Wines

Forget Red, White, and Rosé—Orange Wine Is What You Should Be Sipping This Fall

Fashion alert! “Orange” wine is in for fall says Carson Demmond for Vogue Magazine. Five years ago marked the entrance of “orange wine”—an obscure category that has stirred some very vocal proponents and riled some very vocal detractors—into the international wine scene. Though the style has been produced for quite some time, the “orange” description was purportedly coined in 2004 by a U.K.-based wine importer who encountered a bottle in winemaker Frank Cornelissen’s cellar in Sicily. It refers to certain white wines (yes, they’re made from white grapes) that fall somewhere on the color spectrum of fall foliage. Their flavors also have great autumnal appeal, since many can be downright and broodingly earthy. This style of winemaking, which involves extended periods of skin maceration, is very traditional in some countries like Slovenia and the Republic of Georgia. The article suggests a few must try wines for fall, including one from Kabaj, a winery we have worked with for some time now. 2011 Kabaj Rebula Goriška Brda, Slovenia Since very little has been written on the ancient methods, Kabaj’s winemaker—Jean-Michel Morel—opted to study at a Georgian monastery to fine-tune his craft. This rebula (the Slovenian name for Italy’s ribolla) ferments with … Continue reading Forget Red, White, and Rosé—Orange Wine Is What You Should Be Sipping This Fall

A Danubian Thanksgiving

In preparation for this year’s holiday we have shared our favorite wines sourced from along the Danube river to enhance your celebrations. All of these wines are distinct in their own way but sure to pair beautifully with everything on your holiday table 2011 Kabaj Rebula $26.95 I first learned of the significance of cranberry sauce to the Thanksgiving table while skating on frozen cranberry bogs in Massachusetts with my then young children. I’ve since traded the bogs for the backyard orange trees of California. The best cranberry sauce is a simple and quick relish made with fresh cranberries, freshly-squeezed orange juice, peels, and sugar. No wonder the orange Kabaj Rebula wine from Slovenia pairs so well with that dish! Falling somewhere between a white and red, the wine has intense tannins contrasting with a funky, spicy orange-blossom aroma. It has excellent minerality, and a very enjoyable rich long finish. No need to switch to red for me. This wine is a perfect match for the Thanksgiving table for the recognized 100 Top Winery of 2015!” — Eugénie Cabot 2014 Martinčič Cviček $14.95 In the interest of eating and drinking for as long as possible on Thanksgiving, Cviček (Tsvee-check) is … Continue reading A Danubian Thanksgiving

Champagne’s Cooler Cousin: 5 Pét-Nat Sparkling Wines to Try Now

Vogue magazine knows that pét-nat is so hot right now. See this recent article by Kristin Tice Studeman on “Champagne’s Cooler Cousin”. So what is pét-nat exactly? It’s a natural sparkling wine, made from red or white grapes, bottled during the primary fermentation process. This means the wine reflects the natural sugars from the grapes and the native yeasts, so the result can vary quite a bit…In short, pét-nat is a whole lot of fun because you never quite know exactly what you are going to get, except that it will be light, effervescent, and easy drinking (it is typically low in alcohol). One of the five recommended pét-nats to try now, according to restaurateur Joe Carroll, is Štoka Bela (Vitovska) Peneče from Slovenia: “I think that’s one of my favorite wine regions in the world; they are doing some very exciting things right now,” says Carroll of Slovenia. This particular wine, from the Štoka Winery in Kras (near the Slovenian-Italian border), comes from an iron-rich terroir. The resulting wine is a little more acidic and high in minerality than most of the pét-nats on this list. Overall, its also one of the more straightforward offerings here.” Read the whole … Continue reading Champagne’s Cooler Cousin: 5 Pét-Nat Sparkling Wines to Try Now

Bibich R5 as reviewed by Nenad Trifunović

The Bibich Winery is located in the hills of Skradin, 5 miles east of the idyllic port city of Šibenik, along Croatia’s island speckled coast. Across the Adriatic from Italy, it is roughly in line with the wine hills of Tuscany. With a focus on indigenous varietals as well as international ones, the Bibich winery produces a range of fine wines for every palate or mood. Nenad Trifunović, founder of Wine Drinker Journal, has generously shared his recent review of Bibich R5 2012 with us. His description will surely peak your interest in this unique white blend. Bibich, R5, 2012 Wood & Herbs in all`antica (the manner of the ancients) style… Dry structure with firm, grippy tannins on the palate. At the same time, the wine is juicy, at a perfectly drinkable 13% alc with acidity as smooth as silk. A crazy dance of fresh fruit (some quince and apricot) and exotic spices interconnected by oxidative character. Its hard to tell if you are in the fanciest restaurant imaginable or in a genuine Dalmatian “konoba” (traditional restaurant) at the start of the century. Unthinkable combination of flavors and yet they come together so very naturally, like sea salt and olive … Continue reading Bibich R5 as reviewed by Nenad Trifunović

Piquentum Blanc 2013 & 2014: A review by Nenad Trifunović

Ever wondered about the distinctive characteristics of Malvasia from Istria, Croatia? Respected Croatian wine writer Nenad Trifunović explains what to appreciate from the varietal, why Piquentum Blanc is one of his favorite examples, and the key differences between the last two vintages. Piquentum, Blanc 2014 vs. Piquentum, Blanc 2013 Soft aromas on the nose with gentle acacia and light, very mild oxidative hints from un-typical Malvasia Istriana, a clone of the varietal that is quite different from others. Different from dominant styles, Dimitri Brečević always tries to present the native and true character of Malvasia Istriana. Despite the fact that 2014 was an extremely difficult vintage, this wine shatters expectations. Although the fruity Malvasia Istriana wines can be drunk upon release, the wines benefit from a little aging to allow the bracing acidity to integrate completely. That being said, the 2014 is still green and raw in comparison to 2013. However, both wines are on the same track. The 2013 vintage exhibits the calm, supple side of Malvasia consistent with Dimitri Brečević’s sensibility. Persistent on the palate with a high level of extraction. Such beautiful simplicity makes a man wonder why not all Malvasia Istriana`s aren`t like this. Of course, … Continue reading Piquentum Blanc 2013 & 2014: A review by Nenad Trifunović

Eszterbauer Kadarka Sogor – Reviews About Wines at its Best

The Eszterbauer family has farmed the chalk and loess hills of Szekszard since 1746. “Sogor” is Hungarian for brother-in-law and is so named for the close relationship between the two that existed in this family. Michael Zeebroek, who’s goal it is to “get the world to respect Hungarian wines”, recently reviewed this wine for his personal blog. This wine is almost close to perfection for me. It has class, elegance and style. The wine is in the budget range but could easily be worth double it’s price. Read the whole review here. We cannot agree more! Purchase a bottle to experience perfection for yourself: https://www.bluedanubewine.com/wine/615/

Kabaj is a Wine & Spirits Top 100 Winery 2015

Wine & Spirits Magazine has listed Kabaj in Goriška Brda, Slovenia one of the Top 100 Wineries in the world for 2015, an honor the winery also received in 2013. We hope that you will try a few of winemaker Jean-Michel Morel’s wines for yourself and join us at one of the events planned during his visit! Meet Jean-Michel Morel in LA, SF, NY October 17 2015: Lou Wine Shop & Tastings 1911 Hillhurst Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90027 Saturday, 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm October 18 2015: Silverlake Wine 2395 Glendale Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90039 Sunday, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm October 20 2015: Wine & Spirits Top 100 Tasting City View At Metreon, 135 4TH ST, San Francisco, CA 94103 Tuesday, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm October 21 2015: Wine Dinner at SPQR 1911 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115 Wednesday — call (415) 771-7779 for reservation October 24 2015: Tasting at Dandelion Wine 153 Franklin St, Brooklyn, NY 11222 Saturday — Time to be determined October 25 2015: Hudson Wine Merchants 41 Warren St, Hudson, NY 12534 Sunday, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm October 26 2015: Producer Night with Kabaj at The Ten Bells 247 Broome St, … Continue reading Kabaj is a Wine & Spirits Top 100 Winery 2015

Introducing Club Vino Danubia

Perhaps you have heard the expression “Ask and you shall receive”? Over the years, many of you have asked us for a wine club or a way to save on ever increasing shipping costs. Well, we are excited to announce that we have an answer to your requests: Club Vino Danubia! The main benefit of the club is free UPS Ground shipping on all orders of a multiple of 6 bottles. That means you can stock up without worrying about any extra shipping fees! There are so many other advantages to becoming a member: pre-sale offering of new wines, an exclusive newsletter with special offers and pairing suggestions, as well as special wine consulting assistance. We invite you to join today for the low annual fee of $49. If you order just twice a year, the membership practically pays for itself. Join now by clicking here. After signing up, take advantage of your membership and purchase one of our 6-pack Danubia samplers. This 6-Bottle sampler includes three whites: the 2014 Bernreiter Grüner Veltliner from Austria, the 2013 Brkić Čitlučka Žilavka from Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the 2014 Gere Olaszrizling from Hungary, and three reds: the 2012 Dingač Pelješac from Croatia, the 2013 … Continue reading Introducing Club Vino Danubia

Chill out with Črnko Jareninčan

TheStreet lists Črnko Jareninčan in their top 10 wines to “Chill out in August” with, written by David Marcus. Silvio Črnko says in this video (see below) that he drinks his Jarenincan white blend every day, and who can blame the man from Stajerska, Slovenia, just across the border from Austria? A blend of several white grapes, it has a charming nose of flowers and orange peel and a nice crispness on the palate. You’ll enjoy it so much that you won’t worry about what to pair it with. See the full list here. We are currently sold out of this wine in our webstore but more will be coming!