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.

Good Words on Slovenian Wines

One of the best wine blogs on the net. Alder over at Vinography just wrote a great article summing up the merits of a number of the Slovenian wines we carry. Some of his favorites included, 2005 Kogl “Mea Culpa”, 1999 Batić Reserve Pinot Gris, and 2004 Batić Pinot Gris Riserva. He went on to elicit, “Any wine lover who enjoys white wines I strongly urge to seek out some Slovenian wine and give it a try.” Don’t take our word for it though and read his entire article. It’s a great summation of the Slovenian wine industry and the very high quality wines that they are producing and we are happy to import. Probably the only thing we’d add is that Slovenian is not just about the whites. There are a great many reds that we feel warrant a lingering, enjoyable tasting.

2008 American Wine Blog Winners Announced

Two of the American Wine Blog Award winners Winners of the second annual American Wine Blog Awards were announced yesterday by Tom Wark who writes the wine blog Fermentation and who started them two years ago to give recognition to dedicated wine bloggers and stimulate new ones to start. Among the winners we found one of our favourite wine blogs, San Francisco’s acclaimed Vinography by Alder Yarrow, who won the awards for best overall wine blog and best wine blog writing. Not only is Vinography an excellent source of information and inspiration on restaurants and wine bars in San Francisco, but he has also reviewed several Austrian and Slovenian wines in the past, as well as one of our favourite Croatia whites, Bibich’s Debit. We strongly suspect that he’s been getting more into Croatian and Slovenian wines lately, since he celebrated the award with a bottle of Malvazija from Koper (perhaps by Santomas?). Other winners of the American Wine Blog Awards included Good Wine Under $20 (best wine review blog and best single subject blog), Tablas Creek (best winery blog), The Wine Collector (best wine business blog), Chateau Petrogasm (best wine blog graphics), and Grape Radio (best wine podcast/video blog). … Continue reading 2008 American Wine Blog Winners Announced

Slovenia? Wild, wild wines

The article in the Los Angeles Times. Yesterday’s article by Corie Brown in the L.A. Times, From Slovenia? Wild, wild wines speaks enthusiastically of wines from Slovenia, a region that “is getting hotter by the minute”. The article highlights the boldness of Slovenian winemakers, who are young, experimenting and obtaining some really good results. Revered wine expert expert Jancis Robinson is quoted to have said after her recent trip to Slovenia: “They are quite anarchic and individual in their use of oak and, to my mind, are making more distinctive wines than most of their neighbors in [Italy’s] Friuli.” Brown also spoke to Pieter Verheyde, head sommelier at Bastide in West Hollywood, one of the best restaurants in the Los Angeles area that have embraced Slovenian wines in their wine list. For Verheyde, “they’re lively and complex with unexpected flavors”, and bring diversity to Bastide’s 1,400 label list. He pairs the Santomas Malvazija with a ceviche of scallops, the Refošk with dry aged beef, and the Movia Pinot Noir with Hawaiian sea bass. It all sounds delicious. The two winemakers that the article talks most about are also the most famous ones in the US. Aleš Kristiančić from Movia is … Continue reading Slovenia? Wild, wild wines

Finding The Hidden Vine

Yes, it is indeed hidden, but you can find it. The Hidden Vine is a perfectly-named wine bar in San Francisco. Sitting on the edges of Nob Hill, The Tenderloin, and Union Square, owners and master hosts, Angela and David Cahill pour wines for the masses with, what cannot be stated in any better terms than “down home” hospitality. Amazingly, no matter how busy it is on any given night, you will always feel like you are their only guest and they are very excited to show you what new wines they have that month. Ah yes, that’s an important element to their wine bar that’s always fun in that they feature a different region each month to taste, so in addition to their wine list always being updated and tweaked, returning guests can enjoy something brand new, 12 times a year. But more on this in a little bit. The history of their wine bar starts back on the East Coast. David and Angela bopped around New Jersey, Maryland, and North Carolina for awhile. It was in Chapel Hill that they encountered the West End Wine Bar. They had great times there and liked the whole setup of the … Continue reading Finding The Hidden Vine

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

In Eastern Slovenia with Vehovar

Over a summer, two travelers drink their way through the wines of Mediterranean Europe Vehovar: father and sons. We cut across the Croatian border to Slovenia to stay with some family there in Slovenska Bistrica. On a previous trip, they had mentioned that their neighbor was a wine maker and that we might be interested to check out his winery. Whether it was fear of someone with a barrel in the garage they aged weekly or just lack of time, we didn’t get to it. This trip however, we made a proper visit to Vehovar Winery and were duly impressed. The winery is family-run affair with the father, Boris, at the helm. His two sons Sebastian and Isidor showed us around. They started up a new cellar in 1996 that has a 90,000 liter capacity and is 11 meters (36 feet) underground at the deepest point. Unfortunately due to a disastrous hail storm last year, they were only using 12,000 liters of that capacity. Sauvignon and Rumeni Muškat Their white wine production currently consists of Traminec, Riesling, Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Sivi (grey), Rumeni, Muškat, and Šipon. They do an ice harvest as well, but to add to the misery of … Continue reading In Eastern Slovenia with Vehovar

Movia Wine Dinner

Frank told me that A Cote in Oakland would be pouring several of Movia’s wines paired with a five course meal and hosted (or more narrated as I found out) by Aleš Kristančič who is part of the family that has been making these wines since 1820 in Slovenia. I could ramble on and on about how great the food was and how good the company was but it was the second course where they poured the 2001 Pinot Noir, where I paused. I have something of a romantic longing for this wine. The first time I tasted it, was in 2006, in the wine bar that Movia owns in Ljubljana. The bar is quite a place to see if you’re ever there, framed by the beautiful old city that wraps around the hill upon which the old castle stands. It all adds to the atmosphere and sitting in the dark recesses of this bar, it would have been impossible to not enjoy what I was drinking, which was the Movia Pinot Noir. Naturally, I longed for another sip once back the US. As I sat in A Cote, I looked in my glass. Could it be my long-lost wine? … Continue reading Movia Wine Dinner