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 IntoWine.com 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

We taste promising, modern wines in Slovenias oldest wine cellar

Barrel tasting in Slovenia’s oldest wine cellar, Ptujska Klet. [This trip was taken in early May. It was organized by an importer for whom my husband is a consultant.] The three of us wind through the streets of Ptuj in the car, past the hilltop castle, a monastery, and countless unknown wonders. We won’t see anything in Slovenia’s oldest town (mentioned by Tacitus in AD 69) except Slovenia’s oldest wine cellar, Ptujska Klet, which can be traced back to the year 1239. When we arrive, we are given first the tourist treatment, then the behind-the-scenes tour. As tourists, we walk through a cold cellar beneath the visitor center and tasting rooms, where there are rows of oval wooden barrels taller than I am, rich dark-chocolate wood trimmed in forest green, with picturesque scenes of winemaking carved (recently) on the barrel heads. We also see the famous wine archive, where wines dating back to 1917 are stored, recorked every twelve years. Tito drew wines from this archive, and anyone fairly young can still buy a wine from their birth year, back to at least the 1950s, in the shop next to the tasting rooms. There we spot a wine from my … Continue reading We taste promising, modern wines in Slovenias oldest wine cellar

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

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