Austrian Wine Dinner at Café Venezia

Café Venezia’s main dining area Last Thursday on November 8th, Blue Danube Wines supplied the wines for an Austrian Wine dinner at Café Venezia in Berkeley. It was a great opportunity for those not yet familiar with Austrian cuisine, to taste it while sipping some of the finest wines of that country. Cooking in action. Café Venezia is a nice, spacious restaurant on University Avenue that sits pleasantly far enough away from the student buzz of UC Berkeley, yet close enough to the town center to be very much a part of Berkeley. With high windows that look out to the street, you’re beckoned in to a warm interior that is held up by a wonderfully friendly wait staff. The interior picks up on the restaurant’s namesake with kitsch murals and a clothesline of laundry, while at the same time allows one to sit down, have a good meal, and feel pleasantly at home. The four course dinner started with a tasty charcuterie plate of typical Austrian meats and cheese, paired with a new release of Grüner Veltliner from Schmelz winery. Grüner Veltliner, which accounts for over a third of Austria’s vineyards, is one of the country’s most famous varietals, … Continue reading Austrian Wine Dinner at Café Venezia

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

A Familiar Stop at Horvat-Hudin

Over a summer, two travelers drink their way through the wines of Mediterranean Europe I hadn’t actually been to the Međimurje region before, but it felt a bit like home regardless. We had decided to take a bit of a detour to go north of Zagreb an hour or so in to this beautifully green region of Northern Croatia by the Slovenian-Hungarian border. Josip Hudin It’s a far departure from the coast and a place where they mainly only grow whites. For me though, it is the cradle of my father’s family. They originally came from this region, as well as the Zagorje. While most were farmers, some were winemakers. My father’s great uncle brought his wine press with him to America at the turn of the century. Apparently, some of the winemakers stayed on up there through two world wars and a civil war. But, this region was not nearly as affected as others by the up and down social history of Croatia as others. As we drove along through the Međimurje region on our way to the town of Štrigova, signs for the Vinska Cesta of the region kept popping up and we gradually started to find more … Continue reading A Familiar Stop at Horvat-Hudin