Border(less) Regions are Great for Wine

Take a good dose of nationalism, a slightly larger dollop of history, and fuse it with taking the best from what’s around you and creating something new. This Slovenian and Istrian container is emblematic of changing flags and political systems forcing winemakers to make something that can’t be taken away from them. New co-fermented liters from Štajerska and Dolenjsko. Sanguine Teran, Refošk, Malvazija and Vitovska from both Istria and the Kras. The singular (and extremely limited) Batič wines from Vipavska Dolina. And finally, an iconic example of the most planted grape in Croatia. The borders move around, but the land and people often don’t. In 1993, Željko Adžić scored for the Croatian National soccer team and helped defeat Ukraine 3-1 — hero status in Croatia! In 1998, he left soccer to follow his larger passion for making wine in Kutjevo (interior Croatia), working with his father Antun full time. Slightly prior to 1993, Cistercian monks founded a winery in Kutjevo in 1232. It still stands and produces Graševina (Grash-eh-veena), the most planted grape in Croatia. The Adžić family continues this tradition. Graševina is high in acidity, has great weight, and carries both residual sugar and botrytis well. In Kutjevo, where … Continue reading Border(less) Regions are Great for Wine

#WineWednesday Spotlight #58: Adžić Vallis Aurea Graševina

We are happy to have once again in our portfolio a Graševina from Slavonia, an important wine region in central Croatia. More specifically, the Adžić Graševina comes from Kutjevo, in the Požega valley, also called Vallis Aurea by the Romans — the Golden Valley. This fertile valley has been inhabited since prehistory. Cistercians monks brought winegrowing and winemaking to the region in the 13th century. The wine cellar they built in Kutjevo in 1232 is still producing wines, making it the oldest continuously-operated winery in Croatia. Located in the northern part of Požega Valley, on the slopes of the Papuk and Krndija mountains, Kutjevo is one of the most famous Croatian wine regions and Graševina is its most famous wine. Also called Welschriesling, Graševina is well adapted to the region’s cool springs, warm autumns and southward facing vineyards. The tireless Antun Adžić has become a significant Slavonian winemaker since the creation of the family winery in 1995. This is because people in Croatia and abroad have started noticing the quality of his Graševina, a light-straw colored wine with an attractive floral and honeyed note on the nose, a nicely rounded body on the palate and a fresh, crisp, herbal finish.

Recent Breakthrough: Cabernet Sauvignon goes with lobster

a great combo: lobster with Batic Cabernet Sauvignon Rose & Enjingi Grasevina. Most of my Christmas’ are spent in Maine at my parents. Their house is on an island in the Atlantic, just off the coast. Winters are both beautiful and brutal. No matter how cold the wind, or rough the seas the seafood remains ridiculously fresh. This year brought a special surprise; soft shell lobster. These freshly molted “bugs” are the unquestionable pinnacle of the lobster world; super sweet and tender. You wont find them far from where they are caught as they are much more vulnerable, to even gentle travel, than there hard shelled brethren. There is no reason to get fancy with them. In fact you can faintly read “steam only, serve with butter” On some of their shells. So what do you drink with succulent lobster in this arctic cold? Big Chard is the standard prescription but we have forced this for years, unless you are drinking properly aged top tier Burgundy the pairing rarely works. So Cabernet of course! The pairing logic: In a form this naked, lobster is best complemented by a soft, full bodied wine. We started with a decent feline scented Sauvignon … Continue reading Recent Breakthrough: Cabernet Sauvignon goes with lobster

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

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