One of the highlights of the Accidental Locavore’s recent trip to Croatia was the chance to learn about a whole new (to me) country’s wines. In just the section we were in, Istria, there are over 130 wineries. Most of them produce a version of Malvazija , the local white wine, but some of them are branching out and planting all sorts of grape varieties.
On a typical day we would have at least one tasting, usually of four or five wines, lunch with at least three wines, dinner with three or four, not to mention welcome toasts, aperitifs or after dinner drinks of grappa, slivovitz, hugos, etc, etc. It’s not a hard-drinking country, just a culture that’s welcoming and proud of its viniculture. Sadly, most of it isn’t imported to the US yet, so we had to drink it there.
But, if I stop to add up all the glasses, and not even individually, but as types, the numbers are a bit staggering (even though none of us were).
Day 1: Welcome toast at La Puntulina for dinner, Malvazija with dinner. Total 2-just a warm up.
Day 2: Tasting after foraging for wild asparagus at San Tommaso of their Malvazija/Chardonnay blend, a Merlot, and with the asparagus risotto, a Teran. Brandy or slivovitz with Boris after touring the Aromatica (and seeing his large apothecary jar of Spanish fly). Tasting at Trapan of sparkling rosé, followed by a rosé, two Malvazijas, and two reds (one of them named Nigra Virgo-black virgin). Dinner at Milan with a sparkling white, another Malvazija. Total 12.
Day 3: Welcome grappa toast (your choice from three) and Malvazija for breakfast before the truffle hunt, Sparkling rosé, Malvazija and Porco Rossa at Toklarija for lunch. Olive oil tasting at IpÅ¡a that turned into a chance to try their new Malvazija. Tasting at Kozlovic of two whites, a rosé and their Teran . Another grappa toast at Stari Podrum at dinner and your choice of red or white (or both). Total 12-13.
Day 4: A couple of Hugos (going to be my go-to summer drink!) at Vitriol cafe on the beach. Grappa toast and a lot of Malvazija at lunch at ÄŒok. Eight (4 white 4 red) at Degrassi tasting and finally five more; sparkling, two whites, a red and a dessert wine at dinner. After dinner drinks were turned down–no idea why. Total 16–finish strong!
Rough count of 42-OMG! Stay tuned for a report on what I liked and loved, and what I wish were available in the US.