This Christmas Don't Mess With Wine, I Mean, Croatian Wine!
For some time now Croatia is among new, exciting and promising wine regions. Anyone who has ever tasted Croatian wines hasn't second-guessed its uniqueness. When talking about Croatian wines many world wine critics use terms such as "different", "special", "exotic" or even "erotic".
While I'm not sure whether being different from everyone and everything is always a compliment, it certainly turns out to be a positive trait when it comes to wines. Modern educated consumers are more likely to seek what is different and unique rather than conform to the choices of others.
Unlike those loud and shouty wines, Croatian wines will hardly leave you with a taste of the industry. No matter in which part of the world you are, now thanks to the Wine and more team wines of Croatia are just a click away from you. Therefore, you have no excuse not to stick to the Croatian wines this Christmas.
Before we start uncorking my Christmas wine list, let me get you into the Christmas spirit first. The new movie "All the best" ("Sve najbolje") by the Croatian director Snjezana Tribuson will do the task perfectly.
This warm Christmas comedy set in Croatia's capital Zagreb follows 4 protagonists in Advent time whose lives will be unexpectedly changed and entwined by the things one would least expect - a beetroot soup, some ginger bread cookies and an aria from Mozart's Don Giovanni opera.
"All the Best" ("Sve najbolje") should be on your Christmas checklist because it's like a mug of mulled wine: you won't spend the whole evening analyzing its body, the aromas and flavors but it wouldn't be Christmas without it.
However, for all those wine snobs that will sneer at the mention of mulled wine, here is my list of three wines to kick off your holidays:
- Ivancic Griffin Brut, Plesivica
It's Christmas night Eve, around 11:00 pm. All your house members are already sleeping, except you. Why should you? It's the best part of the day to enjoy that glass of wine you have been thinking of since morning. Make yourself comfortable on the couch with a glass of Ivancic Griffin Brut from Plesivica made from 100% Rizvanac.
The wine is an excellent quality price ratio, too. My suggestion is to combine the bubbles from Plesivica with the closing scene of Hitchcock's "To Catch a Thief". While sipping your sparkling slowly, you will have a laugh or two over Francie's (Grace Kelly) last words in the movie.
When she comes to John's (Cary Grant) luxurious villa with the vineyard and we finally feel that nothing can spoil their happiness anymore, she enthusiastically exclaims: "So, this is where you live? Oh, mother will love it up here." Happy ending?
Yes, until we see poor John's face.
- Kiridzija Dingac 2012, Dalmatia
After all those bubbles, you have drunk in the time preceding Christmas, when it comes to the Christmas lunch go straight to the red. I suggest Kiridzija Dingach Plavac mali from the Dingach slopes.
This wine is an excellent example of Plavac mali and is often described as "Croatia in a bottle". It's a kind of must-drink this Christmas if you want to feel Croatia on the palate.
The wine will go well with almost all Croatian Christmas traditional food such as roasted pig, turkey, lamb or perhaps stuffed cabbage - sarma.
- Benvenuti Muscat San Salvatore Dessert Wine 2011, Istria
When the Christmas lunch is over and you're having a relaxing chat with your guests, make sure they have at hand the bottle of this.
If there has ever been a wine that smelled of festivity than Benvenuti San Salvatore is it. It goes without saying that you mustn't get up from the Christmas table without rewarding yourself with this harmonious Muscat from Istria.
Enjoy it while you're picking your way through a bowl of fritule (Croatian pastry made particularly for Christmas) on the table.
I'm glad to have shared you my idea of perfect Christmas. You can change everything about it but don't mess with wines. Nothing says Croatia like a bottle of wine and if you're planning something different this Christmas, then go for Croatian wine.
I hope you all have a very merry Christmas and even if you don't celebrate it, I hope you have some great wines over holidays, possibly some C... Okay, don't make me say it again!
Cheers or should I say "Zivjeli!"