You should give up Chardonnay and get addicted to Graševina!
Let's start with the alphabet. Do you know what ABC means in a wine world? This abbreviation stands for Anything But Chardonnay. Why? Well, at some point wine-drinking clique got so fed up with Chardonnay that it resulted in the term ABC. This is generally because basic and cheap Chardonnay is in most cases your go-to wine when entering the wine world.
Some argue that Chardonnay literally became a synonym for a dry white wine as it grows everywhere and people around the world love it. No wonder some got tired of it and are trying to drink ABC.
Interesting fact: Chardonnay so to say originates from Croatia. It is proven that Chardonnay is a cultivar that we got back in the day from crossing Pinot and a Croatian autochthonous variety Gouais Blanc /Belina Bijela/. You can always double check our offer off Croatian Chardonnays.
But why is it so popular around the world? First of all, it is a low maintenance grape variety that is resistant to diseases and yields in a high return.
Secondly, its aroma and flavour are not too expressive and depend on the winemakers’’ tastes (what they do with it) and respective terroirs. When we think of a mainstream Chardonnay, this is what comes to mind: fresh and fruity wine, usually with buttery and vanilla notes that come through if aged in oak.
Chardonnay is a very versatile wine and can go along with both fish and poultry. In Croatia, Chardonnay grapes grow in every wine region – continental as well as coastal. However, one of the most popular white grape varieties in Croatia is not Chardonnay, but Graševina aka Riesling Italico or Welschriesling.
Moreover, Graševina grape got so habituated in Croatia that this cultivar is enlisted in some wine books under its Croatian name.
In numbers, Graševina covers the 22% of all vine surfaces in Croatia even though it grows mainly in continental part, according to national statistics. Therefore, Graševina is perceived in Croatia as Chardonnay in the rest of the world – general term for dry white wine (drank in large quantities ;)).
Like Chardonnay, Graševina is also very often the first wine one tastes (and sometimes it remains the only wine one drinks). Another similarity between the two is that the style of Graševina wine depends on the style of the winemaker so you can find: dry wine, semi-dry and sweet wine. Also, Graševina gives very good results as an orange wine.
BUT, most Graševina is drank as fresh wine and mixed with sparkling water. Yes, that’s right, with sparkling water. This mixture is called GEMIŠT (our version of spritz) and is one of the favourite drinks in Croatia. You can make gemišt with other fresh white wine, but THE gemišt is made of Graševina.
Gemišt has a cult status in Croatian tradition – it’s sort of a national drink. Of course, there are different wine-to-water ratios and each has a name. Yeah, it’s kind of a religious thing this gemišt.
Anyways, Graševina is a very nice wine if you drink it without water. It has a golden-green (hay) colour and reveals aromas of green apple and pear. In general, it also has a nice acidity. It pairs nicely with various foods – as fresh wine with most vegetables (even the difficult ones like artichoke and asparagus), fish, poultry, whereas aged Graševina can accompany more serious eats like veal roast and cheese.
ABC? Yes! Try our selection of Graševina!
Did you like the story at Wine&More? Share it with your friends, like, comment and earn discounts with Your loyalty program!
Interested in learning more about Croatian wine? “Cracking Croatian Wine” guide will save you time and money in researching. Get your copy here!