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How to pronounce Croatian wines

How to pronounce Croatian wines

Croatian language, the biggest obstacle between yourself and a world of discoveries. Some wines will remain undiscovered to the world because they are unpronounceable to non-Croatians. Having said that, we are not even sure if „unpronounceable“ is a word but we sure can help you read (and choose) the Croatian wine labels

Be not afraid of a long row of consonants in one word and some special characters like č, ž, or dž. Do not let name such as ‘žlahtina’ or ‘grk’ discourage you. Read the following guide and impress your dinner party guests with tongue-twisting varietal wines, just like you were born Croatian.

PLAVAC MALI [plǎːʋat͡s mǎli]

Plavac mali s the primary red wine grown along the Dalmatian coast of Croatia, and part of everyday wine culture. You could translate it as “little blue”. As a red wine of hot Dalmatian climate, Plavac mali is most often high in alcohol and tannins, rich in unusual aromas of carob, figs, and sage.

MALVAZIJA [malvaˈziːa]

Malvazija is one of the main white wines of Croatia. There are many Malvasias out there but this one is Istrian variety. It is usually refreshing and easy-drinking fruit-forward wine with a unique acacia note and is a perfect companion to light meals.

GRAŠEVINA [graʃevɪna]

Croatian wine buffs are especially proud their Graševina is recognized as the finest face of Welschriesling. It is official. The World Atlas of Wine uses the name Graševina and “Graševina first” truly sounds as an unspoken slogan of Croatian wines since this is the most planted variety in Croatia. It can be done dry, sweet, sparkling, or anything you prefer.

GRK [g r k]

Grk is a tough one and we honestly just like to mess around with you. Because it is pronounced the way it is written. Think of it as a test if you can pronounce three consonants in a row. Sounds a bit like a work “Greek” (without “ee”) and surprisingly so, have the same meaning. But it is an indigenous white variety originating from the small town of Lumbarda on the Korčula island.

Following that thought, many visitors can`t pronounce Korčula either, but that never stopped anyone to enjoy their holiday in this beautiful place. Now, there is no need to travel on Korčula in order to enjoy a glass of Grk or two. But beware, as Grk absorbs all the sun exposure transforming it into intoxicating powerful structured white wine

ŽLAHTINA [ʒlahtɪna]

Žlahtina is an indigenous grape variety grown specifically in the vineyards of a small town called Vrbnik, on the island Krk. The wine is a quality dry white wine, fresh, pale yellow in color, and with a mild bouquet.

If you come across a bottle of Croatian wine for the first time, you might have difficulties even reading the label. So here are some tips on what to look for! Every label has to display the wine’s quality level, and there are three of them: ‘stolno vino’ (table wine), which usually stands for the lowest quality wine; ‘kvalitetno vino’ meaning quality wine; and ‘vrhunsko vino’, which stands for top-quality wine.


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