For this month’s Wine Pairing Weekend event, we are traveling to European Regions that are under the radar. I’ve decided to write about Slovenia. I first discovered these wines during a seminar at the American Wine Society conference back in 2018. I felt the love. One region in particular captivated me, Brda.
I think Brda was of such interest also because of its proximity to Friuli Venezia Giulia in Italy. The Slovenian winemakers I met from their all spoke Italian, worked with the same grapes and were very similar to their counterparts on the other side of the national divide. It made everything seem easy to understand and get to know. Mostly though, the wines were fantastic.
Also, Slovenia’s attention to sustainability was a draw. In fact, Slovenia was the first country to be declared a Global Green Destination after reaching a record 96% level of compliance with the required sustainability criteria.
Brda is in the west of Slovenia and is the other side of the Collio region from Italy. This area is influenced both from the Julian Alps and the Mediterranean Sea. The soils are marl and flysch which they call Opoka. In Italy, that soil is called ponca. They grow many different grapes but the star is Rebula (27%) for whites and Merlot (20%) for the reds. You will also find grapes like Pinot Grigio, Picolit and Verduzzo as well as Pinot Noir, and Syrah. Apparently the Romans brough Rebula to Brda but they called it Helvola.
I loved the Rebula from Scurek Wines. The wine I tried had great finesse, length and beautiful acidity and minerality. As with so many grapes in Italy, this Slovenian white also gave me a bitter note on the finish which I appreciate. The one I tried, UP, had some late harvest grapes in the mix and a lot was going on there. Loads of honey and tropical fruit. The family is guided by patriach Stojan Scurek and his five sons work in the winery. They make around 80,000 bottles a year.
The current generation is the fourth generation working the winery which was started by Stojan’s grandfather Franc with just one hectare of vines. Today they have 20 hectares in what is called the Italian section of Brda.
I tasted a number of other wines from Brda at a stand during the Vinitaly trade fair in 2018 as well, meeting the same Scurek son once again. I didn’t get to attend the masterclass so I am linking to someone else’s notes to give an idea about other wines from this exciting region.
There’s so much more to say about both Brda and Slovenian wines in general. I will revisit the topic and some of the other wines I have had the opportunity to taste soon.
This is #WinePW so I am supposed to write about a dish I paired a wine with. I tried these wines at a trade show so I wasn’t eating a meal but if I had to pair it with something, I would do a seafood dish or sushi. I love Rebula or Ribolla Gialla with Sushi or this Shrimp Paella dish I made this week. I used a recipe from Allrecipes.com which was extremely easy to make. I used frozen shrimp which is why the tails are still on. I think the Rebula work work perfectly with Shrimp’s inherent sweetness.
Check out what my fellow blogger are writing about for this month. It promises to be an existing tour of Europe’s unsung regions.
- Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla posts From the Same Latitude as Other Pinot Noir Powerhouses: The 2017 Macedon Pinot Noir Matches Two Meaty Dinners
- Jeff at Food, Wine, Click! looks at Under the Radar in Croatia with Franc Arman Teran
- Gwendolyn from Wine Predator looks at 3 Wines from Sicily’s Etna Volcano Paired with Pork Sugo #WinePW
- Kat from The Corkscrew Concierge takes us Beyond Wine – Kosovo’s Stone Castle Vineyards Provides Pride, Hope & Jobs
- Linda at My Full Wine Glass features Dry or dryish, Hungarian Furmint is having a moment
- Nicole at Somm’s Table explores Stranger Grapes with Eric Danch of Danch & Granger Selections
- Susannah from Avvinare shares Slovenia Wines from Brda, Not to Be Missed
- Terri from Our Good Life looks at Ancient Gamza in 2021: Best Wine with Burgers from Eastern Europe
- Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm has Georgia On My Mind
- Andrea at The Quirky Cork takes a Deep Dive into Hungarian Wine!
Whether or not you wrote a post for this, please join the discussion on Saturday, April 10 at 11 am EST / 8 am CST. Just follow the #WinePW hashtag on Twitter and jump in and comment! Hope to see you there!