When you think about great wine making countries, Croatia is not exactly the first that springs to mind. But with its rocky hillsides and warm Mediterranean climate, its shores are the perfect grounds for viticulture.
The grape varieties, for the most part, you are unlikely to have heard of, but their flavours are very similar to those of their Italian cousins across the border.
Here are a couple of winners to make note of, just in case you find yourself in Croatia sometime soon…
First up, a black grape variety that’s actually related to Zinfandel of California/Primitivo of Puglia in southern Italy. Plavac mali is the most celebrated of Croatia’s indigenous grapes. It had a robust character, and is full of dried and black fruit flavours, that you would expect from its more famously named relatives. Paired up with pork tenderloin, this wine went down very easily!
My favourite wine by far though was actually a white. Perhaps, because under the Mediterranean sunshine something a little more refreshing was required. Or maybe, the huge amount of seafood we consumed needed to be partnered with a white.
Either way, the grape variety was called Pošip, which mainly hails from town of Čara, on the island of Korčula.
If you like Italian white wines, then this is definitely one for you. It was full of white peach, citrus zest and a lovely, salty, mineral flavour; exactly like the kind of smell you get when you’re walking along a rocky beach, with the tides cascading over the pebbles.
With the mussels that we scoffed down – that essentially just taste of the sea anyway – it was delightful. It has a slightly oily texture too, which helped it stand up to our more substantial mains of tuna steak and grilled prawns too.
The restaurant we dined at was Orsan, Dubrovnik. Would highly recommend it if you’re a fan of seafood, and stunning scenery…