Croatian wine

Anthony Rose, a British wine journalist, focuses in today's The Independent on Croatian wine. His conclusion: "[S]cratch beneath the surface and it becomes clear that Croatia has a diverse indigenous wine culture whose dry whites and reds, as well as its sparkling and sweet wines, have the potential to add significantly to the wine styles we enjoy in the UK." Surface, in this case, refers to the medals that sweet Croatian wines won at the Decanter World Wine Awards.
There is no accounting for taste, so my personal thoughts about Croatian wine don't mean much. I find them too watery, too light, too transparent. There is good Croatian wine, of course, but you should be prepared to pay twice or three times more than you would pay for an Italian or Spanish wine of similar quality. That is, in my humble opinion, the main reason for the absence of Croatian wine from Western supermarkets. Not to mention the small-scale, old-fashioned character of the Croatian wine sector.
Rose, however, gave a more spectacular explanation: "On a recent trip to Croatia, there was a poignant moment during the drive back to Zagreb airport. At the summit of a giant water tower at Vukovar on the Danube fluttered the Croatian national flag, the contrast between it and the pockmarked tower beneath it a constant reminder of a not-so-distant turbulent period in the history of this troubled country. It brought home one of the main reasons why Croatian wine remains the dark horse of Europe, for the time being at least; war in the Balkans followed by reconstruction has played a large part in preventing the country's wines from becoming better known outside its borders."
Many of Croatia's celebrated wines come from Istria, a region that fortunately didn't suffer war time destruction. Of course, the general economic situation in Croatia has also affected Istria. But, as Rose himself acknowledges in this piece, "[t]he Istrian vineyard was 10 times its present size before the Second World War but systematically abandoned during the communist era."
Whatever your taste is, give Croatian wine a chance during your vacation in Croatia. Non-Croatian wine is (by way of duties, taxes and so on) systematically discriminated against, so no need to worry you can't find Croatian wine.

1 reacties:

Meryam said...

You don't suffer(any more?) from writer's block, obviously ;-)

It happens I visit the winestore tomorrow. I'll ask about Croatian wine but I prefer a stout wine "that sticks to my teeth" so usually I buy Spanish wine. Maybe next year when I visit Croatia again.