Australia Meets Croatia at Bornstein Wine Bar

Total Croatia News

Maja Kuzmanović predstavlja udrugu WOW
Photos by: Silvija Munda

On Wednesday, May 8, the legendary Bornstein wine shop and wine bar at the Kaptol in Zagreb was the venue for a special “meeting” between Croatia and Australia at a gala dinner “Australia meets Croatia”, a part of the G’Day in May project – the typical Australian abbreviation for “hello” or “good day”. The dinner and wine pairing at Bornstein was organised together by the Embassy of Australia, the Bornstein wine shop and wine bar, and the dynamic Women On Wine association from Croatia. The name of the project illustrated the fact that the evening would be relaxed and not very formal, regardless of the fact it was attended by H.E. Elisabeth Petrovich, the ambassador of Australia.

Maja Kuzmanović predstavlja udrugu WOW

Australian wines were paired with Croatian food and vice versa, and the evening began and ended with exceptional wines from one of Australia’s oldest wineries, D’Arenberg (1912), from the world-renowned and well-known wine region of McLaren Vale from the very south of the Australian continent. It is a Mediterranean-like climate area, so the wines are expressive, with pronounced aromas, and the winery is renowned, in addition to its excellent wines, for the unusual names it gives to its wine labels.

hrana, Aussie dinner

The first wine, The Olive Grove Chardonnay 2017, is a wine of dramatic fruitiness (peach, melon, quince), creaminess and, unusually for Chardonnay, spicy aroma in the aftertaste. It was nicely paired with the grilled mini shrimps on cutting lettuce prepared by Bornstein. About 50 guests returned to the Mediterranean, but the real Croatian one this time, thanks to Jo Ahearne, a London-born who began building her wine career in Australia and several years ago moved to Hvar to become a wine producer there. Jo Ahearne is the only woman in Croatia holding the Master of Wine title, and there are fewer than 150 such masters in the world.

MW Jo Ahearne

Ahearne presented two of her wines – Wild Skins and Plavac Mali. Wild Skins is a blend of three autochthonous Dalmatian white varieties – Bogdanuša, Kuč and Pošip – a great wine whose structure is similar to the structure of macerated white wines with quince aromas and the notes of honey and spice herbs. The rabbit ragu with gnocchi was an excellent pairing for this wine, created by the FinoVino restaurant culinary team.

Jo Ahearne's Wild Skins

The 2014 Plavac Mali presented Dalmatia in a slightly different light. By ageing in oak barrels from Burgundy in France, the wine demonstrated the freshness and lively fruitiness of ripe plums, with pronounced herbal notes and traces of dark chocolate. Lamb chopsticks and browned polenta from the Fino Vino restaurant received the compliments from the audience, and together with Plavac Mali, they were the best pairing of the evening.

DSC 0698

The event ended with The Footbolt Shiraz 2016, a typical representative of the Australian Shiraz. Plum and blackberry fruits could be felt in it, with a spicy aroma at the end, paired with the “icing on the cake” – a dessert in the form of a roll called the Pavlova (cake), made by the Australian Embassy’s chef.


It was a memorable evening and a fascinating and positive mix of different continents, cultures and tastes.

More food and wine news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Photos by: Silvija Munda


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