Vinistra 2019 – Innovative Gourmet Event with Top Istrian Wines

Total Croatia News

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All phots by Danilo Dragosavac

The 26th edition of Vinistra, perhaps the most important Croatian wine festival, also offers excellent food. Istrians know quite well that cod and wine are fantastic when paired together, and this exceptional combination was presented in a somewhat more modern version in the third part of the Istrian Delicacies workshop.

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Twins Ana and Marija Kovač, chefs at the Laguna Park Hotel in Poreč, discovered an explosion of tastes in cod dishes produced by the Milena craft, while Ivan Vrdoljak, the young sommelier at Plava Laguna, took care for an excellent wine selection. The ice cream with Oliveto cod and olive oil powder was paired with Zigante’s sparkling wine Chloe Brut, while marinated anchovies with apple apples, mint and Picantino cod were paired with 2018 Malvazija Herak & Smoljan.

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Next, black focaccia sandwiches and pickled vegetables with Oliveto cod were served with 2017 Malvazija Ritorno by Lunika Vina. Tartufino cod with avocado mousse, pancetta chips and red Istrian soil was paired with the only Istrian Crna Malvasia from 2015 produced by Motovun wine master Klaudio Tomaz, and the event ended with raw beet ravioli with white cod and sheep milk cheese served with 2015 Plavac Mali, not from Dalmatia but from the island of Krk, or more precisely from the Vina Katunar cellars in Vrbnik.


The workshop led by journalist and gastronomy connoisseur Davor Šišović discussed the pairing of Istrian dishes with wines. “In Istria, the tradition is to drink wines with cured meat products made from pork. But, when you drink a sip of wine with a bit of prosciutto or a slice of sausage, by the time you swallow the food, the wine and all of its flavours are long gone. That is why we have worked together with prosciutto producer Jelenić to prepare spreads of prosciutto, sausages, “žlomprt” and pancetta, which we paired with cuvees of Istrian red and white wines – Mozaik 2015 by Alfred Cossetto, Caldierosso 2016 by Benvenuti, Moro 2016 by Marino Rossi, Damjanić’s Clemente Crni 2015, Cuvee 2013 by Ritoša, and Matošević’s Grimalda Crna 2016. These are insufficiently explored, but excellent wines. I think this is the path both prosciutto and wine producers should follow,” said Šišović.

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Paolo Jelenić agreed and announced the possibility of producing such spreads for the market. For the Wines of Istria workshop, aimed at foreign guests who do not speak Croatian and do not know much about Istrian wines, sommelier Filip Savić selected fresh Malvasias Coronica and Kozlović, and Damjanić’s 2016 Malvazija Akacija, and fresh Muškat Prelac, 2016 Merlot Festigia by Vina Laguna , Tomaz’s 2015 Teran Barbarossa, and for the end, Muškat with dried berries, also by Prelac.

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On the second day, Vinistra awarded diplomas for student wines made by students of the Winemaking Studies in Poreč and for the sommeliers of the Croatian Sommelier Club. Presenting the challenges of the sommelier profession, Ines Matić and Filip Božić used the workshop on sommelier courses to send a message – taste the wines, enjoy them every day because every wine is interesting; sharpen your senses and discover new experiences.

More wine news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

All phots by Danilo Dragosavac


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