Fashion Show by Kutjevo d.d.

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The Zagreb central bus station was never a great place for me and the surroundings even less. Lots of dark halls, industrial plants, noise, all in all a bad place for us hedonists. But times change and so does our living space. A wonderful community arose there and it’s not haphazard, but several fantastic high-rises with enough vegetation to make it a pleasant place. How do I know this? Well, the high-rises have some light elements in the facades, so everyone had to see them. Sure, some say it’s tacky, some like it, but they’ve sure changed the skyline of the city. I did not, truly, believe a city area can be urbanized in such a away, but man will believe anything and realize he’s naive. I believed our Dinamo team belongs to Zagreb, but no, it belongs to Mamić who has South Americans running the field instead of locals, but that’s another topic.


The Lateral restaurant has been opened in this new area. Extremely attractive place. Quite tastefully decorated, designer but casual. The interior isn’t too big, but not too small, just right with a large terrace. Lateral is definitely a refreshment on Zagreb’s gastro scene. For a serious review we’ll have to come by again. This was after all a night of Kutjevo. Yes, a fashion show of Kutjevo wines was held here.


Why a fashion show? Well, the entire evening reminded of such an event. Waiters were unobtrusive but quick. The Kutjevo team quite service friendly and also unobtrusive. All was geared towards the wines that walked our glasses as models do on the runway. The evening was opened by Kutjevo cellars legend, presenter Drago Humski. It’s quite hard to repeat his words as, when Drago speaks of wine, it’s pure romance with a pinch of lyrics. Drago adds in some historical data as well and puts it all down to personal level. One gets a feeling he’s talking directly at you and at the very pinnacle of lyrical fervor Drago stops (masters know when it’s time) and says: “Can we have the first wine?”. Yes, Drago Humski is, apart from Sandi Cenov i myself, the last romantic of the world.


Time to say something about the wines as well, right?


The first to walk the runway is Maximo Brut, finely refreshing, slightly sparkly, just the way it should be. While it walks your palate, you’ll feel traces of the ice harvest making it slightly creamy. This is Kutjevo Graševina in quite a different way, bubbly and romantic. To perfect the experience it’s accompanied by a robust, yet gentle canapé with boškarin salami, quail egg and flower salt.


The second one appearing on the runway was the Kutjevo Rose, a fine coupage of Frankovka, Zweigelt and Cabernet Sauvignon. As it approaches you observe only its pink color, with flashes of red orange. The fragrance and taste of water takes you to forest meadows, sensing the smell of strawberries and raspberries while experiencing summer in its full shine. The entourage is innocent, soft and white, with hints of green, ravioli with curd and asparagus on a champagne cream.


Third in a row, heading down the runway is the finest Kutjevo maiden, superior Graševina. Strong and solid, yet gentle and airy, slightly yellow-green in color. While she passes you sense a strong flowery fragrance with a hint of fruits, lemons and finally juicy apple. When you taste it, you feel her harmony and solidness, slight pleasant acidity and mild bitterness, and enjoy it long and deep. And the entourage tells us that the Golden valley used to be an ocean, which is why filet of fish in tempura, with a parsnip puree and young spinach with lime, created a perfection of taste.


Number four was a real lady, with a slight baroque name – Graševina de Gotho. She’s a real lady who knows what she wants. No, definitely not a flower maiden. This lady has a distinct yellow color and in her presence your nose is filled with ripe fragrances of roasted almonds, caramel and vanilla. The smell of apricot and acacia brushes past, with a hint of dry hay. When she passes your tongue, the taste is rich and ripe, quite harmonious, slightly bitter yet appropriately fresh. The entourage in this case must be both mild ad strong, just as the chicken filet roll with zucchini and flavored smoked cheese, with white polenta and sautéed mini tomatoes.


As number five, Turković Graševina took the stage. She walked lightly and confidently, golden green, leaving behind it the fragrance of ripe pear and apricot, or is it peach. Intoxicated with the smell of ripe fruit, you realize it’s slightly different. Yes, it is a Graševina, but the taste is different, sweeter, amplified, but still fresh enough. This Graševina is still semi sec, slightly sweeter, just right. That such sweeter ladies are liked by ripe gentlemen was shown in the form of the entourage – marinated pork loin in prosciutto. With it came a violet onion chutney and a glazed young carrot.


The scene was then taken by Black Pinot. The very color of red ruby makes you really and easily enjoy the moment. Then the smell drags you deeper into its magic of pleasure. The fragrance of ripe blackberry and sour cherry, a hint of grandma’s plums and yet… The fragrance is delicate, flowery, reminiscent of violet… Just as you’re unsure of the smell, you’re overwhelmed with the harmonious and bitter taste, yet fresh and drinkable. The entourage is in this case somewhat different: lamb rolls with bacon on a cake of couscous with vegetables and toasted almonds in a sour cherry and red wine sauce.


As is fitting for our region, an evening should end with sweets. So with the chocolate macaroons and fresh strawberry coulis, the already celebrated Turković Graševina walked the runway.


It was an extremely pleasant and lovely evening. I sincerely hope the author of these lovely wines, enologist Ivan Marinclin and Lateral restaurant chefs responsible for the wonderful meals won’t mind such an unusual description of their creations, but there… I saw it as a true fashion show.


In the end I must mention the evening was made even lovelier by Lana Škrgatić, a wonderful young lady who with her keyboard and saxophone gave it another dimension.


In the end, good night, my wine ladies. We might see each other in some other ambience tomorrow. Let’s say… the Jarun market. Why not?


Original article in Croatian here.


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