Great Croatian Wines

I have to admit, I am more than partial to Croatians (full disclosure: I am dating one), so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to sit down for a meal with three Croatian winemakers at Gramercy Tavern.

Each brought two different wines for the tasting, ranging from international styles to more indigenous varietals. The most exciting were the Matošević 100% Malvasia, a funky white from Istria in the north, and the Saints Hills Plavac Mali—a relative of the Zinfandel grape—from the Dingać region near Dubrovnik in the south. The deep, rich, raisinated fruits of the Plavac Mali paired beautifully with the lamb that was served, while the Malvasia proved the perfect accompaniment to all the foods, an unusual, floral alternative to Riesling, great for the adventurous wine lover. As for me, it’s just one more reason to go back and visit.

Domaine Pfister, Cuvée 8 2010

As a blend of gewurtztraminer, pinot gris, muscat, and riesling, this is an unusual wine for Alsace, but winemaker Mélanie Pfister might have hit on something: the universal Alsatian wine. The idea came from blending techniques she learned at Cheval Blanc in Bordeaux, and the Cuvée 8 showcases the best of Alsace: on the nose, the signature bouquet of thea gewurtztraminer and muscat grapes shine through—lychee, rose, honey, ripe melon—while on the palate, it maintains the zesty, razor-sharp acidic backbone that’s so typical of riesling here.

With its aromatics and acidity, it’s a wine that responds to lots of occasions and dishes, from fish to white meat to spicy foods, making it the perfect wine for your dinner table.

Around $33.

4.5 out of 5 stars.

Imported by Vintage 59 Imports.