Reserve an evening of your trip to Slovenia’s capital city for the 300-year-old wine cellar underneath Dvorni Bar in a square near a popular restaurant on Ljubljana’s River Walk. This won’t be a secret for long.
Wine Tasting Ljubljana enables you to tour all of Slovenia’s wine regions in a fun evening of tasting. Reservations are recommended to join a group of about 12 people. Before it was a wine cellar, the rocks formed part of the wall around the ancient Roman city of Emona. Because it’s part of a restaurant they can also include shared plates of olives, nuts, cheese and bread. Be ready for a surprise in the blindfolded taste test!
The wines are lovingly selected by English-speaking experts, who have taken the time to visit the wine producers and learn their stories. By the end of the evening, you’ll qualify as an ambassador of Slovenian wine — with a certificate to prove it. The generous pours of seven different wines make it a good value. Check on the website for current prices. Seriously deserves its top ranking on Trip Advisor.
Here’s a quick tour of the seven wines we tried:
Chateau Intanto Sparkling Teran: This refreshing, red sparkling wine from the Karst region is made using the traditional “champagne” method for white wine, fermented in the bottle.
Colja Zelen: One of the seven native white wine varieties in Slovenia, this was new to me. And I loved it. Obviously, so do wine drinkers in Slovenia who consume more than 80% of it, leaving less than 20% for export. It’s also celebrated with the crowning of a Wine Queen, who must be single, have a driver’s license and be able to intelligently talk about the wine — after a few drinks.
Mrof Chardonnay: Fresh and fruity with notes of vanilla, this one compares favorably to its chardonnay cousins from California. It’s from Prekmuria, the eastern region of Slovenia near Hungary, best known for its white wine. It was served with bread dipped in pumpkin seed oil, another delicious regional product.
Mlečnik Ana Cuvee: Blindfolds are handed out before the wine is poured. Red? White? Nope. It’s Slovenia’s famous orange wine. It’s made from white grapes that are allowed to come in contact with the skins for enough time to produce the color and complex apricot-like flavors. I enjoy orange wine more as an aperitif, because in my opinion it’s too heavy to pair with food. But it’s a must-try while in Slovenia.
Martinčič Cviček: This is a summer mix of red and white grapes with a fruity cherry-like flavor and less than 10% alcohol content (compared to the usual 13% or more). This refreshing wine doesn’t age and is meant to be enjoyed within 1 or 2 years of production.
Erzetič Amfora: One of the producers from the Goriška Brda region using ancient terra cotta amphorae (usually from Georgia) to age the wine for six months, followed by 18 months in oak barrels and another year in bottles.
Radical Rumeni Muškat: Sweet wines are not my thing, but this yellow charmer was the perfect taste to end the evening. Now, I’d like to be the wine queen.
Taking Slovenian Wine Back Home with BeWine
Now that you’ve discovered the wonders of Slovenian wine-making, the next question is how to enjoy your new favorites back home. Although most wines produced in Slovenia are consumed here, that might be about to change in a big way. A new wine-shipping venture called BeWine will allow you to order wines to be shipped to most places in the EU and UK at value prices for the high quality, even accounting for the shipping and packaging costs. it’s a bit more complicated if you’re visiting from the USA, but they’re working on it and I’ll update this blog as soon as there are more details to share.
Terry’s Travel Tips:. You can explore the massive wine cellars beneath Slovenia’s second largest city, Maribor. And for a deep dive into the part of Slovenia that has been compared to Tuscany, here are my tips for a wine-tasting adventure in the Goriška Brda region.
Stranger Danger: Slovenia has zero tolerance for “drink driving.” Fortunately, after your wine tasting adventure, you can walk to a number of hotels in or near the car-free center of Ljubljana.
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