Food and wine of Slovenia

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Slovenian cuisine is as diverse as its landscape and is closely connected with nature and people who cultivate it. Slovenia is divided into 24 gastronomic regions with their specific, even authentic dishes. All regions together have 176 typical dishes, so, if you want to try them all, you should stay in Slovenia for at least two months.

And here comes our role. As your host we’ve prepared a selection which in our opinion represents the Slovenian cuisine in its most tasty, diverse and authentic manner. Our goal was to present the food in a way that you would be able to sense its taste and smell even through the screen of your device.

If your mouth is watering while looking at our pictures, we’ve accomplished our mission.

It is a combination of Slovenian characteristic dishes and modern life cuisine. It is a reflection of what we treasure from our grandparents on the one hand and our contemporary cooking and eating habits on the other. Having in mind the taste and quality of our grandmother’s cooking, we try to prepare and present it in a new, fresh way, always using local, healthy ingredients.

Wine regions

In Slovenia, where one of the national treasures is the world’s oldest, 400-year old grapevine and whose national anthem is “A Toast “, wine is a significant part of the national identity and a glass of excellent wine has a special significance.

“The vintage, friends, is over,
and here sweet wine makes,
once again,
sad eyes and hearts recover,
puts fire into every vein,
drowns dull care everywhere,
and summons hope out of despair.”

The original wines of Slovenia are: the Karst Teran, Refosco, Malvasia, “Zelen”, “Pinela”, “Klarnica”, Ribola varieties, “Grganja”, “Ranina”, Furmint, “Bizeljčan”, “Metliška črnina” and “Cviček”. Slovenia is divided into three wine regions and several wine districts, through which more than 20 wine roads run.

Primorska region

Districts:Typical vines and wines:
VipavaWhite: “Zelen”, “Pinela”, “Klarnica” and Picolit
Red: Merlot, Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon
The vine Picolit results in sweet dessert wine.
IstriaWhite: Malvasia, Chardonnay
Red: Refosco, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon
This is the warmest Slovenian wine grooving district stretching to the coast; Refosco is dominant here.
Goriška BrdaWhite: Ribolla, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris,
Red: Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon
Brda vineyards frequently neighbour olive trees, cherries and peaches. The “Brici”, Brda inhabitants, produce some of the best Slovenian wines. Many winemakers also produce their own wine blends (couvee) which are considered a pride of the house.
KarstRed: “Teran”
The district of Karst is home of Slovenian autochthonous wine specialty, “Teran”, produced from refosco grapevine. This is strong dry wine whose aromatic flavour comes from the special Karst red soil called terra rossa.

The region of Primorska produces the most wine, around 40% of all Slovenian production. Vineyards stretch from the coast up to the attitude of 360 meters above sea level. Hot dry summers, mild winters and a strong bora wind give character to several white and red vines. Many of them are internationally recognized and served in some world’s top restaurants.

Podravje region

Districts:Typical vines and wines:
ŠtajerskaWhite: Italian Riesling, “Šipon” or Furmint, White Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Traminer and Muscatel
Red: Blue Franconian, Pinot Noir and very rare vine “Žametna črnina” or “Black Velvet” (oldest grapevine in the world).
The largest wine district in Slovenia. Some areas belong to the world best wine regions. They are known for producing sparkling wines and large wine cellars with archive wines are worth visiting.
PrekmurjeWhite: Italian Riesling, predicate wines
In the mostly lowland area young generations of wine makers are establishing their wines

Podravje is Slovenia’s biggest wine region where wines full of fruit and flower aromas are produced. Many winemakers decide on late harvest or even ice wine harvest. Štajerska is the home of the “Old Vine”, the oldest living specimen of vine in the world that still bears grapes. It is more than 400 years old and every year a symbolic harvest of 35 to 55 kg is bottled.

Posavje region

Districts:Typical vines and wines:
DolenjskaWhite: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Italian Riesling and “Cviček”
Red: “Žametna črnina”, Blue Franconian and Blue Portugese
Mostly small vineyards, cultivated by amateurs. A typical feature are “zidanice”, vineyard houses. Cviček (blend) can be produced only in this district.
Bizeljsko SremičWhite: Pinot Blanc, Italian Riesling
Red: Blue Franconian, Pinot Noir
Lately sparkling wines are also being produced; a characteristic of this district are “repnice”; wine cellars dug into the earth.
Bela krajinaWhite: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Italian Riesling
Red: “Žametna črnina”, Blue Franconian, Blue Portugese and “Metliška črnina”
Similar to Dolenjska district but practising more late harvest and maceration – producing rose wines.

Cviček wine is the phenomenon of this region, more precisely Dolenjska district. Cviček is red wine composed of at least four wine varieties (70% red, 30% white). People have been drinking Cviček for more than 200 years and the discovery of its medical benefits have even increased the popularity of this very drinkable wine.

For all wine lovers grape harvesting is the biggest festival. It’s followed by St. Martin’s fest at the beginning of November, another celebration opportunity. Exactly on November 11th, grapejuice called “must” is supposed to turn to wine, which requires major celebrations all over the country.

Grape harvesting
Grape harvesting
St. Martin festival
St. Martin festival
Welcome to osmica
Welcome to osmica

Another interesting custom is related to wine. It is called »osmica« (eight days). Osmica is related to the farmer’s right to sell wine. The establishment of this right dates back more than 1,200 years. The emperor of the time, Karle the Great, allowed farmers to sell their wine without paying any taxes for eight consecutive days in a year. As a sign of “osmica” happening, an ivy branch was hanged out on the farmer’s front door. In Karst the custom is still alive today. An unwritten rule goes that every producer can have “osmica” once or twice a year as long as they have enough wine and food from their own personal supply. Nowadays good wine is always accompanied with homemade food, such as air-dried karst ham and other cured meat products, freshly baked bread, “potica” and strudel.

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