Travel Tuesday: A Slice of Slovenia

"Wine has a voice for those who wish to hear it and for those who take the time to understand it" ~ Maria at Vinakoper.

It was a beautiful fall morning in Bordeaux when I wrote this article in 2013 after a few days in Slovenia. It was another hot, warm day was on tap in the city center, and it did not disappoint. Just below the window of my hotel, tours buses could be seen lined up, waiting to take eager tourists on a city tour or out to the many Chateaus which dot the iconic landscape.

But what of Slovenia? My first impressions, after landing and driving to the coast, wow it's a beautiful country, so clean and crisp, beautiful Mountain ranges greet you as depart from the airport and green, green everywhere you look. So the evergreen forest scene is not your thing, huh? Well not to worry, because there are many beautiful beaches and seaside resorts waiting to welcome you. If you're looking for something to do after a day of wine tasting, while inland then a quick cruise to the coast to catch some sun and taking a plunge in the Adriatic Sea is highly recommended.

For a country of only two million people, I'd have to say they really know how to keep their nation pristine, I was hard-pressed to find even a scrap of paper anywhere just laying about. Some other countries in the world, including mine, may want to take note. In fact, Slovenia won an award for National Geographic’s 2017 World Legacy Award, which comes with the title "the most sustainable tourist destination." Also, a great place to visit for those who don't speak a variety of languages, as English is widely in use and navigation around the country is fantastically comfortable.

I say a slice of Slovenia because unlike my other fellow journalists who accompanied me on this trip to what I will describe for me personally as the virtual unknown, my part of the journey was cut a bit short. Like the slice you see above, cut from the whole, so too was my trip to Slovenia. Oh yes, as if par for the course, the wine gods were not smiling on me, as I had more than a few obstacles crop up on my way there and after arriving. It was as if the universe was saying no-no Bill, don't go, to Slovenia, but I somehow persevered.

What obstacles you ask, well, there were unexplained cancellations of my original flight, with shoulder shrugs of indifference from Air France staffers on hand (once I arrived at JFK) and then there was the sudden and painful food poisoning via my dance with the Octopus the night before, which cramped my style so much, I had to beg for mercy. To this day, I still stay away from any dish where Octopus is part of the ingredients.

So to say I even saw a slice of this fantastic country or its wonderful people is a generous statement at best. But I do hope to revisit one day again in the future, but with fortune smiling on my journey the next time.

But now for one of the most ideal desserts and wine pairings I've ever encountered, please don't take my words lightly here. When I say ever, I genuinely mean ever. This was my first experience with either one of these great items you see pictured above, but I hope it will not be my last. The dessert plated in the picture above is called (Presna) Gibanica; a blend of cottage cheese, raisins, with a subtle sweetness and other yummy stuff. Sadly I didn't get the ingredient list, and the sparkling wine you see pictured with above is a Muscat produced semi-dry, and it sells for 12 euros.

If you're looking for the most amazing wine to pair with your wedding cake and have a toast with your guests, yes Champagne is customary, elegant, and sophisticated. But it lacks the one essential component necessary to pull off the pairing perfection; it has little RS like the bubbly pictured above. In pairing wines with desserts, it's important to remember to match sweet with sweet for pairing success. I've eaten plenty of wedding cake in my day, and feel qualified to tell you a matter of factly that the above wine, is a wedding cake's best friend, don't doubt me.

As you can see from the picture above Slovenia is a very green place, no shortage of rainfall here. The best time to visit begins in May and ends in September. The brand Ormož Jeruzalem was named after the two towns, both of which are closely related to its wines and vineyards; Jerusalem is the highest point and the center of our vineyards. As legend has it that this area was named at the time of the Crusades.

Many of crusaders coming through this area at the time believed this must be the idealized Jerusalem and opted to stay instead of returning home. Ormož is a picturesque ancient town on the steep terraces above the river Drava and has always been associated with wine. If you'd like to take an in-depth look at the Slovenian Wine Scene, then click here for all the details, on tour, travel and more.

Slovenia is a gorgeous unspoiled country, one I hope to visit again someday, and I'd encourage you to do the same. It has great art, culture, castles, skiing, basketball, fantastic food, fun, and fascinating people and above all quite the selection of new and different styles of wine to sample and savor. Until next time folks remember life is so short, so take a chance, do something different, don't settle and for god's sake get out there Salud!


Travel-PB said…
Nice post! I definitely agree with your thoughts on the wine/cake pairing. However, I have to say those vineyards offer many more sweet and semi-dry solutions for your sweet dessert equation.

When you make it back to Slovenia feel free to contact me if you need some local advice on what to see and which wine to try. ;)

Have fun, keep travelling and don't stop blogging about it!

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