The Spirit of Exploration

You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. -Andre Gide

This is statement is so true, when I stepped off terra-firma here in San Diego, and boarded that big jet-liner, departing for Slovenia, other than reading about it, I had no idea what to expect. But as I quickly lost sight of my hometown, and settled into my seat, I knew I was 'off' on another wine adventure, and this time I was leaving for parts previously unknown to me. 

As I began to discover new wines from different regions of world, I became discontent to simply pop the cork and enjoy its contents. It's part of the reason I started this blog in the first place. I wanted to visit these amazingly diverse regions directly and see for myself where the grapes are grown, and meet the great folks behind the label. 

For me personally when it comes to wine, I fancy myself as a bit of an explorer. But I think the ever outspoken Coco Chanel who once said, "There is no time for cut-and-dried monotony!" summed it up for me perfectly, life is too short to stay on the monotone shores of sameness, get out there!

So often I wonder where has the "Spirit of Exploration" gone? We all learned about explorers in school, we learned about their exploits both good and bad, their trials and tribulations which are a natural part of the journey. I'm always excited to hear my name called, when it's time for a new adventure, frankly I spent a good deal of last year wondering if my name would ever get called? 

And then it happened in latter part of the year 2013, my name was called and an invitation to travel to Slovenia was put on the table. At first I was thinking where? See I had not even seen a bottle of wine from Slovenia before let alone, having even tasted one. So I did a bit of research to see what I would be getting into, and my interest 'peeked' to say the least. I sent in my enthusiastic acceptance [RSVP] of the invitation to join a few other journalists on the trip. 

So if you're ready for an entirely different white wine experience? This delicious and yes like the bottle says, exceptional Furmint from Slovenia is the ticket for a ride through tasty town. This wine folks is the real deal, and the reason I'm a wine explorer. This wines is among what has not been many, but definitely one of my first pleasurable experiences with Furmint, vibrant acid and tangy fruit come together like few other white wines can deliver.

A touch of beeswax holds the abundant peach and apricot in check, while a fresh cut grass plays bass in the background. Vibrant minerality from the first sip to the last drop, a distinctive white wine experience you won't forget anytime soon. Vibrant freshness easily remains, even a day or two after this screw-cap closure is reattached and stored in the fridge awaiting many happy slurps later. The vintage not seen in the picture above is 2011 and my score 92 points.  

This wine is not expensive, if it could had here in the states, you'd most likely pay just under $20, unfortunately I could not find a source for this wine here in the U.S. If you'd like to explore Slovenia and I recommend that you do so, if you like a beautiful, clean, crisp country that has been "quietly making high-class wines for over two millenia with many of the current wineries founded as far back as the 1500's this is the spot." I'm not sure about you, but I think that's a long time. The folks who call Slovenia home are warm and welcoming, the hospitality is off the charts. 

Oddly enough, while there I had the opportunity to taste a Sauvignon Blanc from 1972, if memory serves me right, that was amazingly beautiful, stunning and quite drinkable. I asked about acquiring a bottle from my birth year, which they said was one of the very best [of course, wink-wink] vintage years in recent memory, but they didn't even mention the [not so affordable] price, as it wasn't really for sale. With so few of them left that was completely understandable.

But if you don't have the coin to take a trip to across the pond right now, especially after getting 'whacked' by Uncle Sam's tax hikes, then may I suggest jumping online, contacting the grape peeps at Blue Danube Wines. They have a great selection of wines from Slovenia, Croatia and Hungry. The good news for my West Coast peeps in the audience, they ship from their location in Los Altos, California. Until next time folks, sip long and prosper cheers!


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