As Monty Python would say, “and now for something completely different.” As with most European wine regions, the vineyards in Slovenia go back to Roman times. And, in fact, grapes were planted in Slovenia before either France, Germany, or Spain.
Located east of the Italian Friuli wine-growing region, this Slovenian producer is making some fascinating wines. The vineyard is dry-farmed and the grapes are hand-harvested. The Malvasia grapes are then barrel-fermented and aged for more than 11 months in barrel before resting for another six months in bottle.
This white wine has a fascinating nose of honey, beeswax, floral notes, ginger, and stone fruits. Reminiscent of a white Rhône wine, it’s chewy, rich, and full on the palate, with some of the same honey and waxy qualities, and a lovely herbal note. The fruit also gives a lightly sweet impression, similar in a way to a chenin blanc, but is quite dry. This Malvasia is so versatile, you can try it alone as an apéritif, or serve with appetizers such as nuts and figs, or melon and prosciutto. It also pairs nicely with a rich and flavorful fish or mild sausage. In fact, just serve it throughout the entire meal! $30, at Wine Exchange.