October 20, 2012
I’ve been very busy with a couple of tight deadline projects which are still somewhat secret, though once the copyright issues are clear to me I’ll upload some of those details. So in the meantime here’s another wine related post.
My parents came over this week for the celebration of my Grandmothers 80th birthday. They brought with them the last remaining (physical) souvenir from their 2001 holiday to the small Island of Pantelleria.
They went there specifically for the wine, as they were served a glass in a restaurant the year before and the stuff is apparently not for sale anywhere else. They brought home a couple of bottles, but we didn’t drink the best one until three days ago.
For a white wine it is incredibly dark and potent. Definitely not the kind of stuff you can drink by the bottle. I sort of suspect that I’ll never have another glass of this fantastic stuff ever again…
August 22, 2012
About three months ago we attended a tasting menu based on Slovak wines at a great local restaurant. Every dish (out of a total of 8 courses) was served with two wines, one from the Vino Nichta winery and the other by Ostrožovič. By and large we liked Ostrožovič better and I decided to contact the winery to see if they would ship to us directly. The following is an —only somewhat— abbreviated transcript of the discussion that spanned a sum total of four emails.
David: “I was wondering if it would be possible to order wines directly from you. We’re interested in the following wines [...], roughly 10~20 bottles of each.”
Veronika: “If you mail us the delivery address we can have it shipped in one day.”
David: “That’s great, if you can give me a price estimate for purchase+shipping we can finalize the order.”
Veronika: “We just shipped you the boxes, they should arrive tomorrow. Cash on delivery; xxx,xx €.”
David: “Erm, right…”
Actually I didn’t say that last part, I just thought it. I don’t know whether this aggressive sales strategy is due to an incomplete grasp of polite English by Veronika or whether she’s just efficient at what she does, but the upshot is our pantry is now stocked with a solid 72 bottles of quality wine (to wit: Furmint Sur-Lie, Furmint Solaris, Lipovina Natur, Muškát Žltý and Muškát Saturnia).
Add to this a small batch we bought at the local wine tasting specialist three days ago —located inside the Catholic church bell-tower on the main square, reachable via a narrow staircase I would not enjoy navigating while inebriated— and I think we’re all set for a year and a half, maybe even two. Note to self; do not, repeat not, go on a drinking binge.
June 2, 2012
I’ve been living in Poprad, Slovakia for about 3 years now. I knew the place well since I used to visit throughout my childhood with my parents, but I’ve only ever been here while in holiday mode which is not the same as living mode. One of my main gripes about the place is that it’s difficult to get good food and good ingredients. The supermarkets sell very standard stuff and I have to frequent all of them because they specialize in different categories (Billa has good ham, Kaufland good veggies, Tesco is better at cheese and alcohol, HyperNova does good wine and ground meat etc.). The local market is rather pathetic in terms of selection. The overwhelming majority of restaurants and diners in this country are dismal as well. You’re usually fine while ordering mashed potatoes and schnitzel, but anything involving spices or good meat will almost certainly be a disappointment.
Imagine my elation when we found a fantastic place at walking distance from our home, quite by accident about a year ago. The serving staff speak decent English, the restaurateur is passionate and the chef is a genius. He has the knack of creating a dish around a key ingredient without exaggerating the taste. I know that sounds easy, but I doubt it is.
Today we attended a special tasting menu based on Slovak traditional ingredients and wines, and I was surprised to learn how many good ones there are produced here. The following list is mostly for my own reference. The wines were all selected from two native wineries; Ostrožovič and Vino Nichta. There were a total of six courses, each accompanied by two selected wines.