Vinistra 2011

As always, Vinistra is a special event that should not be missed if you have any interest in great wines and food. Since I expect more elaborate reviews of wines and oils from my blogging friends, I will give just an overview of this year’s event.

Vinistra was held again at Žatika sports hall in Poreč. Although this is a fairly large hall, it was almost too little to accept all the crowds that gathered Saturday afternoon! Morning and mid day were much better time for visiting.

Zatika Sports Hall
Zatika Sports Hall

Outside the sports hall were, as always, tents and stands with offers for wine makers. Machinery and equipment for every size wine makers: hobbyists to seasoned professionals! Since I am not interested in any of that, we continued to the exhibition area located inside the building. At the very entrance you can purchase tickets and get all the information on events and exhibitors. Although I was quite excited about tasting some new wines, I was equally interested in tasting some of the delicacies offered or attending any of the cooking shows that usually takes place at Vinistra promoting local gastronomy. This year, I decided to go to the presentation held by San Rocco hotel and restaurant from tiny Brtonigla town.

Boskarin cattle on the menu
Boskarin beef on the menu

The theme was Boskarin beef. Boskarin- a rare, indigenous cattle variety from Istria – was saved from the certain extinction only 10 years ago when it was introduced in the restaurants.  San Rocco, as one of the best restaurants in the country, was a safe bet for a great experience and it did not fail us! We enjoyed several most delicious meat dishes and nearly perfect semifredo with dried fig… Ecstasy!

Pate of Boskarin liver
Pate of Boskarin liver
Boskarin tongue
Boskarin tongue
Boskarin beef filled ravioli
Boskarin beef filled ravioli
Boskarin baby beef on potatoes and onions
Boskarin baby beef on potatoes and onions

The chef Voljen (means: loved) was truly loved after all these delicacies!

Chef Voljen in action
Chef Voljen in action

Did I say Vinistra is a wine show?

Yeah…got carried away a bit with all the great tastes. Back to the main floor.

Wines: Istrian Malvazija, Teran, Refošk, Rose (several different types), Muškat wines and several interesting producers from various regions. We were going from table to table returning to taste the latest from our past favorites and to discover some new ones.

Still not crowded...
Still not crowded...

I enjoyed Trapan’s rose quite a bit and think that it can go far paired with right food. It has all the elements to be great and refreshing summer wine. Saints Heels of well known Saints Hills wine cellar was a bit too “quiet” and would like to have it with something that would bring out all the flavors. I also tried several refošk wines but still don’t like any of those. Maybe I am just a typical stubborn plavac man asking for power and strength out of my reds…

Saint Hills stand
Saints Hills stand

But, I found several lovely sweet wines as the sweet malvazija of the Benvenuti wine cellar: Malvazija istriana San Salvatore – an absolute gem when it comes to sweet wines! Probably the best sweet wine I have ever had…

Some curiosities on Vinistra are always interesting to taste: Bermet of Kis wine cellar from Sremski Karlovci.

The stand of Kis wine cellar
The stand of Kis wine cellar

Bermet is their tradition for over over 180 years and it is quite interesting sweet wine a bit hard to compare to anything else. They have red and white varitey but only red was available for tasting at the fair. Next to their stand was the stand of Kastelanski crljenak. I was told that they did not exhibit in Makarska some 15 days ago so it was strange to find them in Istria. But, it was also a great find as I did not have the opportunity to taste it before. However, the presenter was a bit strange and not interested in talking to us so he only gave us a sample from one bottle that he quickly hid under the stand so I still have no clue what I had… Never mind, I’ll track it down.

Kastelanski crljenak
Kastelanski crljenak

Then we sampled some olive oils but the craziest was at the Belic stand with Mr. Belic being more of an entertainer than a “serious” olive oil maker.  🙂

San Gurmano stand with several great olive oils
San Gurmano stand with several great olive oils

Another great event was a a presentation by the wine bloggers of Croatia: Manjada, Gurwomen, Darko Baretic, Vinopija, Lada Radin and Eno Gastro Mama (look up the links on the right: the list of my favorite Croatian blogs). It was also an opportunity to meet them all in real life and to see what that great bunch is is up to. Their joint project Taste of Croatia is definitely worth following and supporting!

Wine Bloggers United
Wine Bloggers United

Vinistra is quite well organized and I did not notice a single problem or issue. It is also well visited and especially nice was to see young crowds. Ok, maybe not all of them came for the true love of wine but it is always nice to see new folks carrying on the tradition.

The flags of Vinistra
The flags of Vinistra

Vinistra is definitely worth visiting but the best experience is to combine wine tasting with culinary events offered. You can learn more on their official page: http://www.vinistra.com/

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