Anna Grace and I spent 12 days traipsing across the Balkans a couple of summers ago and that holiday, in spite of a stolen iPhone, Communist-era train travel in 30°C weather, and a bus that ran out of gas on the main highway, ranks near the top as a favorite. So, when a generous AISV parent and Bosnian native offered a tasting course of wines from her country I could not say, “Ne.“
My new friend.
Bosnia and Herzogovina is an independent country formed from part of the former Yugoslavia, once part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and before that, part of the Ottoman Empire. You get the idea.
Our hostess, calm and in control.
The restaurant owner and our guide, a wine critic who specializes in Central and Eastern European wines.
At each seat was our score sheet. While some in the group came prepared with their “100 point” wine tasting notebooks, I thankfully sat with a group of people who used phrases like, “This wine smells good,” and “Mmm. I like how this wine tastes.”
Surrounded with Dalmatian cheeses and Bosnian charcuterie, we began.
Citluk wineries must be a sight to behold. Acres of limestone vineyards, with grapes warmed by the Adriatic sun. Its main white wine is Kameno, meaning “stone wine.” Nice and dry, a bit spicy, but not an overall favorite.
Vukoje wines hail from vineyards begun under the Austro-Hungarian Empire. We could taste the history.
The favorite red all around was the Blatina. Produced from a fussy female grape, indigenous to Bosnia that must be pollinated each year with other varietals (Alicante and Trjnak), the dry and spicy flavors won us over.
A monastery-produced red. Some of us thought perhaps the monks should stick to praying after tasting the wine.
After the tastings finished, lively discussion ensued to help determine the varietals to be offered at the restaurant. Great fun, even for those of us without the “100 point” wine notebooks!