Eight Inspirational Winemakers of 2018

As we go through this life, we meet people that inspire us to do greater things. When listening to them talk or observing their work, we’re being given a glimpse of ourselves from a distance – what we perhaps haven’t obtained yet or what we’re capable of grasping in the future. We are humbled by even the briefest chats with our motivators (I don’t use the word “idols” as I don’t find much meaning to it), because they provide us with a form of intense mindfulness. The joy of such encounters roots from having the balls to go into the darkness of ignorance and realize that wine is not about who has the rarest bottle in their cellar or who can utter the poshest descriptor. It’s not about egos or styles or trends. It’s about creativity, soul-searching, expression, questioning, intention, emotion. It’s escape, transformation, outreach and the endless search for perfection. Simply, it’s about art. Continue reading “Eight Inspirational Winemakers of 2018”

Prowein 2018: 10 Wines Worth Travelling Across The Globe For

More than a month has gone by since my first Prowein experience and not a day passes that I don’t sit down and read a few lines of my tasting notes. It was truly difficult to make a top 10 list from 6870 exhibitors from 64 countries, but I succeeded somehow. On the side note, 60.000 people visited Prowein 2018 in just three days! Incredible. My attention was drawn by exotic wine countries such as Brazil, but I unfortunately did not hang out with tanned Brazilian girls. On the other hand, I did try some very nice wines that were skillfully made. Wines from Chinese regions such as Ningxia, Penglai, Changli and Shacheng made up for all the exhibitors’ clumsiness (some of them didn’t even know how to open a bottle). With this, the Chinese have proven to us that they will be knocking on doors and taking names very soon.

The most memorable experience was definitely the Mundus Vini Tasting Zone which had all its gold medalists on display. I can say with certainty that I’ve tried some of the best wines EVER here. With only three days, it was impossible to see and taste everything I wanted to, so I concentrated solely on wines that I couldn’t try back home. I admit, the love for the Old World was too strong, so at times I found myself tasting some incredible stuff from France, Spain and Italy as well. Here’s my top 10! Continue reading “Prowein 2018: 10 Wines Worth Travelling Across The Globe For”

Ask the Pros: 2017 Balkan Vintage Report

What a rollecoaster of weather conditions 2017 has been. From spring frost to extreme temperatures to heavy rain, this was truly the survival of the fittest. Only the most competent viticulturists got their grapes out of this alive and well and have passed the torch to their winemakers. Talking to some of the most skillful people in the Balkan region, I can conclude that the 2017 vintage will bring bottled magic to our tables. We just have to WAIT. Will it be worth it? Read on and find out. Continue reading “Ask the Pros: 2017 Balkan Vintage Report”

10 Wines That Will Make You Fall in Love with Žilavka Immediately

And you will find yourself on that road again, halfway between the life you left behind and the life you have not yet claimed. And for a moment, breathless, you will forget the destination, forget where you are going because your heart is ablaze, and the wind is in your hair now, and the world cannot keep up with you. You are too fast for this world, too alive to think about consequences. You have risked everything to ride on this road, risked ridicule and rejection and your precious reputation, but you have chosen life over death, freedom over approval, speed over stagnation. You have fallen in love with the unknown again. The destination will show itself, yes, a new life will rise, but first you must ride, guided only by some inner knowing, a little frightened, but in awe of your own courage. ~ Jeff Foster Continue reading “10 Wines That Will Make You Fall in Love with Žilavka Immediately”

Ask the Pros: 10 Balkan White Wines to End the Summer With

You probably wander through thousands of wines weekly at your local wine shop/supermarket looking for the right one to open now, on a sizzling summer day. You’re mostly drinking the cheaper New World Chards and Chenins because of their freshness, simplicity and ease of access. Hell, you may even drive down to Portugal to experiment with what they have to offer while organizing yourself a bloody good vacation. Two birds, one stone.

But how often do you say to your mates “let’s try some Balkan wines today“? What you can drink in this small heaven – Croatia, Montenegro, B&H, Serbia, Macedonia, Slovenia – will blow your mind into another dimension because we produce fresh styles of wine, aged wines, those exclusively committed to battonage, mixed with international grapes, made solely from international grapes. You name it. Continue reading “Ask the Pros: 10 Balkan White Wines to End the Summer With”

Top 10 Wines @ The Judgement of Mostar 2017

What an inspiration one gets after being invited to The Judgement of Mostar 2017, led by sommelier Siniša Lasan and director of sales at Nuić, Ivan Planinić. The organizers, of course, applied a playful tone for the name of the event (in reference to the famous Judgement of Paris ’76), but the wines were surely no laughing matter. We tried over 70 samples from all over the world, but the main focus was on BH wines and, if I may say, without any bullshit sugar-coating, we have witnessed colossal progress of Balkan wines in the last 10 years. Bosnia & Herzegovina, even though small and without big viticultural diversity (microclimates, carefully chosen positions, experimentation with vine training…), is undeniably filled with hidden gems. You will buy top-quality wines at 20-30 EUROS, bring them to your friends’ blind tasting and shout out THIS HAS TO BE SECOND GROWTH BORDEAUX/RIOJA GRAN RESERVA/TOSCANA IGT, only to get slapped in the face (metaphorically, or literally by one of your mates for jumping to conclusions so quickly) by an amazing aged Blatina or an opulent Trnjak or even a blend of those two. Continue reading “Top 10 Wines @ The Judgement of Mostar 2017”

10 Great New Zealand Wines to Enjoy in 2017

New Zealand will always be that dream country everybody talks about in the pub after the fifth beer upon realising in what kind of shithole they live in. It stands by its lonesome self in the Pacific Ocean and stretches for 1,600 km from sub-tropical Northland to the world’s most southerly grape growing region Central Otago. It’s a country that’s not too cold and not too hot and it’s famous for iconic wines, LOTR scenery and nice job opportunities. Do you really need anything else?

On the 16th of January, just one day before Liberty Wines’ APT 2017, I attended the exciting Great New Zealand Wine Tasting held at Lindley Hall, London. If the wine flowed for one more day, I swear I’d put “attended a wine marathon” in my CV. At this event, 90+ wineries came to present their best selections, mainly led by Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah and Pinot Noir, but with some special gems as well (holla to the fans of Viognier & Malbec). Continue reading “10 Great New Zealand Wines to Enjoy in 2017”

Top 10 Wines @ Liberty Wines Annual Portfolio Tasting 2017

Getting a chance to attend the Annual Portfolio Tasting of Liberty Wines in London was a professional beauty in my agenda. The company was founded in 1997 by David Gleave MW as a start-up with just four people working as staff. Today, it employs 130 individuals and has an annual turnover of £45 million. With awards annually pouring in from IWC, Decanter and SWA (On-Trade Supplier of the Year, Merchant of the Year, Wine Educator of the Year…), I honestly don’t see the need to bore you further with data and statistics of what Liberty Wines is in the international market today.

The APT 2017 was held on the 17th of January in the fascinating Kia Oval cricket ground in South London. This is the chief event of the company and gives wine lovers a chance to taste over 600 wines, spirits, beers, ciders and olive oils from over 150 representatives. To be frank, I only tasted around 250 samples. I started off slow and focused on my writing, but after a few hours I figured out how time is soaring by without me trying anything French or Italian. Luckily, eight hours presented a perfect time period to keep me sane and awake (though a lil’ dehydrated), so I cherry-picked the most sophisticated examples in the last 60 minutes. Being a WSET Diploma student, I really can’t complain about the producers selected for this event, because everything I wanted to cover and rehearse for the upcoming Unit 3 exam was there – Barolo, Tuscany, Australia, Alsace, Bordeaux, Burgundy, South Africa, Rioja… Continue reading “Top 10 Wines @ Liberty Wines Annual Portfolio Tasting 2017”

Grape Nomad’s Top 10 Cellar Picks of 2016

When reviewing 2016, I can’t help but think only one thing – what a shitty year for the world. Alan Rickman, David Bowie and Leonard Cohen died, Donald Trump became president of the US, refugee crises overflowed the news, people still think that sweet wines are cheap rubbish that should solely be paired with poor life decisions. Oh well, at least true wine lovers have been drinking some nice stuff to drown their sorrows and enter 2017 in style, like Kanye West did at the MTV Awards a few years back. But before you go anywhere and start analyzing the trends of next year (which you probably won’t follow), allow me to introduce you to the first Grape Nomad annual recap! Here, you’ll read about MY highest rated wines of 2016, wines that have blown me away with their sexiness and helped me rethink the complexity of this business. Because I decided to discover Italy in detail this year, you’ll see that their wines are pretty dominant in the selection. As a side-note, these are not bottles necessarily released during the year, nor are the scores something you have to blindly follow. I urge you to explore, be open and enjoy whatever gems you find from these top 10 picks. Continue reading “Grape Nomad’s Top 10 Cellar Picks of 2016”

There’s Never a “Right Time” for Rosé

With certainty, I can say that most people who are reading this article do not think of rosé as their first option at dinner and there is a very good reason for this. It is well-known that some producers have the constant goal of throwing rosés onto the market because it’s chic now to have a meek wine and call it “an aperitif” for sipping by the pool without blacking out on the burning sun. But fortunately for us, everything has its positive side; you just have to make a hell of an effort to discover it. Continue reading “There’s Never a “Right Time” for Rosé”

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