Singapore’s Holiday Wine Buying Guide (1855 The Bottle Shop Selection)

It’s been almost a year since I attended my first UK wine fair – The Great New Zealand Wine Tasting held at Lindley Hall, London. For some mysterious reason, the universe eventually stirred me to Singapore’s Wakanui, a restaurant with a main focus on New Zealand’s beautiful food and wine. I finally settled in a place that benefits me in all kinds of ways and to which I hope to contribute greatly. One of those awesome benefits was the 1855’s Wine & Whisky Week Christmas Edition, Singapore’s largest wine & whisky event with over 500 labels from over 20 countries. I loved the concept – you come on Monday, try 30 wines, then you come on Thursday and try a totally different flight of 30 wines. This is how the organizers promote different brands and let wine lovers discover a huge chunk of the 1855 portfolio. Besides that, the fair offered 12 Masterclasses (I attended Macallan’s) and amazing discounts that should not have been missed. After tasting cca 100 samples, I cherry-picked a top 10 list as a buying guide in spirit of the upcoming holidays, enjoy! Continue reading “Singapore’s Holiday Wine Buying Guide (1855 The Bottle Shop Selection)”

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”

Filling in the Blancs: Aleksandar Duković

In the new Filling in the Blancs I’ve interviewed one out of my 10 life mentors. People always laugh at this, but I kid you not, I have a list stashed in my notebook of the ten people that influenced my perspectives on existence & business and shaped me to be the man I am today. I was introduced to some very early (hi, dad), while others arrived through different networking events and situations. Aleksandar Duković has always fascinated me and is simply one of those people that you just listen to and think “damn, this guy has HUSTLED”. Continue reading “Filling in the Blancs: Aleksandar Duković”

Why the Hell Did the French Start Listing Grape Varieties on Labels?

Appellation d’origine contrôlée…ah, the hate-love relationship we all have with this beautiful, yet aggravating appellation system. The French always used long-ass terms to describe where their wine came from and what it was, still telling you nothing until you actually try it and do your research. And on top of all this, guess what they love to say to this? Well, only a true expert can feel the wine before opening it, that’s where the real magic lies. WHAT? You’re telling me that every single person out there that just wants to buy a nice bottle of Bordeaux (blend of Cab Sauv, Merlot and Cab Franc btw) and drown his everyday sorrows in alcohol needs to FIND THE MAGIC? That’s like telling a homeless person that his first million is just around the corner, but he just has to figure out how to stop drinking from AIDS-infected milk cartons, get out of the dumpster and start a cooking show. Continue reading “Why the Hell Did the French Start Listing Grape Varieties on Labels?”

Filling in the Blancs: Gregor Kren

Dear readers, let me introduce you to a man that pushed the level of studying at the Austrian Wine Academy to another level, a level many have never even come close to. Gregor Kren, a sommelier at Oštarija (Novo Mesto) and creator of Slovenia’s hip Pop Up Wine Festival, is the leader that every squad strives towards having. He organized some of the best wine tastings I have ever attended in a place that I would have never seen myself in a hundred years – Rust, Austria. There, while studying the WSET Diploma, we opened Champagne with sabers, studied the shit out of those huge books and laughed our asses off with some of the biggest names in the business. I’ll take this opportunity to thank him for all the awesomeness and legendary friendship we formed. Now, enjoy! Continue reading “Filling in the Blancs: Gregor Kren”

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”

Wine Blown: Taylor’s LBV 2012

The cake is a lie, I tell ya!

You take the white one, the evening ends. You wake up tomorrow and think it was just another fine evening with friends. You take the red one, you arrive in wonderland and it shows you how deep your senses can dig into your mind. Have you ever been presented with such an apparently meaningless choice? On the one hand, you have conformity, on the other the unknown. Surrounded by friends, I chose the unknown and during the first “bite” was thinking to myself: “It’s just a cake. No need to be worried too much.” Continue reading “Wine Blown: Taylor’s LBV 2012”

Wine Blown: Carska Vina Žilavka Premium Edition 2015

This blog is taking it’s turn into a source of wine knowledge that sparks interest for anybody to jump on with his/her contribution. Of course, not just ANYBODY can judge a wine and go public with it, so for the first time in Grape Nomad’s history, I’m proud to announce the first helping hand on this website – Adin Bulatović, manager of Delikatesna Radnja and wine aficionado in the making. Adin started out as an exemplary beer drinker, but found passion in wine a few years back at a couple of my workshops. He jumped right into the wine world by trying several samples primarily from B&H, but slowly continued to Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Spain…He not only focused on the practice, but also hit the books (and Google) hard, soaking up info about food pairings, regions, grape varieties and soils. The place he works at is one of my favorite places in Sarajevo to just kick back and relax with a proper glass of wine and a simple bite to eat. It’s basically a wine bar/bistro that takes pride in quality and aims for uniqueness with a concentration on Balkan wines, but also a convenient selection of Italian and Spanish as well. Continue reading “Wine Blown: Carska Vina Žilavka Premium Edition 2015”

The Godfather of Istrian Wine: Ivica Matošević

What if I told you that there was a Croatian winemaker out there capable of making badass wines easily comparable to the giants of France, Italy and Spain? Would you believe me and why not? Now, before you jump to conclusions, hear me out people. I’m not trying to degrade anybody here, but the reality is that you, the casual wine drinker, would grab the first bottle of Chianti or Cote du Rhone if you found yourself in a London supermarket, hesitant of what wine to pair with Cajun steak and passionate sex. Tough luck.

Reputation is a slippery slope. It can blast you into the stars, but it can also cut you off both feet. You can make better wines than half the French, it just won’t matter for the majority of consumers who simply want to enjoy some goddamn peace and quiet alongside a pool of alcohol. But there will always be the other side of the coin – folks that are thirsty for knowledge and willing to try something new on a daily basis. These people are the national treasure of the wine world and need to be protected from merciless capitalistic influence & cloying monotony at all times. Yes, it’s always going to be safer to play the card of buying that 5-million-production Bordeaux Rouge, but instead of purchasing the new Macklemore album, why not go with the lesser known, but highly legendary Currents from Tame Impala? Continue reading “The Godfather of Istrian Wine: Ivica Matošević”

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