Šmarnica

Origin: A type of self-rooted grapevine that up until recently was illegal since it allegedly could, if handled incorrectly, contain large amount of methanol. Originated in Slovenia and has only been allowed for commercial sale since September 2018

Grown: Slovenia

Climate: Continental (rain, humidity and frost resistant)

Viticulture: Self-rooted vine, a natural cross between two or more varieties. Generally, more resistant than cultivated grapevines and therefore does not need regular treatments, making it the perfect wine for organic wine production

Regional names to look for on label:

  • Štajerska

General Personality:

  • Colour: Pale lemon
  • Aromas: Very aromatic, grape aromas, floral and stone fruit with different layers of citrus
  • Taste and Texture: Generally dry, medium acidity, balanced alcohol and a remarkably long grape finish
  • Conclusion: Odd! Different from anything you have every tried before. You can smell it from a meter away and the aromas are impossible to compare to any universally known variety. Rich viscosity that fills your mouth, and the lushness of the wine lingers for minutes. Not for the faint of heart!
  • Future: For now, drink now (but as its popularity grows and winemaking philosophies change, its aging potential might change)

Food pairings:

  • General: Described as very aromatic, and that is a gross understatement. It is an explosion on your pallet, and even hardened sommeliers that have tried everything will end up lost for words. Hard to pair, since it tends to become dominant in comparison to everything. Highly enjoyable on its own or with something simple, that helps to enhance and soften the wine
  • Obvious pairing: Brie Sandwich with Apricot and Pear
    There are many recipes out there for how to make your own Vegan Brie From Nuts, and it is just delicious. The acidity and creaminess make it a perfect wine friend, and together with some Ripe Pear and Apricot on Flaky Bread, it is a simple but ridiculously tasty pairing for Šmarnica
  • A Sweet Treat: Peach and Ginger Cashew Cheesecake
    Despite that the wine is not particularly sweet, its odd structure makes it a surprisingly good paring to slightly sweet deserts (but do avoid actually sweet stuff). It works perfectly with this simple Fruit Cheesecake. The almond based cheese gives enough body to balance the wine, at the same time as the fruit of the wine is enhanced by the fruit in the dessert. The ginger and the hint of sweetness in the cake, further brings out the complexity of the wine. One of the few times, when a dry wine is recommended with dessert!