10 best award-winning wines as voted by wine experts that should be on your ‘wines-to-drink’ list while in Slovenia.
If you’re a wine lover, you’re in the right place and country. Slovenia is becoming ever more popular as a prime wine destination. It produces top-quality wines and features abundant wineries, many of which are beautiful for visiting. Not to mention the passionate and oftentimes eccentric winemakers that have got a handful of exciting wine stories to tell you.
Were you wondering which wines you should be filling your wine glasses with this year? Look no further. Here are Slovenia’s 10 best wines that you certainly need to taste while you’re in Slovenia. All are award-winning wines that have been voted for by wine experts, including the Decanter World Wine Awards.
Iglič Furmint 2016 (Decanter Platinum Medal 2019)
This wine is by Vino Gross winery from northeast Slovenia’s Štajerska wine region. Its Furmint grapes grow on a high plateau—named Iglič—of limy clay marl with south-facing terraces. You may already be familiar with Furmint (known as Šipon in Slovenia). It’s a white grape variety that’s currently very popular in the international wine scene and is the main ingredient in Hungary’s sweet Tokaj wines.
Iglič Furmint 2016 is a fresh and fruity wine. As you bring it to your nose you can smell apple and green melon, accompanied by white pepper and spicy aromas. These aromas reflect on the palate. With regard to food pairing, this wine goes well with a wide range of foods, from light fish dishes and raw fish to well-seasoned dishes.
DP Brut Furmint 2015 (Decanter Gold Medal 2019)
Made in the Champagne method, this wine by Dveri Pax winery has had 18 months on lees, so it’s complex and creamy. Both scent and taste are of white pepper with some apricot and citrus. This Brut Furmint goes down well as an aperitif, and you can enjoy it along with canapés, carpaccios, sushi, and oysters.
Rebula Up 2013 (Decanter Platinum Medal 2019)
This is an excellent orange wine made by Ščurek winery from the Rebula grape variety that’s typically found in Slovenia’s western Goriška Brda wine region. The scent is of candied orange, apricot, and dried fruit. While in the mouth, it’s sweetly spicy with a hint of vanilla. Try Rebula Up with some spicy Asian food, gnocchi or pasta dishes with rich white sauces, aged cheeses, and semi-sweet desserts.
Sivi Pinot Amfora 2012 (Decanter Gold Medal 2019)
This Pinot Gris (Pinot Grigio) by Erzetič winery is another great example of an orange wine. By looking at its colour, you can tell that it’s gone through a long period of maceration. Having been aged in amphorae, it’s got a remarkable texture. It’s extremely mineral on the nose, with spicy and ripe fruit notes, and is rich in the mouth. This wine and a moderately spiced dish are a match made in heaven!
How about trying Sivi Pinot Amfora with some popular foods that you can find in Slovenia like prebranec (a Balkan dish of baked beans in a lightly spicy sauce) or sarma (cabbage rolls typically filled with meat and rice)?
Rosé 2018 (Decanter Gold Medal 2019)
Now here’s a premium rosé that will please any wine lover, even those that aren’t so into rosé wine. Some rosé wines do tend to lack fruit concentration, but not this one by Colnar winery. With a perfect blend of 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Blaufränkisch, it’s got this delicate and light colour. Yet the flavour is lovely and intense. And being a structured wine with a good amount of tannin, this rosé is a good complement for food. Excellent matches are fish and sushi.
Cabernet Franc 2017 (Decanter Platinum Medal 2019)
Gašper winery’s Cabernet Franc has the typical characteristics of red peppers or capsicum, black pepper, and lots of red and dark fruit. You can really taste the oak. However, it doesn’t dominate the wine’s fruitiness. You can have it with roast chicken, pork, beef, duck, sausage, lamb, veal, hearty fish dishes, and even hard or soft cheese.
The next four wines are the 2019 Slovenian Wine Festival Awards winners for the four categories: White Sparkling Wine, Rosé Sparkling Wine, Best White Wine, and Best Red Wine.
Prestige Extra Brut 2013 (Best White Sparkling Wine)
This delicate and sophisticated dry sparkling by Istenič winery is a blend of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir that’s wonderful with poultry, fish, shellfish, or fresh cheeses.
Gourmet Rosé Brut, 2015 (Best Rosé Sparkling Wine)
Another wine by Istenič, this time an extremely dry sparkling wine made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes. This grape variety gives the wine its full, distinctive flavour and bouquet. You can enjoy it as an aperitif, and is a good accompaniment for oily fish dishes, red meat, lamb, and grilled vegetables.
Chardonnay 2015 (Best White Wine)
Made by Jelenič winery, this is a complex golden amber wine with generous apricot and honey notes, velvety texture and a long finish. Since it is a complex wine, it’s not so easy to pair it with food. So you can drink this alone, or if you really want to have food along with it, then go for a few light snacks and fresh cheeses.
Fino Rdeče 2015 (Best Red Wine)
This deep ruby red wine by Ferjančič wine estate is a blend of 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Cabernet Franc. It’s a very rich wine, having been matured for two years in French barrique barrels and one year in the bottle. On the nose, you have scents of prunes, black currant, graphite, vanilla, charred wood and smoke. As you sip the wine, you’ll taste these flavours along with some added liquorice and cocoa.
How to Enjoy Slovenia’s Wines
We’re pretty sure we’ve tempted you with our list of heavenly Slovenian wines. So it’s now time to hit the town and try them out. You can find these wines in most wine stores in Ljubljana, or directly at the winemakers. The wineries listed above are definitely worth visiting if you’re thinking of going wine tasting around Slovenia’s wine country. And if you want to drink in the company of other wine enthusiasts while getting expert knowledge from wine connoisseurs and sommeliers, then you should definitely try a wine tour.
Let’s toast to Slovenia’s best awarded wines!