France vs Croatia: To Open a Bottle of Champagne or Plavac Mali (Zinfandel)?
We are at the end of a beautiful soccer world cup, in which surprises were not missed! Now in the final we find a very young France, and the smallest Croatia, to whom will we toast?
In addition to clashing on the playing field, you will also see a battle between two major wine nations. While France has a massive representation in wine culture, small Croatia’s (4 million inhabitants) wine culture goes back to the dawn of time.
France is the nation that has most influenced the world of wine with its native vines that have become a point of reference for all nations, such as chardonnay, Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah etc. But their current history opened after 600 BC. . becoming today, certainly, the nation of reference and number one in the wine market.
But the Balkan and Mesopotamia part, 5,000 years ago (see our Georgian wines), has made possible the world of wine that we know today. It is said that the Illyrians were great winemakers, who traded all over the Mediterranean exporting their wine and vines to the Greek coasts. In turn, the Greeks conquered southern Italy and exported various vines that took part of a vast genetic heritage in the old continent.
But Croatian wines are very varied and truly valuable even, if little known. Moreover the cellars being very small "Botique" make each bottle precious. Even though Croatia is famous for Zinfandel, do not overlook Istrian malvasias.
This peninsula very close to Italy of our wines of Collio (Malvasia world champion 2017 Tiare Malvasia) has the most prestigious Malvasia in the world. In the Istrian peninsula also the sweet Muskat and the red Teran are excellent wines to taste.
The beautiful island of Krk where I have spent many holidays, as a wonderful island, gives us a high profile dry white like žlahtina.
If we move inland we find the most widespread vine, the Grasevina (riesiling Italico), and autochthonous ones like Kraljevina and Plavec Zuti.
The most known are logically Plavac Mali (the wine is Dignac) that we have mentioned before and have very good international grape varieties like Pinot Nero, Sauvignon, Cab or Merlot.
We just have to abandon the Winecup and enjoy the final of the World Cup drinking Zinfandel or toasting with champagne! The choice is yours and that the best will win!
P.S. I hope you do not offend our Croatian friends if I have not mentioned some wines if they want to give suggestions you can add them to the comments.