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Important Notice - Understandably, some people may see Hungary and Croatia and assume the class will feature esoteric wines that may be "interesting", yet unlikely to be purchased by you anytime soon. These wines, however, represent some of the most dynamic, interesting, and delicious wines available today. If you like Sancerre, lively Rieslings, or crisps Albarinos, you'll fall for the whites of both countries. if you like classic Rioja, Barolo, or Chateauneuf-du-Pape, this class will be an epiphany. I merely wanted to clarify that these wines are delicious, and not a collection of old-fashioned oddities. Indeed, the names may be hard to pronounce, yet the juice goes down easy.
Despite a longstanding cultural tradition of winemaking, few modern wine drinkers have ever heard of Croatia. Alas, that is about to change! In this country, the Mediterranean meets the Dinaric Alps meets the Adriatic. With such diversity, it’s no surprise that influential wine critics such as Robert Parker, Oz Clarke, and Jancis Robinson, have taken note this nation’s wines.
Cliff Rames will be co-hosting this class with me. He is a ‘Certified Sommelier’ and 'Certified Specialist of Wine' and has served as sommelier at the Caudalie Vinotherapie Spa at the Plaza and Le District in NYC, as well as Contributing Editor for The SOMM Journal magazine and Wine Consultant for Wegmans supermarkets. More importantly, he is Croatian, the real deal, and on his frequent trips to Croatia he sources out many distinct, special bottles, some of which we will taste. Most of all, he is a professional colleague and friend whom I have known for years and I can attest that his passion for wine is nonpareil. As the founder of Wines of Croatia, he spends much of his free time promoting the wines of this nation (check out his appearance as a guest on Wine Library TV, with Gary Vaynerchuk!). Cliff will discuss the grapes and wine regions of this Central European land, as well as the link between Zinfandel, Chardonnay, and Croatia, along with other little known, but incredibly illuminating tales of Croatia’s wine history.
Andrew Harwood, founder of NYC Wine Company, takes you across the border from Croatia into Hungary, whose equally inimitable tradition of winemaking will be showcased. Andrew, having worked as a winemaker in Tokaj, will give you the low down on the storied wines of this fabled zone, while also sharing his other favorite grapes and regions such as Bull’s Blood, Furmint, Hárslevelű, Kékfrankos, Kadarka and more.
Of course, your wine exploration to Croatia and Hungary will be enhanced by a selection of cured meats, perfectly aged cheeses, and, of course, the ubiquitous….”more”. So invite a friend(s) and discover the rich history and winemaking culture of Croatia and Hungary – you are bound to fall in love with one of these regions and wonder where these unique, inimitable wines have been your whole life.