Slovenian wine is becoming increasingly easy to find at more specialized wine shops, but it’s probably not something you see on your average Italian wine list. Lucky for all you Los Angelenos, Drago Centro‘s wine director Michael Shearin gives Slovenian wine some room to breathe. I was ecstatic to find Movia’s Ribolla Gialla on the “By the Glass” list, demonstrating Michael’s obvious passion for everything Italy, and it’s very close neighbors, have to offer!
As Slovenia borders closely with Fruili, many of the same indigenous grapes are found in both areas. Ribolla Gialla is only one such autochthonous variety- joined in Friuli and Slovenia by Vitoska, Velin, Pinela among others. In fact, Movia’s property is equally split between Friuli’s Collio, and Slovenia.
Map showing the border of Italy’s Fruili and Slovenia.
Movia’s Ribolla Gialla is light gold in the glass and slightly less than totally clear. It is extremely mineral-driven in both the nose and palate, which is a pleasing compliment to the other aromas in this wine, such as dried flowers and tea leaves. It has a rather high acidity as well, making it a perfect match for a lot of foods.
Drago Centro’s Basil “Chitarra” pasta with tomato and almond pesto
Grilled Artichoke Risotto with a Quail’s Egg Yolk
Both of the above dishes were spectacular- a tribute to Drago Centro’s commitment to high-quality, modern renditions of Italian classics. I knew the wine list would be impressive, however the food simply surprised me in the very best way. Both dishes paired equally well with the Ribolla Gialla. The acidity of the tomato pesto highlighted the creaminess of the wine’s finish (probably a result of a longer ageing on the lees). The creamy risotto however, really sang- it brought out the mineral component really well and the light smokiness of the artichokes highlighted the wine’s acidity like a punctuation mark.
Movia’s wine maker, Ales Kristancic
I have always been intrigued by Movia’s wines- they have a lot of character, and they certainly don’t taste like anything else. There is a committment to authenticity in these wines- the same grapes grown elsewhere would not produce the same results. I am almost certain that when I am able to visit this part of the world, there will be something familiar about it because I have been drinking these wines for so long. Slovenia is like an old friend to me- one who I have yet to meet. Thanks to Drago Centro and Michael Shearin, now anybody can have a taste of Slovenia. All you have to do is ask.