Disclaimer that this degustation was gifted to me by Dobrote Dolenjske. All opinions, as always, are my own.
Here at Wandering Helene, I want to connect travelers with local products so that you can have the best authentic experiences possible and get the best value for your money. Lots of people have been messaging me that they are planning on visiting Ljubljana this year asking for recommendations. When I travel, food is one of the most important and memorable parts of my trip, and sometimes finding good recommendations can be tough. Since I am a semi-local (as local as I can be as a foreigner haha) and avid traveler I think I can offer something special for all of you!
About Dobrote Dolenjske
If you have been following closely you will see I am a big fan of Dobrote Dolenjske (Dolenjska Delights) on this blog. It helps that I adore the Dolenjska region of Slovenia, which I think is highly underrated, and especially enjoy their wine and food. Anka, who works at the shop, told me that they want to offer dégustation services to showcase their wine and food products. I was eager to sign up for one to see if it would be a good match for the blog.
Dobrote Dolenjske is located in the center of Ljubljana (Mestni trg 17). They offer food products such as salami, cheese, jams, and cookies, wine, schnapps, and other locally produced products from the Dolenjska region of Slovenia. They take such great care with selecting their products, form relationships with the providers, and even created some of their own.
Last month, my husband and I headed to Dobrote Dolenjske for our tasting in Ljubljana. Now, if you are asking what the heck is dégustation – that is normal! haha – it is a tasting, usually of small dishes, often focusing on the senses. There is a lot of care to these tastings concerning how the foods and wines go together. In this instance cheeses, meats, and jam paired with wine.
The first wine, Frelih Brut, is a dry sparking wine from the wine cellar Vinska klet Frelih. Anka explained that the grapes are picked before they are fully ripe to reduce the amount of sugar. This wine undergoes a second fermentation process in the bottle, called méthode classique, which takes 3 years! Imagine the patience.
I am not a sparkling wine drinker, I find them to be too harsh or way too sweet, this one hit the spot right in the middle and was very fresh. I really enjoyed it and can see myself ordering this one during the summer. She paired this with pear jam and pepper cheese. The pepper cheese was one of my favorite food items offered for the tasting. I love cheese with a bit of spice to it. The pear jam was a subtle, not too sweet taste, perfect with fresh bread. All around the perfect combo for a summer picnic!
The second wine was Cviček from the wine cellar Vinska klet Opara. Cviček is a dry wine from the Dolenjska Region and probably one of the more famous varieties from this area. It is made from both red and white grape varieties which are fermented separately and then mixed. This Cviček was made with žametna črnina (the oldest domesticated grapes in Slovenia), modra frankinja, and zeleni silvanec. It is very easy to drink with only 10% alcohol and is often paired with fatty foods.
Perfectly so, we were served lardo from Krškopolje pigs, the only Slovenian indigenous pig breed. These pigs are known to be very fatty, and they take twice as long to grow to regular pigs. Also served with this wine was a Cviček jam with roženkravt (rasp-leaf pelargonium). This jam was so delicious with such a unique taste. I think it would make the perfect gift for someone who is interested in trying local flavors.
The lardo was greatly appreciated by my husband who loves cured fat, as for me, I tried one piece, but it is an acquired texture. The taste was really nice, but I am a texture person when it comes to food. This was a bonus for him who finished all of it. I think it was a really nice pairing with the Civček just not my favorite thing to eat.
The final and third wine offered in this tasting was a dry red wine called Modra Frankinja from the wine cellar Vinska klet Jakše. To make this wine they handpicked the grapes then macerate them with the skins for 14 days. Resulting in a full-bodied wine full of tannins. It was served with Modra Frankinja jam with thyme which was so good we bought a jar immediately after (along with a jar of caramelized red peppers which is one of my new favorite things). We are both fans of Modra Frankinja and thyme so it was the perfect combination.
We also had venison salami which Anka explained was actually 75% pork and 25% venison because most people don’t enjoy salamis with higher concentrations of venison. Regardless of the details, this was a very nicely balanced salami that didn’t have that gamey texture, but had the venison flavor. Delicious!
That was it! A simple little Slovenian wine tasting with various products from Dolenjska. Anka was an incredibly knowledgable host who offered robust descriptions of everything we tried. She even went to visit a lot of the producers of these products and shared her experiences with us. It was a nice way to learn a bit about some food and wine production in Dolenjska while trying the products. Thank you again to Anka and Dobrote Dolenjske for their generosity.
Wandering Helene and Dobrote Dolenjske are teaming up for a giveaway! One lucky person will win a dégustation for two. All you need to do is to follow both of us on Instagram [Wandering Helene – Dobrote Dolenjske] and like the post posted below. You can gain one additional entry by tagging a friend you’d like to join you in a tasting in the comment of this Instagram post, and another by tagging a friend on Dobrote Dolenjske’s post.
The last time to enter will be on April 12th, 2019 at 17:00 CET. Winner will be announced by April 14th, 2019. You must be 18 years or older to be eligible. You must claim your prize within one week or another winner will be chosen. You must redeem your prize with Dobrote Dolenjske by the end of 2019. Open internationally – of course no flights included, you are responsible for your accomodations. I advise to only enter if you plan on visiting Ljubljana this year or if you live nearby!
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Book Your Own Degustation!
If you would like to schedule a tasting like this one you can book through me to receive a 10% discount. Use the form below to submit an inquiry including your requested date, time, and dietary restrictions.
Thank you as always for reading! I am always looking for more food-based stories to tell. If you want to share your story or products reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to ask about collaborations. -Helene
Owner of wanderinghelene.com. Anthropologist, content creator, castle explorer, coffee drinker, and lover of markets and very old places!