The very succesful series of wine dinners that the Parentium Hotel in Porec which has been running during the season for the last few years are back, with more wine makers showcasing their best wines with a different wine with each course. Each night features a different winemaker.
Previously, these have all been Istrian, but this year Badel, who own wineries in other parts of the country, have been welcomed offering new opportunities. The familiar Istrian ones, with Benvenuti, whose amazing Cuvee Corona Grande 2015, which has been described as the Croatian Chateau d'Yquem, graces their dessert course, are all here. Franc Arman, Damjanic, Laguna, Matosevic and Persuric all make for some splendid and elegant summer evenings in Porec on their respective evenings, The winemakers each give a brief talk on their wines, normally in English.
The ambience, on the sunset facing terrace of the hotel, is superb, with Dragan Ruzic, the Maitre d' and his team ensuring that everything goes smoothly. The success of these dinners has obviously been noted by Aminess's Maestral Hotel, in Novigrad, as they are now doing a monthly one. The Parentium ones at Porec are twice weekly, on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The Maestral ones are slightly dearer at 250kn, but have an interesting twist, using a guest chef, which (when we went) was David Skoko from Batalina. Batalina is a cult restaurant, south of Pula, which I'd wanted to try for a long time, but is really too far for those of us in northern Istria if we are going to be drinking wine. He didn't disappoint and his starter was typical. That backbone was deep fried and was deliciously crunchy! He specialises in doing unusual things with seafood.
The accompanying wines were from Ivan Damjanic, who also features in the Parentium wine dinners. Food and wine were both great, although we did feel that the evening went on for an unneccessarily long time, taking almost four hours. The Parentium ones are nearer to two hours, which seems about right.
Further information on the Parentium Wine Dinners is available here, and includes dates, menus and booking information. Aminess doesn't appear to have theirs online in English language, but there is a Facebook link for the next one, find out more by clicking here.