The grand finals of the “What Do Women Want” project, which was successfully organised for the seventh year in a row, was held on June 15 at the renowned Balon restaurant in Zagreb. The WOW wine contest is a sort of “female” selection of top-quality Croatian wines tasted during the previous year. The winning wines are selected in several rounds and in five categories: sparkling wines, white wines, rose wines, red wines and sweet wines.
Around 150 regular members of the WOW association and 400 WOW supporters have the right to vote and sent their votes, according to a candidate list prepared by sommeliers. Through the years, the job has been given to a number of distinguished sommeliers – Karin Rupena-Perdec, Alen Stuparić, Siniša Lasan, Mario Meštrović, Roko Bekavac and Jelena Šimić-Valentić; this year, the sommelier was Željko Bročilović Carlos. In the third and final stage of the competition, the winners are selected in each category by a jury which blind-tasted the wines at the Bornstein wine shop and wine bar. The members of the jury were Marija Mrgudić, wine producer; Margita Belušić-Gobić, WOW vice-president, ASI; Maja Kuzmanović, WSET 2nd degree, with all jury members being highly competent and experienced in wine assessment.
Unlike the medals and diplomas which winemakers usually win at contests, at the WOW’s “What Do Women Want” competition the winners in each category receive a tangible award, a valuable sculpture designed by the renowned "Grupa" design group, while the overall winner of the WOW Grand Prix wins a study trip to an international wine region. In 2012, Gianfranco Kozlović travelled to Bordeaux, Saša Senjković went to Champagne in 2013, Moreno Coronica to Barcelona and Penedes, Luka Krajančić to Burgundy, Frano Milina Bire to Austria, while last year the Meneghetti Red blend sent a representative of the Meneghetti winery to Tuscany.
At the seventh birthday celebration of the WOW association and the regular annual assembly held at the Balon restaurant in Zagreb, in the presence of members of the association and media representatives, finalists and winners in each category were announced, with the exception of the overall WOW Grand Prix winner – who will be declared in mid-November at the Vinart annual achievement awards.
This year’s finals included two champagnes, Brut Natur, Korak, and Centurion Gold, Bolfan Vinski Vrh; two white wines: Malvazija Santa Lucia 2015, Kozlović, and Graševina Premium 2013, Jasna Antunović Turk; two rose wines, Geržinić Rosé 2017 and Teuta 2017, Prović; two red wines, Teran 2015, Benvenuti, and Cabernet Sauvignon – Merlot 2013, Boškinac; and two dessert wines, Prošek Ambra, Bibich, and Bodren Ledeno Vino.
The winners were: CENTURION GOLD, Bolfan; GRAŠEVINA PREMIUM 2013, Jasna Antunović Turk; TEUTA, Prović winery; TERAN 2015, Benvenuti; and PROŠEK AMBRA, Bibić.
In addition to the birthday celebration and the prize award ceremony, the event also included the second edition of the Wine & Design project. It is a project/concept about which the author – the founder of the WOW Association and the PINK DAY festival, Sanja Muzaferija – has been thinking for a long time, but in the recent years, things have been progressing rather rapidly and always with a lot of fun. As a journalist with a background in theatre, film, fashion and design, as well as lifestyle journalism, she has been dealing with design through various media projects (especially for several years at the Domosfera portal), and has also covered it in her bestseller “Happy Flats: Style, Attitude and 20 Tales about People and Space” (Profil, 2004). She covered fashion while working for nine years at the editorial offices of Cosmopolitan (deputy editor-in-chief, creative director), Playboy (two years as fashion and beauty editor) and Gala Style (two years as editor-in-chief). She is active in the media today (Story Book, Gloria Glam, Lider and Lider Trend, Total Croatia News, Sensa ...). Since Muzaferija has been the leader of the successful WOW wine association for seven years, the combination of design and wine was inevitable.
She implemented the first edition of the WINE & DESIGN project together with successful businesswoman Ana Ivančić who – with the opening of her GARDEROBA designer shop in Martićeva Street in Zagreb, and close relationship with wines and great knowledge about them – was a logical first choice for a collaborator. The Tomac Wines, always perfectly designed both inside the bottle and on the label, were also an inevitable choice for presenting this “work in progress” project, which always involves new collaborators and participants, and includes graphics and product design, architecture and fashion. The project is held occasionally but always, of course, includes fine wines.
This time, the project cooperated with the Croatian fashion platform Klodier, which was a logical choice on both the wine and the fashion principle. Klodier is a unique fashion e-commerce platform which brings together brick-and-mortar boutiques, fashion studios and exhibition spaces primarily of Croatian designers. It is, therefore, another gathering, which is the constant principle of the WOW association which brings together women on the wine scene. The designer and the owner of the Klodier concept is Vera Korak, a daughter of prominent winemaker Velimir Korak, so the fashion-design-wine interplay is present once again.
“While WOW has been bringing together women who professionally, or just as wine-lovers, deal with wines, Klodier gathers top local designers. The goal of the WOW platform is to network as many women as possible from the wine scene, while the goal of the innovative Klodier platform is to link fashion and technology, i.e. physical and digital, and present, in addition to those famous and celebrated, the hidden, authentic designers and boutiques which people sometimes do not even know exist. It offers customers unique and authentic pieces, as well as limited series that cannot be found elsewhere,” said Muzaferija and Korak.