Ever since Yugoslavia splintered into independent republics in the 1990s, there has been a gradual rise in our awareness of Croatia as a travel destination. First there were proclamations from wine writers that the country was the wine world’s new “hotspot.” Then Game of Thrones filmed segments in Dubrovnik, which fueled a renewed frenzy of enthusiasm. In both instances, interest centered primarily on the Dalmatian Coast.
Of course, there is more to this Balkan nation than its coastline. Fortunately, the Exotic Wine Travel team of Charine Tan and Dr. Matthew Horkey turned their thorough eyes toward Croatia. The result is a multifaceted guide to the region and its wines.
If you have not previously perused one of the Exotic Wine Travel guides, they are among the best regional wine references available. Whether or not you are acquainted with their work, I must say that Cracking Croatian Wine is their best effort to date. The duo spent months exploring the four primary wine regions and then condensed their findings into an extremely useful format.
Whether you are planning a trip to the region or just trying to make an informed purchase of Croatian wine, the insights provided by Exotic Wine Travel are indispensable. The pronunciation guide and the explanation of wine labels are both excellent features. More importantly, the review of key producers and rating of wines by type will help readers avoid regrettable choices based solely on attractive labeling or the “eeny-meeny-miny-mo” method.
The previous paragraph might lead you to believe that this is just a reference book and it can be. It is simultaneously, however, a delightful read filled with well-written descriptions of the wine regions, local grape varieties and producers. As added bonus, the volume is also punctuated by the voices of other regional experts. Most importantly, it is delivered in a manner that lacks pretense. The Exotic Wine Travel superpower is an ability to make their work accessible to everyone, whether a novice or wine expert.
Charine Tan and Dr. Matthew Horkey have definitely done it again. You are unlikely to find a single regional wine resource as useful or approachable as Cracking Croatian Wine.