Saturday, 25 May 2019

WOW and Rogaška Glassworks Celebrate Crystals and Wines

A wine and crystal summit of sorts between Slovenia and Croatia took place on Wednesday, 22 May, at the Rogaška Glassworks store in Zagreb. The event was organized by the Women on Wine (WOW) association, with some twenty members and a large number of media representatives attending.

Since the clouds threatened with rain, the event did not take place as expected in front of the shop, with a view of the Croatian Fine Arts Home building. Instead, guests mingled surrounded by beautiful crystal and art objects exhibited in the shop. Perhaps it was for the best since that made it possible for everyone to be close enough to observe these precious objects, handmade from the most beautiful glass and crystal. After all, love between Zagreb and Rogaška has always been a two-way street, and the store’s doors have recently been re-opened for all the fans of premium crystal objects.

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The Rogaška Glassworks is the perfect combination of tradition, art and passion that lasts more than 350 years. The tradition includes the skills of the old masters, while the openness towards the new technologies has inspired a contemporary design that nowadays captivates customers of all generations. The factory has produced, engraved, painted, carved and decorated crystal objects since the 17th century. It delivers impressive 20 tons of crystal products a day and about eight million products annually. As many as 95 percent of output is exported abroad, and Rogaška was the first company from the former Yugoslavia which had its showroom on New York’s Madison Avenue.

The WOW members and media representatives had an opportunity to see for themselves the quality and beauty of artistically crafted glasses sculpted by Croatian artist Gordana Drinković. Rogaška was represented at the event by Sašo Ilić and Špela Sedminek. “In addition to being proud of the tradition, excellent export results and numbers, we are happy that our workshops produce well-known awards for most festivals in the region – from Porin, Dora, Večernjak’s Roses to Tour de Croatia, Snow Queen, ATP tournament and many other prominent events. In Rogaška, we never stop searching for new forms, precise craftsmanship, exciting new solutions – in forms, patterns, colours. Everything is handmade, and our crystal is one of the cleanest and therefore the brightest. It is important to note that everything is created, designed and realized in Slovenia.”

Although the product range of Rogaška is innovative and vibrant, and includes pots, ashtrays, candlesticks, picture frames, flower vases, and many other things that make a home or are excellent as a gift – the WOW members and the media were this time mostly interested in high-quality crystal glasses and decanters, quite appropriately for members of a wine association and lifestyle media representatives. The wine programme offers top-of-the-range luxury crystal glasses that provide wine connoisseurs with a new dimension of wine enjoyment, and a bar section with impeccable design to enjoy more relaxed moments.

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The beautiful glasses of the Armonia line were filled on Wednesday with equally exceptional wines produced by Puklavec Family Wines Jeruzalem Ormož. The glasses are of a unique shape and are ideal for both sparkling wines and regular wines. The line also includes excellent simple glasses for water or whiskey and even wine on certain occasions.

This time, the guests drank “Penina Brut Estate”, sparkling wine produced by the Charmat method from Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. It is lively, refreshing sparkling wine with only seven grams of sugar residue, with plenty of citrus notes, and a dash of hazelnut and red fruits. The second wine was “Cuvee of Sauvignon and Pinot Gris”, an incredibly fresh and light wine suitable for this time of the year. Sauvignon gives it freshness and Pinot Gris elegance, with a harmonious and balanced result. It pairs excellently with chicken and poultry, and especially with all the asparagus dishes. Next was fantastic, complex Pinot Gris, “Pinot Grigio 7 Numbers”, 2017, an exceptional varietal wine featuring intense aromas of ripe apples and peaches, with a hint of vanilla – spicy, slightly pungent, with a long aftertaste. Finally – two Muscat wines. “Muškat Ottonel” is a dessert wine that nicely combines sweetness and lightness, distinguished by low alcohol content, making it excellent for tasting even when it is sweltering. It is a sweet mid-body wine that is characterized by nutmeg aromas and freshness and goes well with desserts. Finally, bubbles again. “Muškatna Penina” is a refreshing wine with sugar residue and enchanting nutmeg aromas.

As politicians would say, the Slovenia-Croatia summit, which gathered female wine experts, top Slovenian wine producers and – last, but not the least – the hosts, the wonderful Rogaška Glassworks – was hugely successful. We look forward to furthering bilateral co-operation in the areas of wine and enjoyment of life.

More wine news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Photos by Rene Karaman

Friday, 19 April 2019

WOW Members, Iločki Podrumi and Bottega Among the Stars!

On Wednesday, April 17, at the Bornstein wine bar and wine shop at Zagreb's Kaptol, the first edition of the small but stellar wine project of the charming name WOW ASTRO WINE was held. It was a fun and educational evening in which wines and astrology merged.

The project was created under the auspices of the WOW association and was conceived by WOW member Maja Kuzmanović, WSET2, with the support of astrologist Jadranka Perić Adrianna Astrology. The idea was strongly supported by WOW president Sanja Muzaferija and Doris Srpek, a WOW member who hosted the event at the legendary premises of Bornstein, the oldest, but also the most innovative Zagreb wine shop.

The wine-astrology event included all the Zodiac signs and astrology in general – as an introduction to the future even more exciting and more specialised evenings about stars and wines. All 12 Zodiac signs were compared in the context of significant varieties of grapes and wines, so we could find out, at least in principle, who is what kind of taster, which wine should be given as a present to whom, who enjoys which wine characteristics...


With the help of the Bottega brand ambassador, sommelier Ines Matić, the evening started with sparks – the 2017 Bottega Prosecco Milessimato. Fresh, fruity and herbal at the same time, it sparked until the presentation of the first of the four wines by Iločki Podrumi (Ilok Cellars) which were described by Željka Balja, who briefly told the history of the great winery.

Did you know that every moment, every event and not just every person – can have their natal map? This event was held in the sign of Aries, and for this reason, the first selected wine was 2018 ROSÉ FRANKOVKA by Iločki Podrumi, a wine of exceptional freshness and fruity aroma, with emphasis on raspberry, ideally suited to the dynamic energy of Aries. The harmony and elegance of the body, as well as outstanding balance, are undoubtedly the features of Libra. And the ascendant of the event was in the sign of Libra, as well as the Moon that was also in Libra that evening.

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The second wine was 2011 GRAŠEVINA VELIKA BERBA 2011 by Iločki Podrumi. The wine proved that this vintage was extraordinary and that it was indeed great in every respect. Dry, gold-yellow colour, with fruity aromas of apples, pears and dried fruits, creamy and complex, aged in barrels for three years. Sagittarius best describes this wine, just like this wine can describe the Sagittarius as a person in love with everything unknown to him, the new, the big, the solemn... The wine was so expressive that even the audience immediately guessed to whom it "belongs" and with whom it is best paired.

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The third wine was 2017 KAPISTRAN CRNI, another top-quality wine, with 70% of Frankovka and 30% of Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep ruby red colour, delicate fruity aromas with notes of blackberry and plum, and a light touch of smoke and black chocolate, full, complex... The astrological-oenological analysis concluded that it is mystical like Scorpio – governed by the powerful Pluto, intense, passionate, fearless and emotional. With a dose of chilly-spiced snack, the wine became even more powerful.

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The evening ended with a predicate wine – Traminac of the selected harvest 2016. The fine wine of the amber colour, intense and rich in rose scent, with gentle honey notes. Full, harmonious, sweet, but well-balanced – it matches the Zodiac sign of Libra which loves refined tastes and scents, romance and all that is sensuous.

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The guests and media representatives went home satisfied with the excellent snacks by Bornstein, enchanted with the music selected according to the Zodiac sign of each of the presented wines, rapt with wine and stars – which were definitely on the WOW side that evening.

Until the next time, let stars and your favourite wine protect you.

More wine news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

All photos by Silvija Munda

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

WOW and Select Best Rose Wines at GAST 2019

Ahead of the 7th edition of the Pink Day Festival, taking place on March 30 at the Mimara Museum in Zagreb, which focuses on pink – still and sparkling – wines, the WOW association members from Split have awarded their prize for the best rosé wine – selected among the wines exhibited at the GAST festival in Split. In co-operation with the agency, they decided to choose the best of the best for the third year in a row. They were given the task of visiting the wine stands, tasting rosé wines, evaluating them and selecting their five favourites. They left signed lists with their personal preferences at the VINO.LIKE central stand, where the WOW rollup proudly stood. After the vote, the jury consisting of Kristina Jukić, sommelier; Adela Visković, leader of the Split WOW circle; Adela Gizdić, a WOW member; and Siniša Koceić and Alen Gulan from, added up all the votes and announced the top five.


The votes of the WOW (Women on Wine) members highlighted their five favourites: ROSÉ ROSALIA 2017 by the IURUS winery from Slavonia, ROSÉ JOKAN 2018 by the SUŠIĆ winery from Imotski, ROSÉ ROSALIA 2018 by the IURUS winery from Slavonia, ROSÉ 2018 by the SVIJETLI DVORI winery from Baranja, and ROSÉ CRVENO JEZERO 2018 by the GRABOVAC winery from Imotski. The last one was ultimately chosen as the champion, and the comments were: “It is so good, breezy, seductive...” All the top five wines received a diploma designed by the WOW art director, Vlasta Pirnat.

In addition to the still rosé wines, pink sparkling wines were also tasted this year, so it was decided that the one with the most votes would also receive a diploma. The winner was DK PLEMENITA ROSÉ BRUT-PJENUŠAC by the DVANAJŠČAK-KOZOL winery.


The WOW members presented their selection at a workshop where, along with the guided tasting, a lot of useful and exciting information about rosé wines could be heard: how they are created, what is the secret of their seductiveness and growing popularity. The event was hosted by the WOW member and sommelier Kristina Jukić, and it also featured the authors of wines, wine producers who took advantage of the opportunity to present their wines and wineries. In line with the workshop theme and the colour of the offered wines, everyone was dressed in pink or at least with pink details.

The crew from VINO.LIKE, Alen Gulan and Siniša Koceić, also received diplomas for again helping with the organisation, wine procurement and serving wine at the workshop.

More news on Croatian wines can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Co-author and photos by Adela Visković 

Monday, 18 February 2019

Feravino and WOW Present New Sparkling Wines

When the WOW Association, bringing together nearly 200 women from all over Croatia, joins forces with an excellent wine producer like Feravino and a bar hidden at the yard of 50 Ilica St. in Zagreb – and the event is taking place on Valentine's Day – the success is guaranteed. And when the evening includes sparkling wines, a lot of love and a great atmosphere – all under the slogan “It's All About Love” – the memories remain forever.

In the past five years, the Swanky Monkey Garden Bar has expanded its wine list, which currently includes some twenty different Croatian and international labels. Despite the industrial design of the interior, with its energy and warmth, it has awoken positive energy among the wine fans gathered there on Valentine's Day evening. The presenters of sparkling wines were Maja Kuzmanović from WOW and Alen Britvarević from Feravino, while Swanky’s chief barman and co-founder of Art of Bar, Filip Lipnik, designed exclusively for Feravino two signature cocktails based on sparkling wines and carefully selected liqueurs which were ideally paired with them.

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That evening the cocktails were mixed and presented by the young Karlo Bošnjak, named Carlito for the occasion, while Britvarević said at the beginning: “Last year, the cellar in Feričanci was equipped with new filling equipment for filling still and sparkling wines. It is now a modern plant with three autoclaves for the production of sparkling wines according to the Charmat method, which is a completely new technology in our cellar since we used to produce sparkling wines according to the classic method of in-bottle fermentation. Our new products – Grasecco and Francesca – are 100% Croatian products and they are produced by this new method which is typical for the production of Italian prosecco wines. We are extremely pleased with the market's response, so I must congratulate our young oenologist Antonia Čeme and the guest oenologist Matjaž Lemut,” he said, emphasizing the affordable price of 50 kuna of both sparkling wines.


The Grasecco and Francesca sparkling wines, which had their gala premiere at the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb in September, were the real stars of the evening. They are refreshing and light, perfect for the summer, but also for spring, autumn and winter, said guest sommelier Mario Meštrović. Grasecco is wholly-made from Graševina, while Francesca is wholly-made from Frankovka, both with modern, crazy, hipster and entirely different labels than those we are used to from local producers.

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“The author of the brilliant, modern, hipster, trendy label is the well-known Croatian designer Miran Tomičić, the creative director of the Octopus Ink brand design agency, and it is inspired by our consumers who are reflected in it. The idea was to create a contemporary, playful, youthful brand based on the local approach and tradition. Consumers today do not just want a product, they are looking for something more – they are looking for a story. They do not just use a brand, they follow it, listen and talk to it. They care about the rationale of the brand and its visual identity,” said Britvarević.

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At Swanky, the evening began with the Extra Brut Grasecco of a gently greenish colour that was matched with the Granny Smith apples and Smoki, which revealed the strength of its beads and the excellent pairing of its scent of green apple and a delicious almond bitterness of Graševina for the aftertaste. The evening continued with the tasting of Grasecco in the Brut variant with tortilla chips, and everyone was delighted to welcome Francesca, which wins you over with delicate pink colour and the subtle scent of ripe pomegranate, and a rich and long-lasting flavour dominated by strawberries and raspberries. Francesca was excellently paired with a delicious liver pate that was prepared according to a unique recipe by Ivan Srpek from the Bornstein Wine Shop and Wine Bar. The event organiser Vlasta Pirnat presented Karlo, the bartender who made excellent cocktails for the conclusion of the evening. These were Miss with Francesca and Brko with Grasecco.

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Andrija Pirnat, the host and co-owner of Swanky, welcomed the guests and briefly introduced his already well-known bar. One thing is sure: we had a wonderful time, perfectly tailored for Valentine's Day, and we will drink these sparkling wines and cocktails on other occasions as well. Now we have a Croatian answer to Italian prosecco and fantastic cocktails at the excellent Swanky Monkey Garden ambience. WOW!

More news about Croatian wines can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Friday, 8 February 2019

New WOW (Women on Wine) Website Presented

The newly-redesigned WOW (Women on Wine) website was presented to the media and friends at the first co-working space in Zagreb, the HUB385 at 6 Petračićeva Street, and its Incubator Bar. After seven years of existence,, which has so far primarily covered the association’s activities, now allows for advertising on its pages. The design of the popular website has been created by a small but propulsive company Svi na Web.

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“We are authentic and we write about what we are doing, wine trips, socialising, wine promotions and education," said the journalist, founder and president of Women and Wine (WOW) association Sanja Muzaferija. "We are honest, so people trust us and we transmit our emotions towards wine to our site as well. Sometimes it seems to me that in Croatia many people are amateurs in what they are doing but know how to charge for their work very professionally. As members of the association, all we do we do with passion and more and more knowledge and in a professional manner: we promote winemakers, organise events for our members and the media, tourist wine tours and excursions, and the web – but we are amateurs when it comes to charging. Now it is time to change this, especially because digital marketing and native marketing are currently exponentially growing, especially in the niche markets, which our market certainly is. The website has served us for a long time just to publish our activities, of which there were so many that we did not have time to focus on the website itself. Given my professional journalistic background, as well as the reputation we have gained by organising the WOW Awards and the PINK DAY festival – we have decided to make our website more professional. We have the WOW FB page, the Pink Day FB site, the WOW Sympathizers FB group, the WOW and Pink Day Instagram profiles – but you cannot run a business on social networks. Some are on the rise, while others are falling behind; it is fine to use them, but the internet, meaning the web, remains,” Muzaferija explained.

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The redesigned website was presented by WOW’s web coordinator Alis Marić and Davor Debrecin from Svi na Web, along with a new WOW member Lana Bukvić, who will take over part of the duties concerning the web and social networking. Alis Marić is the author of the "Čitaj Knjigu" (Read a Book) concept, a blogger and a powerful influencer who is followed by half a million of followers on social networks, which is important because the synergistic effect with her and the “Čitaj Knjigu” raises this partnership to a new level. "Although I am recognised as the ‘Čitaj Knjigu’ creator, I was initially and still am a WOW member," Marić said.

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The main star of the evening was Paul Bradbury, the founder and the editor of the Total Croatia News portal – which includes a speciality website Total Croatia Wine. Since he has been working together with Sanja Muzaferija for four years, he liked her idea about a joint approach to the audience and potential advertisers. “I think that with Sanja and her team we can reach the target audience and offer shared advertising at affordable prices. You have beautiful wines in Croatia, but little is known about them abroad, and since Total Croatia News is the most read and the largest news, travel and lifestyle website about Croatia in English – I believe the future will be bright – or perhaps I should better say, due to the Pink Day – pink,” said Paul, who also presented the story of his life in Croatia, first on Hvar and now in Varaždin. Impressive figures and the reputation of the news site will undoubtedly help the redesigned WOW website undergo a commercial renaissance.

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The hosts of the event also had an opportunity to present their achievements: the owner of the Incubator Bar Goran Vručinić and chef Zoran Gajić, while the guests tasted the wines produced by Kolar, Perak, Kolarić, Agris and Iločki Podrumi.

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WOW (Women on Wine) is an association founded in Zagreb in 2011. Today, there are nearly 200 members from all over Croatia, with branches in Split and Rijeka. The WOW members are active in the field of the so-called culture of the table. They promote all wines, moderate enjoyment in good wines, and – in particular – women's strength in wine. They have organised over 150 events in eight years – including educations, travels, events, promotions, dinners, humanitarian drives – and each year they present WOW Awards in five categories. The winning winemakers, in the action they call "What Women Want", travel to various wine regions of the world. Gianfranco Kozlović went to Bordeaux, Saša Senjković to Champagne, Moreno Coronica to Penedes in Spain, Luka Krajančić to Burgundy, Frano Milina Bire to Austria, and the Meneghetti winery to Tuscany. The latest winner is Alen Bibić with his Amber prosecco, and it is still secret where he will travel. The most significant event organised by the association, with the help of the IMC agency, is the PINK DAY – a festival of the pink wines (and extra-virgin olive oils) whose seventh edition will be held on 30 March at the Mimara Museum.

More news about wines in Croatia can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

10 Things to WOW You About Croatia, by Ashley Colburn

There are many foreign writers blogging about Croatia, and many lists of top 5 and top 10. Here is one from an American who knows the country a little better than most, TCN's Golden Pen and Emmy Award winner, Ashley Colburn. What are the ten things which are really WOW Croatia?