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Sunday, 18 November 2012

Wine Bars In Croatia - When a Coffee Or Beer Just Won't Do

I like this idea, a combination wine bar and design shop. Sometimes you've got time to kill,  you're really not in the mood for a coffee, and just don't feel like a beer either.  You also don't r feel like traveling to a wine store, clueless, searching, line ups etc. It's different anyway. It gives you a chance to experiment and try recommended wines first, then you'll know exactly what to get at the wine store next time.  More food and wine related stuff at the source link.....

VINO&INO – Sibenik’s wine bar and concept store


What do you get when two friends who work in marketing start talking shop and dreaming big? A local wine bar and design store, apparently. It’s perhaps not what you’d expect, but it’s a great concept.

“My idea of a design store and Nikolas’s idea of a wine bar looked like a perfect match a couple of years ago,” says Vedran Gulin, who partnered with his friend Nikola Krasic. “After some months of planning, VINO&INO was born.”

Vino, by the way, means “wine,” while ino is “other.” Miscellaneous. The other stuff.

Apparently it’s a winning combination. VINO&INO, located in the coastal town of Sibenik, has been enjoying tremendous success, enticing tourists and locals alike with its sleek and minimal decor, bustling terrace, design shop, and of course – the wine.

“Croatian, coastal, great,” grins Vedran, describing VINO&INO’s wine selection. Indeed, “Croatian” is a priority, with Vedran and Nikola actively working to promote sustainability and support local wineries.

“We are now in the process of creating the new list, the winter selection, and once again we tried to stay clear of big corporate producers and keep the Sibenik region in focus since we believe in local sustainable development,” says Vedran. “The winter selection will have a few more surprises from less known producers, since we can now rely on our reputation as those who offer great wines at affordable prices.”

“Our first, summer list, was made by Lucija Matijevic, a young sommelier from Rijeka, and the winter selection is being made with the help of Goran Zgrablic, a blogger and wine and food expert from Istria who has a passion for wines from Sibenik region.”

With such care going into VINO&INO’s wine list, it’s almost impossible to sample just one. “We think everyone should try all the local specials,” says Vedran, listing off Babic by Leo Gracin, Marastina by Marko Sladic, Alen Bibich’s debit and cuvees, and local winemakers Birin and Dzapo.

The same care and enthusiasm goes into selecting items for the “concept store,” a section of the wine bar dedicated to clothing, jewelry, souvenirs, home decor, and other objects designed by Croatian designers. Vedran selects all of the objects himself and says that all of them are worthy of taking home and learning more about.

Unfortunately for those of us who might like to do a little Christmas shopping with a glass of red in had, the concept store is on hiatus for the winter, but Vedran assures us that it will return in the spring.

In the meantime, head to a tasting in the shop or sit back and enjoy a glass of local wine along with some live entertainment. Every other Thursday, VINO&INO hosts presentations of wineries, where wine fans can sample wine and learn more about local winemakers.

On off-weeks when there’s no winery presentation, a DJ spins jazz. Fridays are dedicated to rare old school groove funk and Saturdays are reserved for drum ‘n’ bass and dubstep easy beats.

Creating a space for customers to relax, enjoy a glass of wine, and listen to music has filled a void in Sibenik, where there’s not much in the way of entertainment, nightlife, or bars and restaurants promoting local wines. Vedran saw this as a great opportunity, and though he left Sibenik, his hometown, some 20 years ago, he says that he’s always wanted to do something there.

“History did not treat Sibenik very well and it went from being one of the biggest towns in the region before the great plague to being one of the most neglected in present day Croatia,” Vedran explains. “In spite of this, there are many stories and legends that are yet to be discovered. This maltreatment, on the other hand, has had one nice side effect: the town does not have a huge tourist industry and you can still feel the spirit of an urban Mediterranean community there.”

In just a few short months, Vedran and Nikola have already begun to change the face of nightlife and food culture in Sibenik. “Our ‘preaching’ about local wines and other products has already brought some change to the wine lists of other places in town and we love this fact,” says Vedran.

“In addition, we tend to be quite spontaneous about the music and the whole concept of entertainment and this approach is slowly positioning us as the place to be for a nice time regardless of the type of program that we have for any day.”

So what’s next for VINO&INO? “We have tons of plans for our next season in Sibenik,” confirms Vedran. A new menu is in the works, he and Nikola plan to take VINO&INO to Zagreb for festivals, and they’re working on expanding the “INO side” of VINO&INO, while of course staying true to their “local is great” mantra.

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