I got this cute little fishy ashtray from Porec, a lovely, picturesque, seaside town in Istria. Back in April, I went on a wine tasting tour of the greater area around Porec. The tour was organised by my American friend and sommelier, April (hence the cheesie title) and together with 3 more friends we visited 3 great Istrian wine makers, Misal, Roxanich and Meneghetti.
We arrived there late Friday afternoon and headed straight to a lovely restaurant to sample the local cuisine and off course some wine. The wild asparagus season had just began and as you can imagine, every restaurant menu in the area was dominated by their presence and taste. And what compliments wild asparagus' slightly bitter taste better than a glass of chilled Malvazija Istarska? We opened the first bottle of Malvazija at 8pm and left the restaurant having drank two more around midnight! Now you might think that this was a lot of wine even when shared between 5 people. I am not going to deny it, it was, but it was also a very aromatic and delicate wine and we just could not get enough of it! Plus we had a lot of tasty food to help us battle the alcohol.
This trip was more about the wine and food than anything else. We spent hours with the producers in their cellars sampling their wine and nibbling on prosciutto, fresh bread, olive oil and cheese. I didn't manage to see a lot of Porec but I did manage to persuade April and the rest of the gang to quickly sneak into a souvenir shop to buy a small memento of Porec, this little ashtray.
It was a wonderful weekend filled with friendship and unforgettable tastes and spring smells. April and her family left Zagreb yesterday to return back to the US. She told me that she accidentally packed three ashtrays from her travels around Croatia which she wanted to give me. They are now on their way to Minnesota, where she is from, so I am going to dedicate this one to her for the lovely times we had together drinking wine!