No.1 Sparkling Wine

25th July 2022

Istenic No 1 Brut Sparkling Wine

Number one in name and almost number one in ranking! The Slovenian winery, Istenic, produces a fine selection of Penina (Slovenian for sparkling wine) and this includes their special label – No.1 Brut.

Located on the eastern side of Slovenia within the wine region of Bizeljsko and being involved in the making of fine wines since 1968, Istenic is a winery focused on the production of sparkling wines. They are located just a stone’s throw away from the border with Croatia in fact you can see their neighbouring country from the winery – I am fortunate enough to have visited and enjoyed a wonderful culinary evening in their main hall where they hold varied exclusive celebrations and presentations.

One of my favourite delights from Slovenia and their great sparkling wine selection comes from Istenic, the magnificent Prestige label is one to discover and experience – Unlike many wineries in Slovenia, Istenic’s website is easy to navigate and understand as well as being in both Slovenian and English languages.

So on to the pairing and we have sardines, the ever popular choice of fish that is well known to aid your cardiovascular system and gives you energy thanks to the B-12 vitamin that they contain. For our pairing these were grilled from fresh with no added condiments.

Sardine fish are found along coasts and in freshwater. With a large population in the Pacific Ocean, it is estimated that there might be approximately 27,547 metric tons of sardines in the world.” source kidadl

The team at Istenic suggest (on their website) that the perfect food pairing for the No.1 Brut is smoked fish, from my tasting experience of the wine I wanted to see how that perfect sunny afternoon in the garden barbecuing sardines can run alongside this highly regarded sparkling wine (chosen as a Gold Medal Winner at the 2021 Glass of Bubbly awards in the category of Spring Fling).

Istenic No.1 Brut tasting notes: “The wine gives a great aroma showing floral, citrus, apricot, peach skin and a silky, yeasty lightly toasted bread fragrance. The flavours are quite similar, fresh yellow fruits with plenty of white floral with a silky citrus and a faint exotic character. Ever so fresh and crisp.

Sardines and No.1 Brut tasting notes: “The intensive meaty flavours, as expected from sardines, is quickly pushed aside by the wine being added. The mid palate is plenty of fresh citrus, floral and yellow stone fruits. At the close, the savoury flavours come back into play. Any oily textures have been neutralised.

Christopher Walkey

Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.