Because It’s Worth The Journey for Unmistakable Foodies.
When you’re traveling east in Slovakia, you’re traveling in time. Time stops. Slovakia is actually a very untouched European country. In a drive from Bratislava Old Town to Devin, where we are headed today, one may see occasional triangle houses, naked trees in winter and the border of Vienna; a city only 65 KM away should you hit the highway. But we are not going there today. We are journeying into the virgin forest.
Top 3 Things to Experience in Devin
1. Marvel at the photogenic Devin Castle.
Devin was more a fort than a castle because of its strategic location along Danube river (say hello to Austria while you’re there!). It is the third largest castle in Central Europe, destroyed by Napoleon who really wanted to take Vienna, yet never personally came to Bratislava.
Tip: This tourist spot is VERY windy all year long. Bring a windbreaker or dress appropriately if you are afraid of the cold!
2. Join the Thebener current wine tasting experience.
Current Wines for Dummies
Slovaks don’t do a very good job in marketing their products so you might not have heard about their wines or maybe even feel skeptical about them. However, I truly believe in its potential; which is why I am writing this part thoroughly. (This post is not sponsored.)
What makes their wines different from every other is how they play with black and red currants instead of the usual: grapes. Because of that, they have a ‘bad’ reputation as a ‘girl’s drink’. I am a girl, but I promise you though, that men would find this marvellous too. One of the best things about current wine is the fact that you can leave it in the fridge for up to 1 – 3 weeks once it’s opened!
Rule of thumb: If you like very sweet wine, go for the ‘original’. The rest pretty much falls under the semi-sweet category. The traditional blend is a mix of red and black currents; the latter used to achieve a full bodied yet very fruity bottle of sexc dark rosé. At first taste, I was reminded of Ribena, adults version.
If you’re lucky, you’ll get to taste the white currents wine, which the owner has only 300 – 400 litres. These fruits look like red currents but taste more like grape wines. It also reminds him of an avocado’s nutty, fatty flavour and even cashews!
To enjoy current wine, drink it like you would a grape wine – sniff, use a bit of imagination and you will enter a enter a dream of swirling vanilla, fruits and flowers flavours in your head.
All wines contains 14 – 15% of alcohol.
Awards and More Awards!
From this session I learned that there are even kiwi and strawberry wines in this world, as wine lovers are always looking for new tastes but ‘balik-balik‘ (at the end of the day) it’s always back to chardonnays. I’m happy to know that currents are the closest to grapes; same same but
Thebener wines won and are still winning countless wine competitions, locally and abroad; snagging home gold and the 96 double gold awards from Israel to USA.
The Most Interesting Person in Devin Village
This man, is the owner and founder of Thebener wines. He personally experiments with currents or common fruits, taking over his dad who made wines and his mum, marmalades.
Since 1921, the family started their produce using the currents planted on the very grounds of Devin Hills. After World War I and II, everything was destroyed and they didn’t know what to do.
In 1996, the production stopped. The now owner, an engineer who traveled a lot to United States and Europe back then, returned home and was sad to learn that current wine was disappearing from year to year. “If I waited for another 20 years, it’d only be in books and pages!”
To revive it he tried convincing investors but failed. So in 2007, he decided to start it all by himself. As a startup wine, Thebener was producing a whooping 60k litres a year.
Why You Shouldn’t Skip This
Generous: Unlike in Tuscany, a taste is merely just a sip or two of wine. Here, you are served a full GLASS.
Pure: Pure pure jam made of black currents purée and a bit of sugar, cooked till reduced to what’s left, made into bio jam.
Worthy: It only costs 5 euros each to try all the wines in full glasses (plus refill). A bottle of jam costs 3.50 euros. Not to forget, current bushes have lotsa thorns and it’s pretty time costly to harvest!
3. Lunch at
Ghost Goose Town
After a lot of drinking, it is understandable that your tummy feels empty and your eyes get heavy, like subject above. Hence it is time for a magnificent roast GOOSE.
IMO, you can’t go wrong with a restaurant with a painting like that; where the owners pet and cook their birds with just as much love. Joke aside, it is a recommendation that reign highly from our local tour guide.
Before I begin our course, allow me to remind you that what we ordered was too much food for two. Unless you are more than a couple, choose between a soup or foie gras, or no appetisers at all.
P.S. We also learned the dear way that the pickles and pancakes offered generously are not complimentary.
A hearty, traditional goose soup with Slovak noodles. (This single pot can feed 4 or 2 if it’s all you eat, but that wouldn’t be too wise.)
Foie gras on a bed of caramelised apples served with the aforementioned pickles plate. Personally I prefer this version, though É opts for this.
The infamous goose to be eaten with pancakes. Don’t skip the pancakes because it’s a Slovakian ‘thing’ you need to try.
When selecting grape wines in Slovakia, always go for ‘Devin’ for the whites and ‘Dunaj’ for the reds, and you will never go wrong.
Husacina Gurmansky Grob*
Address: Chorvátska 41, Slovenský Grob, 900 26, Slovakia.
Contact: +421 903 450 453
Hours: 11 a.m. – 12 a.m. daily
*Time consuming: 30 minutes drive from Bratislava city / old town, 17 minutes to Bratislava airport.