Check out the new, mobile-friendly WineSpectator.com!
Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
Where exactly in Eastern Europe is Slavonia? And are the oak barrels from there as ominous as the name sounds?
—Jeff C., Denville, N.J.
Slavonia is a region in northeastern Croatia. Perhaps it will help if you think of it as a former part of Yugoslavia. Long before that, it was part of the Kingdom of Hungary, and the ancient Romans knew it as Pannonia.
Slavonian oak barrels are highly regarded in the wine community; in particular, they’re in fashion in Italy’s Piedmont region. I’ve heard that—like most wood used for barrels—the oak grown in the region is known for compact fibers and a tight grain. Most distinctively, Slavonian barrels tend to be large, and because of the ratio of the wine’s surface area to the inside of the barrel, larger barrels are said to impart more subtle flavors and softer tannins.
Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...
Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more
Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash | New! Unfiltered