Sunday, October 4, 2009

Seabourn Spirit 2009 Food & Wine Cruise - Food, Wine and, ummm, Music

The second part of our day in Koper, Slovenia was the private Ensemble Experience which was a tour of Piran followed by a wine tasting at Santomas vineyards. The town tour was hampered by a guide that talked way, way, way too much. That, however, became a distant memory when we arrived at the winery. Santomas is breathtakingly beautiful and, remarkably, the present facility is only two years old (and a labor of love by its owner). Everything from the pressing area to the restaurant where we had our tasting was done first class.

Not expecting much, I was really blown away by the quality of these moderately priced wines. I won’t bore you with the varieties other than to note that each of the five wines (one white, three red, one dessert) were interesting in their own rights and were presented with a really nice offering of prosciutto, a variety of cheeses, olives, local bread and, for the dessert wine, pastries.

A first class experience.

There was one funny/frustrating aspect: The tour company provided us with a Slovenian folk music trio that sang and played a bit too loudly for the entire tasting. When the tasting was over they hopped in their car and headed to…the Seabourn Spirit for the barbeque. That resulted in our group listening to about three hours of Slovenian folk music…and a serious headache! But I digress.

We arrived back at the ship just in time to wash up and hit the deck for the always great Deck Barbeque albeit we were still at the dock. The highlight was the Fonda sea bass. It was so good (and I am a picky fish eater) I shunned most of the offerings and had two fish! Give credit to the fish and to the Seabourn galley staff. They could have easily ruined the fish by being fancy or not giving it enough respect. Instead, with Bjoern’s guidance, it was perfection!

After a bit of the Rock the Boat show on deck, I called it an early evening retreated to my suite for about 45 minutes just to have some quiet. Like I was being set up, at returned to the Sky Bar at 11:00 pm for the sailaway…and like a bad joke the Slovenian folk music started again. Fortunately, the ship was starting to move and the music faded away. A nightcap under the stars and all was right with the Seabourn world.

Between visiting the Fonda aquaculture farm, the Santomas wine tasting and the Deck Barbeque it was a truly fantastic day.