We can proudly highlight the most elegant corner of our Marindvor, which is our wine store. This section of our gastro market exudes elegance and refinement, not only inspiring but also guiding you to explore various types and varieties of wine.

Nermin Numić, the founder of CHEYF, an agency that combines travel and wine, had the opportunity to visit our wine shop and sample our wines. We engaged in a conversation with him to learn more about his agency, his passion for wines, and the concept of blending wines with travel.

Nermin, could you start by sharing a bit more about your travel agency? How did your love for wines evolve, and what inspired you to merge wines with travel experiences?

I was never a wine connoisseur or someone who understood wines. In the past, I would purchase wines primarily based on their price. However, everything changed when I relocated to Cape Town in 2016. The Western Cape region, renowned as one of the world’s leading wine regions, is known for its innovative approach to welcoming guests to explore and comprehend wines. I began visiting wine farms and estates with my now-wife, developing a keen interest in wine varieties, indigenous species, the winemaking process, and grasping the nuances of wine.

I resided in the Western Cape region for a total of two years. Afterward, whenever the opportunity arose, I started sampling wines from all around the world. In 2020, I crossed paths with a Swiss sommelier residing and working in Herzegovina. We joined forces professionally and personally, deepening my understanding of wine. My knowledge expanded even further as I collected materials for the wine tours we organized through the travel agency we established during this time. The very name of our travel agency, “CHEYF,” reflects our passion for the union of travel and wine. In our opinion, it doesn’t get more exciting than this!

You recently had the opportunity to visit and sample wines from our Wine store in Marindvor. What’s your expert assessment of the wines you tasted and of our wine shop itself?

The wines I encountered were evidently thoughtfully selected. I had the chance to sample the Milas (Blatina) Saint Emilion Grand Cru/Saintayme. I was already familiar with Milas wines, and the fact that I ordered it then speaks volumes about how much I appreciate their wines. Saintayme, on the other hand, was a new experience for me, and I was pleased that it was available by the glass. Though some time has passed, I distinctly recall it possessing pronounced plum notes, accompanied by its distinctive burgundy hue.

When it comes to your personal preference, do you lean more toward red or white wines?

My preference varies with the season and the type of dish I plan to enjoy. If I had to choose, I’d opt for a dry white wine.

For those who adore red wines, could you recommend any ideal pairings with specific dishes?

While a simple classification suggests red wine complements red meat, the truth is more intricate. Wine pairing depends on numerous factors, but the key is that the wine should complement and enhance the dish, creating a harmonious balance. Each individual should explore and discover which wine complements their dish and vice versa.

How can one recognize a quality red wine?

Unfortunately, one cannot gauge the quality solely by examining the bottle. To assess the wine, it must be opened, poured into a glass, and some basic observations made. Analyze the wine’s color to see if it aligns with your expectations. Numerous indicators, often numbering between 4 to 10, can be found online to guide you. In my view, the most crucial aspects are complexity and balance.

Complexity: Higher-quality wines present a more intricate flavor profile. They often exhibit multiple layers of flavor that reveal themselves over time. In contrast, lower-quality wines lack this complexity and typically have only one or two predominant notes. With high-quality wines, these flavors unfold sequentially on the palate, allowing you to savor each one before the next emerges.

Balance: High-quality wines maintain an optimal balance of the five fundamental components – acidity, tannins, sugar/sweetness, alcohol, and fruit. While some wines might have higher acidity or greater alcohol content, what distinguishes them is the way these components are harmoniously balanced.

If you were compelled to choose between Bordeaux and Burgundy wines, which would you select?

If I were pressed to choose, I’d lean towards wines from Burgundy.

Do you have a favorite among regional wineries, such as those in Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, or Slovakia?

Certainly, I can single out a few regional wineries that have caught my attention:

  • Šćurek (Slovenia)
  • Milas, Marijanović, Bojanić (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
  • Deklić (Croatia)
  • Belo Brdo (Serbia)

In your view, do you have a preference for regional wines or those from around the world?

For me, the most important thing is to sample a wide range of wines and have the opportunity to make comparisons. I enjoy exploring indigenous wines and observing how different winemakers craft distinct wines from the same grape variety.

The age-old debate – should white wine be served chilled or at room temperature?

My recent education on this matter suggests taking white wine out of the fridge and allowing it to rest at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving. Although during the summer, I still prefer it chilled. As with everything in life, it should cater to the individual’s taste, rather than what a book dictates.

Lastly, as an expert, could you offer a recommendation for all dessert lovers – which wine pairs best with sweets?

To be honest, I’m somewhat of a blank slate when it comes to sweet alcoholic beverages, and I can easily forgot dessert.

From our conversation with Nermin, one key takeaway is that it’s important to trust your palate, select wines that resonate with your taste, and enjoy them in a manner that suits you best – whether served chilled or at room temperature, alongside sweet or savory dishes.