But what about Crljenak, Zweigelt, Posip and Teran?
If you want to be in on what's happening in the wine world, you'll have to learn these and other names connected with the wines of Croatia and Slovenia.
They're just now trickling into California, and at affordable prices, so keep watching for them.
One you'll like for sure is Teran. A grape varietal from the Karst region of Slovenia, it makes a gorgeous Lambrusco style sparkler so dark that it's almost black. That's the Vinakras Sparkling Teran 2010 at the top.
"It's grapey, juicy, just right for now, the sort of wine that you drink on a deck on a sunny day," says Ilya Shchukin, the importer.
A tasting on a hot day in the patio of Lucques restaurant was the perfect place to show it off.
The Kozlovic Malvasia 2011, from Istria, Croatia, was aromatic, but fresh and dry. It could be your go-to wine if you eat a lot of Asian food.
The Traminer (Pullus Traminer G 2008 from Stajerska, Slovenia) would work well too.
And so would Enjingi Welschriesling 2009 from Slavonia, Croatia. The wine is flowery, as the word Riesling would lead you to expect, but it's not related to German Riesling, despite the similar name. Welschriesling is the most widely grown wine grape in Croatia. This example is made with both fresh and late harvest grapes.
Posip Cara 2010 comes from the island of Korcula in the Adriatic sea. There, it's the traditional wine to drink with fish. Full flavored and dry, an eye-appealing gold in color, it would be a great match for chicken, hummus--anything that needs a white wine that's not wimpy. Posip is the grape varietal.
If you're interested in wine history, the red wine to look for is Zlatan Crljenak 2008 from Dalmatia. The Crljenak grape is the original Zinfandel, genetically the same, although in a blind tasting you might not identify it as a Zinfandel.
The other reds ranged from a light red, Bura Plavac Mali 2011 from Dalmatia, to Enjingi Zweigelt 2007, the oldest wine at the tasting, as its brown tones indicated.
Rich and expressive, with 3.9% residual sugar, this Slavonian wine is one to drink right away, if you can find it. The winemaker crafts his own barrels, which shows how much he cares about his wines.