Post image for Istrian winemakers embark in Trieste

Istrian winemakers embark in Trieste

by Gogo on February 18, 2010

in All wines,Restaurants

If you come to Trieste for the first time and would like to feel how this city breathes go to Osteria Da Marino, right in the city center in a narrow street near Piazza Unità. Whenever you come, Monday to Sunday, the place is never empty and it’s open when all other bars are closed. During the weekends it becomes so packed that you can hardly enter inside so the crowd hangs out on the street.

Da Marino's counter

Counter at Da Marino's

Here you mainly drink wine but, no worries, Da Marino is not a fancy wine bar with minimalist interior design where you find well dressed people who does not know how to have fun and comunicate. No, it is just an osteria – a place with atmosphere of a pub but they serve wine instead of beer. In Da Marino you can go also for lunch or dinner and my friend Milena say it’s very good.

Here you drink wine, but beer is allowed too

Here you drink wine (but beer is allowed too)

The choice of wine by glass is vast – some great wines from Trieste’s Carso/Kras  (my favorites are Terrano from Zidarich and Vitovska from Vodopivec), a lot of bottles from nearby Friuli of course (Ribolla Gialla, Friulano, Refosco, Ramandolo, Picolit) and then some classics like Brunello, Barolo, Nero d’Avola and Chianti. The prices are modest and the waiter fills your glass abundantly. If you come in aperitivo or happy hour period (6-9 PM) you will also get some snacks, like sushi, mortadella, bacon, mozzarella, pickled olives…

Da Marino's wine list

Da Marino's wine list

To my great surprise I saw three Istrian winemakers on the wine list – Leonardo Palčić from Dajla near Novigrad with his Malvasia 2008; world famous biodynamic producer Giorgio Clai from Krasica with Malvazija Sv. Jakov 2007, Ottocento Crno 2007 and Ottocento Bijelo 2007; and one of the pioneers of modern winemaking in Istria Moreno Degrassi from Savudrija with his Malvasia 2008 (see an article about Clai here and tasting notes od Degrassi’s wines here).

I ordered a glass of Clai’s Malvazija and enjoyed the rest of evening – passing it in a pleasant meditation (partly because of this exceptional wine, of course).

Actually, it came to my mind how it is difficult to find a similar place in Istria, a simple bar where you can enjoy a good glass of wine (very important!) in an informal, uninhibited, almost party atmosphere, where it is not important how are you dressed, what music do you listen, a place where waiters know a lot about wine but do not ask the same knowledge from you. It comes to my mind only Mali Café in Poreč where the wine choice is excellent, but it is far away from being a real traditional osteria. Please let me know if you can think of some other place.

Osteria Da Marino
Via del Ponte 5
I-34121 Trieste, Italy
phone +39 040 366 596

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Clin April 20, 2010 at 22:05

Hi GoGo
Flew into Trieste from Ireland (via London) at Easter on our way to Premantura . Went to Osteria Da Marino and had a very enjoyable visit – would never have found it without reading about it here. Also visited Restaurant Girotondo in Vodnjan and had an excellent meal served by an extremely helpful and friendly waiter – a really pleasent experience.
Hopefully intend to try out Agritourism “Tončić” when we’re back in September. Thanks for all the useful information.


Gogo April 20, 2010 at 22:14

Hi Clin,
I can’t tell you how I’m glad that this blog was so useful to someone! After all that was my intention, to promote quality places that might not be so easy to find. And I can tell you, what’s offered in the centers of Istrian towns is often not very digestible.

Hope you felt the same feeling of adventure and discovery that I feel when I look for a new place to try out 🙂 When I come to Ireland I’ll ask for some advice from you, there is a lot of cute bed and breakfast lost in the countryside, I heard.
take care,


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