Krasi ENG

Krasi ENG

Greek wine, let's stick to that

Encounters with wine, krasi in Greek. Vicky and friends, clients with a bottle of mine, a bottle popping in the hands of students and passengers.

In Nederlands: Krasi

En français: Krasi-Fr

no fool's day here

the bottle dictates the mealPosted by Vicky Tue, April 10, 2018 21:35:42

The village covered itself in a lower temperature than the average Easter day. Easter eggs used to be picked under rain showers but this year they would scatter in thousands of pieces on the frozen soil. Climate change brings more “wet and cold” instead of tropically hot. The villagers didn’t realize this yet, distant as they had become from local agriculture. Their hope was shared but vain, because Easter lunch was going to be wintery and the guests heavily dressed. The early morning news item announcing the hottest spring day ever, totally missed its fools’ day effect. The fire place was lit minutes before noon, the bottle of wine set aside not to become boiling hot at service. Easter lamb doesn’t support acid, juvenile, fresh wine and that’s why the hosting lady preferred a white ripe wine to be served slightly cooled.

A wine from Peloponnesian Messinia, where the Mediterranean diet is ready for harvest at each moment year round. Where vines are allowed a short winter pause and produce grapes with international character. Costa Navarino, whose name sounds far more global than any Greek, owns vineyards, spa, luxury resorts and golf courses. His wines have to be “new world” because so are his guests. The hosting lady selected his chardonnay and it paired magically with the lamb. The organic Kotyle 2013 spent a short period in barrel and got a modern label.

Kotyle, that is the name of the legendary clay cup which Nestor may have used three millennia ago. In wine terms: coming in white chardonnay and red cabernet. The chardonnay brought a little sunshine to the table, we all started longing for a comfortably warm spring.

Wine Match

the bottle dictates the mealPosted by Vicky Wed, March 21, 2018 20:51:19

Marriages between wine and food are heavily prepared these days. On a weekly basis seven students graduating in “Wine and Gastronomy” test some selected wines on a menu of Coovi’s hotel school in Brussels. This exercise is just one of a few, waiting to be written on different fora. Weeks ago, I asked my students to dare two different wines of the same winemaker and the same variety, with simple and differently tasting food: potato stew, herring salad with granny smith, plain chicken stock, bolognese sauce, rice with crispy vegetables.

The beautifully young Monograph 2016 by Gaia and the monumental Gaia Estate 2014 (both agiorgitiko) were submitted to a separate tasting and to the above mentioned “dishes”.

Quick analysis:








sour cherry

dry sand

warm spices


stew, stock

rice, herring salad

Gaia Estate

black cherry, elderberry


cold rubber, kerosine

pepermint, melting wax

stock, bolognese

rice, herring salad

Both Monograph and Estate possessed strong tannins, but the first one was light, easy drinkable and fresh while the second was weighty, complex and ripe.

The greasy stock lubricated the mouth, giving a rollercoaster experience to the Monograph’s tannins and offering a noble battle to the tannins of the Estate. By tempering the bitter aroma, full entry was granted to the peppermint character of the Estate’s barrel vinification.

The rice with crisp greens on the contrary dehydrated tongue and mouth and became metallic in contact with both red wines. The Estate’s tannins got unbearably strengthened.

These and other findings were discussed when we finished the rest of the bottles. The after-tasting synthesis is indispensable. Best of all conclusions: although the perfect marriage may exist solely by the eye of the witness, details say it all. In this case: a bit a soysauce with the rice or a herring salad without mayonnaise would have turned the conclusion totally upside down.

post-christmas dinner

the bottle dictates the mealPosted by Vicky Tue, January 02, 2018 20:59:09

Peaceful days are with us: the agenda looks strangely empty, but a few evenings are to look forward to. A long-time-no-see friend wants to meet, a globetrotter is back in the country. It was a night like that, a few hours ago. A couple invited six friends, to share a menu according to the game season: hit by surprise, made with love. Wine marriages were my responsibility and I chose for Greek juice, except for one champagne. The guests had no clue about Greek wine, so the purpose was to strike with unpronounceable varieties and icons. Kidonitsa paired with warm feuilleté goat cheese, green salad and honey. Xinomavro rosé with crisp topinambour soup. The main course was wild boar stew, paired with a radically biodynamic Goumenissa and a Super Toscan Nemea. The Goumenissa immediately seduced the audience with deep dark fruit and Mediterranean aroma. The Nemea, Megas Oenos, opened slowly but surely towards a remarkable complexity. Finally, the glass contained a fresh, powerful and ripely tannic bouquet. This 2011 needs some time to oxidize, whether it be in a carafe 24h up front or in a cellar for five more years. Dinner ended with home-made mango and coconut cake, freshly and finely paired with the world’s best retsina (aged in wooden barrels) and with a 2001 champagne disgorged in 2012.

“Exceptional” was the dining audience’s verdict. I closed my eyes, thanked the lady chef and reflected on the potential of this kind of tasting discoveries. Friendship and composition, will be this year’s themes.