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life seen through pink glasses (of wine)royal flush

Posted by Vicky Wed, April 25, 2018 12:52:20

Here we are. Love happened. The Man pronounced the word at the moment when people started choosing lightly woven garments over cashmere. Because Spring arrived as well: volumes and doses are being lowered in order to give the full floor to smiling, seducing faces. It would be clever to discuss this abrupt transition of ice-cold to torridly hot, but we don’t feel like it yet. Later, promise.

It seems more pertinent to break one’s head over the bottle to be presented at the first date. A rosé? Does the Man-philosopher, poet, jazz fanatic “do” brosé*?

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Nothing to lose, so there we go. The Akakies rosé, fully xinomavro from Kir Yianni’s vineyards, chilled in the bicycle basket. Hoping that neither the warm temperature, nor the trembling hands, nor the belly butterflies endanger the freshness of the bottle. The Man, declaring himself a non-connoisseur, discovers crisp fruit, cinnamon, licorice and acidity. He tastes, smiles and confirms.

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Him smiling, makes the world smile. His appreciation of the wine convinces me. Within two days, we’ll be discussing the climate change.

*stupid world for rosé tasted by brothers



no fool's day herethe bottle dictates the meal

Posted 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.

Blog imageA 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 Matchthe bottle dictates the meal

Posted 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:

Fruit/acidity


Earthy

Spicy/chemical


Balm

Perfect

Poor

Monograph

sour cherry

dry sand

warm spices

mint

stew, stock

rice, herring salad

Gaia Estate

black cherry, elderberry

moss

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.



daydreampoetic muse

Posted by Vicky Tue, February 27, 2018 10:57:40

Parparoussis’ peacock

Conversation at twelve o’clock

Stubbornly deep and mysterious

A bouquet of excellence surrounding us

Taos, baptized at bottling

From where was this name gotten

Mavrodaphne, its vitis DNA

Voluptuous velvet but “HEY

What will your future be like?”

Human voice hits: strike

Sure I was invited to lunch

My daydream ended with a punch

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four myths, fifty shadesvigor

Posted by Vicky Sun, February 25, 2018 18:29:33

A casual rendez-vous in Mechelen, with retsina. The Man asks if I want to join him for Fifty Shades and, actually, I ‘m in a very generous mood. A Greek mezze, a bottle of wine, to share as if it were saint valentine’s day. When I ask Maria of restaurant Zorba what kind of resin wine she advises, the reaction “yes, THAT one” comes as fast as her reply “The one from Tetramythos”.

Tetramythos and its four myths make me weak. Two brothers and a talented oenologist cultivate and produce organically several varieties at an altitude of some hundreds, even a kilometer above sea level. If these vines had eyes, they would enjoy a divine sight over the sea. Natural cliffs make this northern part of the Peloponnesos peninsula even more dramatic. I once nearly failed to overcome my agony when I took the wrong road up to the domain. The unpaved road became narrower as the mountainsides almost touched the car. Never again was I going to sip a drip of retsina! Fortunately, the rescue was just around the next turn. As it was in the movie. And as it almost was in the after-movie moments, if there wasn’t a police officer asking for ID.
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winter foodvigor

Posted by Vicky Sun, February 04, 2018 17:00:09

One should never complicate life in January or May, when shelves of kitchen cabinets are stowed with storage food which didn’t make it to the christian party tables. The owner of these cans shouldn’t worry either: freshness lasts, generally speaking, a bit beyond the expiration date. Just to say, it didn’t come as a surprise to be invited to eating asparagus in January. In a jar, in its juice, thick white asparagus. Straight in a hot pan, with crispy peel and good taste, the question was “what do we drink with that?” I had a Syn + White Dot 2014, moschofilero and roditis, left in the fridge.
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Although we didn’t need anything else, a white Belgian wine from winery Ten Gaerde joined the meal. Both wines freshened up the oily, easy, wintery taste of the meal by adding a touch of acidity and tension. Spring is far away, but we’re so good where we are.

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Party conspiracyroyal flush

Posted by Vicky Thu, January 18, 2018 00:05:59

A party organized by two, I was one of them, was about to become a burden on my friends. During the first hours I found myself preparing welcoming drinks to the few identified and a bunch unknown. (Tio Tonic, by the way, cured a couple of ladies feeling ill upon arrival and made the healthy even more happy.) Midnight was approaching and I forced a few copains into a break-away from spicy pasta and fino sherry. I wanted to gather impressions of wine lovers, not mainly professional somms, about a juice I just heard of. Presenting Tselepos’ Melissopetra 2016, in festive and crowdy conditions, it was a gamble.
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Instantly the dj was ignored and the small talk interfered by this Greek gewürztraminer. Royal, lush by nature, much more than fruit, still elegant and fresh. €15 plus: no discussion! As it was my first tasting of the Melissopetra as well, I couldn’t really add a characteristic. Perhaps that the dark smokey undertone makes this Greek worthy of comparison to Alsace gewurz.

Festivities would last until 5am.





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post-christmas dinnerthe bottle dictates the meal

Posted 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.

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“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.