You are currently browsing articles tagged greece.

liatikoImperfect Memory
As much as I would love to have a perfect log and memory of every grape and wine that has passed my lips, the reality is so far removed from that aspiration that it’s equivalent to wishing for world peace.. and just as naive. Wine people love to romanticize “that first wine,” “that night they fell in love with Amarone” and “that unknown wine on the left bank of the Seine” but let’s be clear – this is about much more than wine. Wine people romanticize wine because that’s what they’re about. Beer people romanticize beer in much the same way. Flower growers do the same thing, and people in general romanticize youth like a bunch of Baudelaire devotees.

Past sweet nothings
That is normal and thank goodness everyone does romanticize their past. Life can use a whole lot more romance than it currently has and is likely to have in the near future. Can anyone please romanticize Excel and/or Powerpoint? Correct – and please don’t try.

Getting old – better than the alternative
Because sometimes (and probably most times) it is much more important to enjoy the night, enjoy the romance of the moment and be utterly grateful that the moment exists and that you were there and can remember something of that moment, even if it’s imperfect, imprecise and heavily filtered by time. Precision and accuracy can follow to pick through the crumbs of the memory from the feast of the moment, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Detail Up!
Drank at M. Wells Steakhouse with Selenho. No further details available.

Like a barolo with spice and more umami savoriness. Very smooth and long lasting – bit harsh on the finish on its own. Fragrant with medium body and floral and spice. Solid compliment to poutine. Spicy red fruit, like raspberry with spices.

Random Googles:
* Liatiko is actually named after the month of July (July = Iouliatiko in Greek, lingua franca of Astoria, NY). Ιούλιος is how it appears when you flip past June on your Greek calendar.
* Wine is grown on Crete – on the eastern part of the island – and is believed to be the most planted grape on the island.
* Liatiko has very high acidity (up to 16%), which perhaps explains why it went so well with steak and lots of other delicious, rich foods.

Tags: ,

Image from WHWC

Vin Gris
Gray wine – least appealing way to market a wine and yet, it’s a pretty cool process. So most of the time red wine comes from red grapes, and white wine comes from white grapes – not always, but it’s close enough for grenade range. Vin Gris though, is a white wine that comes from red grapes. You take the red grapes, smash them and then move the liquid quickly before the skins of the grapes have time to start staining the wine red. Theoretically it would seem possible to make it from any red grapes, although wine makers stay away from that and stick to a very limited number of grapes: Moschofilero, a rare Gamay and Champagne made from Pinot Noir.

Old and Greek and Gray all over
Moschofilero is really the true vin gris, both because that’s really what people do with it and because it’s indigenous to Greece who have been making wine arguably longer than anyone in Europe. They didn’t invent wine though – that’s probably the Armenians. Strangely enough though, Moschofilero has gray grapes, rather than red that Vin Gris usually relies on – not entirely sure how this categorization works but apparently it still qualifies as Vin Gris.

Acidic lime and lemon, long finish like vinho verde. Slightly rounder body. Great for summer

Detail Up!
2010 Moschofilero with 12% alc. by Ktima Tselepos from the Mantinia area in Arcadia, Peloponnese, Greece

Random Googles
* Tselepos, the winery responsible for this Moschofilero citric stud, won 2012 Winery of the Year honors
* Moschofilero – not related to Muscat at all. Pretty opposite in taste from the sweeter Muscats too.
* Greece is confusing, Greek wine moreso – have a look at this overview of grapes with a cool map too

Tags: , ,

Warning on Retsina
The waitress warned against this wine, saying that the wine, “Retsina,” was unlike any other wine. Most people send it back so she’d learned to caution those who ordered it from repeat rejections.

Vodka in the Dasani
Retsina really was unlike any other wine, just by smelling you knew something was different. Pinesol. Straight up Pinesol. No other wine smells (and tastes!) like Pinesol and unless you know what to expect, it’s like gulping vodka when you grab the water bottle after exercising only to discover that your roomate put the Absolut in the Dasani bottle. True story.

Love in the Time of Socrates
Retsina dates back to the time of Socrates, Solon and Pericles. In fact, it shows up in Plato’s Symposium, a fact noted in more than one academic publication. When Plato was sitting at Socrates’s knee, writing down the words of wisdom, Socrates was throwing back Retsina wine and burping up pine and eternal questions.

Different How?
Retsina wine predates barrels, so the Greeks made due with pine resin to preserve their grape juice and ferment it into wine. Already in the first century, the Romans were griping about the taste of Retsina and decrying the use of premium grapes in Retsina wines. Anecdotal history even says that when the Romans invaded, the Greeks intentionally put pine resin in their wines to avoid the Romans from stealing their wine.

Pinesol, straight up Pinesol with a hint of mint on the burp. Few outside Greece enjoy it but I’m a sadist who smells like a pinecone.

Detail Up!
Retsina – Ritintis Nobilis by Gaia Estate at their Nemea Estate in Peloponnese, Greece (h/t for the image to these guys)

Random Googles
* Lots of grapes can be made into Retsina. Roditis, Savatiano and Assyrtiko are the most famous.
* Roditis is a late-harvester but still retains high acidity levels, which is why the Greeks in the Peloppenesian islands, especially the northern islands, adore it.
* Every part of Greece is a productive winemaking region. Economists disagree.

Tags: , , ,