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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 meal Posted on 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 meal Posted on 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.



post-christmas dinner

the bottle dictates the meal Posted on 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.