Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Travel to Greece

I am rather behind in my writing but there is an advantage to that – the ability to go back and look at the wines I tasted last month and rediscover my favourites. This blog will be about the Greek tasting that I attended last month in downtown Toronto and the five wineries that I really enjoyed wines from.

Let’s start with the wines of Boutari, which is one of the largest wineries in Greece, running seven different wineries across Naoussa, Goumenissa, Santorini, Crete, Mantinia and Attica as well as Domaine de Mayrac in France. Although there were several wines available on the table and I did enjoy a bunch of them, my favourite was definite the Boutari Moschofilero 2009. All of the aromas were slightly understated but given the complexity of aromas, it made the wine more aromatically balanced than overpowering, which it could have easily been had the aromas been more forceful. Along with slight fruit and slight floral, there was also a touch of clover on the nose giving it “something extra” that the other wines on the table did not seem to have. Those aromas of fruit and floral continued on to the palate where it found a great string of acidity making this wine a real thirst quencher. This wine, which is 100% Moschofilero, would be great as a summer sipper but you could try pairing it with light foods and appetizers as well – maybe some Greek Dolmades if you enjoy Greek food just as much as you enjoy Greek wine.

Next we move to Mediterra Winery and their Mirambelo Reg 2007 which is a blend of 80% Kotsifali and 20% Mandilaria. This wine was smooth and easy drinking – exactly what you want at this time of the year – with aromas and flavours of black fruit and plums. There are fine tannins and cedar notes making this wine incredibly balanced and very tasty. Our next winery is the Parparoussis Winery which is situated near Patras in the northwest part of the Peloponnese. This winery likes to focus on vineyards that are small and privately owned and I got a real sense of this as I was trying their Nemea Reserve 2003. Made from 100% Nemea, this wine has an aroma that can only be described as POWERFUL! Mostly cherries, raspberries and earth, this wine also has a fruit forward palate with a nice string of acidity to balance it out. It is medium bodied and you can tell it has some oak aging behind it but not excessively so, making this wine one of the most intriguing wines I tried this afternoon. The next winery – Semeli – was founded in 1979 and my favourite on the table this day was their Mountain Sun White 2009. Normally a blend of Moschofilero and Roditis, this particular vintage was 100% Moschofilero. It had a floral nose, which continued onto the palate where it joined a hint of clover, a slight waxiness and then finished with a slight tartness. It was crisp and refreshing and everything you want a white wine to be when you are sitting on the deck in the summer sun.

Domaine Sigalas – located on the northern part of the island of Santorini – and their Sigalas Santorini Barrel 2009 was just wonderful. It was made from 100% Assyrtiko and the one aroma and flavour that stuck out the most with this wine is its smoky character. There is a good string of acidity running through the palate and the finish, making it quite enjoyable, but I bet if you had a small sample of Applewood Smoked Cheddar to enjoy this with that the result would be orgasmic. Our final stop was at Domaine Spiropoulos and their Mantinia 2009 was quite captivating. Made from 100% Moschofilero, this wine had a wonderful tropical fruit aroma to it. It had a crisp, clean palate with more of those great tropical fruit flavours and a slightly lingering finish. This was, quite simply, a very enjoyable wine to try and I would love to have more of it while sitting on the deck on a Saturday afternoon.


So, have you ever had a chance to try wines from Greece? A quick check on the LCBO website found more than 50 wines from Greece to choose from ranging in price from $5 a bottle up to almost $60 a bottle. So, the next time you’re planning a dinner party, take a look at the wines of Greece – you may be surprised. By the way, they are meant for pairing with more than just Greek food – try your favourite dishes with these wines as well.
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