“Volcanic Bubbles” – Santo Brut

Is Santorini the strongest brand name in Greece? I believe that the answer is Yes. Santorini is the diva, the Marilyn Monroe of Greek wines, with production volumes struggling to please the ongoing rising demand. Prices are increasing and Santorini wines, mainly dry, still Assyrtiko, are establishing Greek Wines in the winelover’s conscience. By the way, #winelovers are visiting Santorini at the time I am typing this post and they share breathtaking pictures of the island.

I still remember reading tweets from the Oenorama Exhibition in Athens from fellow wine tweeps trying the first ever bubbly Assyrtiko from SantoWines! Everyone was raving about it and there I was miles away, trying to imagine how it would taste! After my return to Greece, I tried to find it but it wasn’t released then. So, I decided that I would wait and get it for my mum’s Bday in my Easter vacation, as she is a huge bubbly enthousiast. I contacted the lovely people of SantoWines to make sure that I could crack it open before cutting the birthday cake. They informed me that it wasn’t available on the shelf but I was one of the lucky ones who would be able to enjoy it before its launch- exciting times!

SantoWines Asyrtiko

A great pairing – Jumbo Prawns with light tomato sauce and Volcanic Bubbles

If you have already tried Assyrtiko from Santorini, you must remember its elegant stone fruit notes and its unique minerality and freshness! Add a lot of persistent bubbles who pronounce the peach, sour apricot aromas and underline the refreshing mouthfeel. In the mouth, honey and hints of brioche area completing the profile of a modern expression of Assyrtiko!

Santo brut is made with the Methode Traditionelle – aka the Champagne method. So, you get all these lovely brioche, nicely toasty notes with a splash of zest!

Imagine that: late afternoon at the caldera, your skin sun kissed with hints of salt on your hands and a glass of Assyrtiko Brut waiting for the sunset. This is what winelover’s heaven should be like!

Sparkling Santo Brut

Happy times!

20140621-112449-41089570.jpg

Black Cow Cheddar + Assyrtiko Bubbles

 

Find SantoWines on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SantoWines?fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/santo_wines

Follow on Bloglovin

Posted in Assyrtiko, Fun, Greece, Santorini, Wine, Wine-talk | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Raw Wine Fair and Greek Natural Wine – Domaine Ligas

The weather in London has gone all crazy and it’s now proper Spring time – who would have thought? Last Sunday it was nice and sunny and I was super excited to try a few – or shall I say a lot – natural wines at the Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, East London.

The Raw fair is a Wine Fair, created and organised by Isabelle Legeron MW, a true supporter of the Natural Wine Movement . Although, Natural Wine is a very broad term, I got to understand more about it after I read Jamie Goode’s & Sam Harrop’s book, Authentic Wine. It introduces you to the no (or minimum) sulphites, no additives wine world and explains concepts such as terroir and biodynamics using simple language.

I couldn’t wait to find out all about Ligas Wines, the only Greek natural wine producer I have heard of.

Most people feel that buying natural wine is some sort of Russian roulette and they are right to a certain extent. One can identify a series of serious faults and mostly Brettanomyces and there are producers out there to claim that this is part of the terroir’s expression.

I was very happy to taste Jason’s wines and those that I particularly liked were the Rosé and the the Λ13.

Jason Ligas at the RAW Wine Fair in London

Jason Ligas at the RAW Wine Fair in London

Le Rose 2013 is made with 100% Xinomavro grapes grown on chalky quartz soils in Pella, Northern Greece. Vibrant and deep fuchsia in colour with playful and delicate aromas of freshly squeezed strawberries and raspberries. It leaves your palate with a nice finish of pomegranate freshness. Ideal for summer nights on the terrace! (Total sulphites: 25 mg/L)

Then on to the Λ13, 2013 Pella – its name stands for the number of the microcuvée , in which it was vinified. Made with Assyrtiko and Roditis grapes, this wine is very aromatic – zesty notes are predominant. Lemon peel and grapefruit notes are clean and intense. The main characteristic that brings everything together is its minerality. Refreshing mouthfeel, stoney/steely notes and a long finish. I didn’t detect any kind of faults. The wine was not filtered and it has a clear,quite attractive lemon colour. (Total sulphites: 50 mg/L)

Ligas vineyards are organic certified and “.. vines grow in a natural way of culture based on the ‘Non­-act’ science of permaculture and organic farming.”, as they state on the RAW website.

You can find Domaine Ligas on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Domaine.Ligas?v=info

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/LigasWine

Website: http://www.ligas.gr/en/

Follow on Bloglovin

Posted in Nature, Terroir, Uncategorized, Wine, Wine-talk, Winegeeks, Young Winemakers and Wine professionals of Greece | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Rosé KANENAS by Tsantali & Pappardelle with Smoked Salmon

A few days back, I asked my mother to take a photo of a very beloved recipe I like to make, when I’m feeling homesick. This dish is not what you call a signature Greek dish but for some reason, the aromas of smoked salmon paired with onions and mustard take me back to my home kitchen.
When I first started experimenting with cooking, I got myself a lovely notebook, that has a vintage ad of Papadopoulou biscuits on the cover. This is the page with the recipe, written around 2003 and the notepad itself.

20140216-161448.jpg

My vintage recipe book

Well, if you have been to Greece and you haven’t tried these biscuits, you definitely need to go back or order them online or ask a fried to mail them to you! This is how good they are…
But let’s go back to our recipe!

It is a very quick, yet delicious and will look amazing on your dinner table!
For this dish, you are going to need:

500g of egg pappardelle
4 spoons of olive oil
2 spoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 spoon of capper
1 spoon of seeded mustard
1/2 onion finely chopped
8-10 slices of smoked salmon
2 spoons of dill
Black pepper

Firstly, you want to put the egg pappardelle in a big casserole with boiling water and a generous pinch of sea salt. While your pasta is cooking up, you can start working on your lovely sauce. Put all your ingredients but the salmon in a small kettle on medium fire and give them a nice stirring and leave them mix all their delicious flavours and aromas for 3-4 mins. Once the Pappardelle are ready, serve them and gently pour the sauce around and on top of them. Now place 3-4 slices of salmon on the pasta. Sprinkle some dill and you’re ready!

Voila!

KANENAS Rose with Smoked Salmon & pappardelle

KANENAS Rose with Smoked Salmon & pappardelle

Now on to the wine. The black pepper and the salmon are very nicely paired with rosé wines and I thought of the Rosé KANENAS from Tsantali. It’s a blend of Mavroudi, an indigenous Greek grape variety and Syrah. The grapes are grown on the hills of Maronia, Thrace in deep argillite soils.

KANENAS rose

KANENAS rose

On the nose, it’s very elegant and polished with the distinctive rose petals and black peppercorns aromas. I found the palate complimenting our Pappardelle and Smoked Salmon dish with its freshness and long finish.

And if you’re wondering what KANENAS means- it means “nobody”. In Odyssey, (Rhapsody 1) Odysseus escapes the Cyclops Polyphemus by getting him drunk on Maronia wine. When the Cyclops asks him, who he is, Odysseus answered:  “Kanenas”

Let me know if you try this recipe at home and if you have any suggestions I’d love to read them as I’m getting a bit obsessed with salmon lately!

See you later!

Follow on Bloglovin

Posted in Greek Wine, Wine tasting | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Melomakarona for breakfast!

You should try them!
Super easy and delicious!

20131226-202205.jpg

Posted in christmas food, pastry | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Great ideas for Christmas Gifts!

Hi everyone,

how are you all doing? Currently, in London it’s cold, windy and stormy and I literally want to stay at home all day sipping coffee and tea and browsing the Internet. By the way, last Sunday I tried the Cacao Cappuccino from Hotel Chocolat on High Street Kensington and it was seriously so good and yummy! The smooth yet intense cacao aromas were nicely blended with the milk foam  and had a velvety mouthfeel. If you find a shop, go in and try it! Psss, I also loved the cup, so I went back in and asked for a second one which I now use for my pens and pencils!

20131026-133028.jpg

Cacao Cappuccino from Hotel Chocolat

So, I’ m after some cool and fun Christmas gifts for family and friends and I remembered that I popped in John Lewis the other day and i was really impress with some of the new things they’ve put on their shelves.

I got a lot of inspiration and ideas and I wanted to share my findings with you!

Off we go:

The first thing that caught my eyes was this uber-cute Two of a Kind 2 piece bar set by Kate Spade! The bottle opener is this amazingly looking bow and the bottle closer a pair of black, stylish glass. I think they both look amazing and the set would be a great gift for the drink lovers.

20131026-133047.jpg

The bow-bottle opener

20131026-132905.jpg

The black glasses-bottle closer

Coming up next is something that I have never seen or heard of before but it’s extremely useful and brilliant; the Sagaform Drink Stones! As you can see on the photo below, the manufacturers suggest it as gadget for the whiskey drinkers but I personally think that you can pretty much use it in any drink that you want to keep cold or bring it in a cooler temperature without diluting all its aromas and unique organoleptic qualities. You just need to wash them, put them in the freezer and you can use them anytime you feel like cooling your drink down a bit. They look quite polish and neat, plus they come in a nice velvety case. But if you are one of those who find this extra pleasure in listening the nice cracking noise of the ice-cubes when you pour the drink over them, then I hear you. I love it too!

20131026-132914.jpgAs I used to travel a lot and now I kinda miss it, this travel kit stood out from every other similar kit I have either used or seen. The NPW Inflight Comfort kit includes an inflatable jersey neck pillow, a jersey eye mask, a soft foam earplugs and a jersey drawstring pouch. So if you have a friend who travels frequently or just loves getting all comfy when traveling, this is the perfect gift!

20131026-132933.jpg

Bon voyage with the NPW Inflight comfort kit

20131026-132950.jpg

The perfect relaxing kit for traveling

Now back to the food related gifts (they have a special place in my hear); I especially liked these two platters. The quality is very good and their design is minimalist and polished. The one on the left is a Savour Platter with 2 dip dishes and the right one is a Savour dipping platter.You can create an extra buzz on the table when having friends over with blending different colors and textures or you can simply use them when you’re not into cooking proper dinner and you want to indulge in cheeses and aromatic olive oil with freshly baked bread. *opens fridge, looking for Camembert*

20131026-132923.jpg

John Lewis’s Savour Platters

As cheese is one my favourite things in the entire world, I couldn’t help but notice this lovely Cheese Knives Set from Arthur Price Kitchen. I love all kinds of miniatures (I have a collection of perfume miniatures) and therefore this set of mini cheese knives is a match made in heaven! They are very stylish and bring a modern note on every table. Perfect for dinner parties and all types of gatherings. Just look at it and tell me you don’t love it! NO, is not an answer…

20131026-133129.jpg

Great packaging by APK

The 4 Piece Cheese Knives Set

The 4 Piece Cheese Knives Set

For those of  you who enjoy being surrounded by colourful things I found the following:

First comes this really amazing and joyful range of pillows. If you think in re-decorating your house and want to bring a fresh breeze of air into your old furniture, go check out the “hipster” look of the la cerise sur le gâteau range! I mean, look at them! They are so adorable and funky. The following three are my absolute favourites but you check their website because they have the most cool stuff! Summing it up in 3 words: Oh la la!

20131026-133005.jpg

Smile!    20131026-133014.jpg Wear cute shoes when riding a bicycle

Last but not least, a notebook by Eams Office! This one has colourful crayons (image form the Eames House of Cards) on its hard cover and  ruled pages. I am not one of those people who always a carry a notebook in their bags and write in it when i go to Starbucks or “indy” coffee shops but I love having a journal where I write any ideas that pop in my head or glue on their pages cards, tickets or polaroid photos. A diary for grown ups! This one I particularly liked is the one with the crayons brings back the memories of endless hours of drawing  when I was kid and the smell of crayon on my hands. Quite nostalgic actually.

20131026-132958.jpg

Eames House of Cards Small Notebook

These were my favourite gift ideas that I found in John Lewis last Sunday.

Some people might say that this post seems like a “wishlist” but they obviously don’t know my altruistic and giving nature! Just joking!

So, if you have any Christmas gift ideas, I would love to know them! You can comment below or share the link of your Christmas Ideas post :)

Au revoir!

Posted in Christmas, Fun, Gifts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Why do people remind me of wine?

Coucou, il y a quelqu’un ?

Hi, is anyone here?

Lately, it’s been so lovely and sunny in London, I just can’t stand the thought of staying in during the weekend. Last week I got to visit Brighton and today Sandgate, which is really charming. If you enjoy spending time in the countryside I totally recommend a trip to Kent (“The Garden of England”).

As one does, when I am traveling by car or train I enjoy immersing in thoughts and today’s was mainly about the question “Why do people remind me of wine?” Do you trouble yourselves with this kind of mysteries or am I just being weird?

If you wish to find an answer to the question “What is wine?” and you feel uncomfortable when asked to describe it, try to use characteristics of your best friend, your parents or your colleagues. Some examples would be “playful”, “robust”, “complex” and, why not, “pretty”.

Looks matter and this is why the first opinion we tend to express about people is mostly based on their appearance; the same goes for wine. The color of a wine can give you valuable information about its quality and age. A bright lemon color or a deep ruby will catch your attention; one can understand the difference between a youthful or aged wine and one with significant faults such as oxidation or reduction.

But as with people, some of the faults you initially identify, they might be easily repaired or overlooked and finally enjoyed. Let’s say you are in doubt about the wine in your glass being reduced; a smell of rotten eggs or boiled cabbage when heavily reduced or a roasted aroma, when in low levels. Have you tried popping a copper coin in the glass (known as the “copper penny trick “)? Yes, I just said that! Swirl the coin in your glass and the unpleasant aromas will faint and the fruit will become fresher and cleaner. The analogy with people lies with the fact that sometimes you are not able or willing to see past a person’s grumpiness or fatigue. But have you tried smiling at them, or allowed them to go through the elevator first? You will be surprised with the good outcome, because they might smile back at you! Some wine drinkers find low levels of reduction interesting in a wine and feel that it brings some complexity and character. You know what they say; “We like people for their qualities, but love them for their defects.”

Wines, when bereaved from oxygen, may develop some funky aromas; nothing that a simple decanting can’t fix. There are times in our lives that we, as individuals, also “need some space”. Here lies the analogy again, humans and wine both need their own space from time to time in order to develop and explore their true potential.

Sometimes you might need to decant a vintage port or a red wine because you need to get rid of the sediment that can make your wine look unappealing in the glass. Essentially, you are going to remove a part of this wine, in order to make it more presentable and elegant. If you were hosting a dinner party you wouldn’t want to stand in front of your guests struggling to pour wine into their glasses and making sure that the sediment stays in the bottle. Ideally you could surprise them with bringing a bright white cloth on the table, put a white candle on a candle-holder and light it. You can place your bottle on the right and the decanter on your left; hold the neck bottle above the candle as you’re pouring the wine into the decanter so you can see exactly when the sediment comes out. Your guests will be amazed by the procedure and you will prove to be an excellent host. The main idea is that you have put on a small show in order to enhance the idea of how exquisite the wine is. People need some help as well when presenting themselves. We all have our weak points but if we focus on our strengths, ideas and creativity, we instantly become more attractive and amiable.

Wine is not an art as some are claiming. It is not revolutionary and cannot change the world. What it is doing however, is allowing us to draw our moments of happiness with more colors. When celebrating, the loud “POP” of champagne makes the room vibrate, the wine on the dinner table brings us closer and for the devoted wine lovers it enables them to explore a huge diversity of colors, aromas and textures. You can discover the whole globe by trying international wines and identify which styles are more compatible to your taste.

Maybe it is easy to describe what wine is after all; a grand celebration of the extravagant variety of life!

What do you think? Do your friends or family remind you of any wines or vice versa?

À bientôt

Effi drinks wine

Posted in Fun, Nature, Oscar Wilde, UK, Uncategorized, Wine tasting, Wine-talk | Leave a comment

What I have been doing all this time

Time flies

This is what my dear grandmother used to tell me when we were chatting in the garden holding a glass of wine. She used to say:

Time goes by so quickly as a leaking faucet

And that’s exactly what happened to me… I started my new job last October and then my WSET Level 3 course and the days went by with lots of studying, walks, laughter or moody Sundays.

Basically I was studying on planes, occasionally with the company of a random Barbie doll

20130531-224310.jpg

When in Greece, I tasted the most delicious Moschofilero ever

20130531-224903.jpg
Nikolas Repanis is producing in Peloponnese this marvellous wine at 11.5% alc with white blossom and fresh lemons. Refreshing mine reality and a long finish complete my idea of the Golden Angel

Another wine I had in Greece was the The tear of the Pine, a Retsina

20130531-230144.jpg
Oh, don’t give me this “Ewww”face, don’t be judgemental! Have you tried Retsina lately? Well if you actually did and you didn’t like it, you haven’t tried this one. Made from 100% Assyrtiko and is fermented in oak barrels and stays in contact with its lees for a short time. Although Retsina is most commonly made from Savvatiano or Roditis, Kechris chose to use the noble Assyrtiko grape, in order to achieve the delicacy of the new Retsina style. I’ve heard many English colleagues saying how much they enjoyed Retsina during their holidays in Greece but when they had it in the English country they were disappointed. It’s because I myself can’t find a decent Retsina in the UK! I will come back to Retsina in the next post.

When back to London, I had Japanese wine for the first time and I was thrilled! Even though that the Japanese started drinking wine only in the 90’s because of multiple papers on the benefits of red wine for the heart, they have started producing great white wine.

20130531-232948.jpg
That’s the Soryu Koshu 2010; green apples, blossom and juicy citrus on the palate.

That will be all for now!

Next post will be on Xinomavro; have you ever tried it? Any favourites? Looking forward to your thoughts.

Ta Ta!

20130531-233724.jpg

Posted in Fun, Greece, Greek Wine, UK | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment