Monday, July 12, 2010

Insanity in Greece

Geek here
In Greece filming documentary on Greek food and wine---brutal
After 18 hour day of shooting, decided to crank out some cocktails for the other wine pro "movie stars", the entire production crew, an amazing local chef, Kontossoros, and my good friend Angelo Iatridis, of Alpha Estate, in Amyndeo, at a local bar, Mythos.
I created an original cocktail for each and every one of them, with fun names, each with its own story of origin, and every recipe playing to likes and tastes of what I have learned about them in the few long days of the shoot. Each cocktail incorporated local produce, fruits (peaches, cherries, apricots, apples) locally grown herbs, and indigenous spirits (Tsipouro, Ouzo, Mastika, etc.) along with a few of my faves (Grand Marnier, Tanqueray TEN, Don Julio, Zacapa, Havana Club)
Working behind a bar with absolutely no equipment or supplies (good thing I brought my basic gear with me!), I rocked the bar for about 5 hours, and got all 35 of them extremely happy and toasty-----it was INSANITY!
...and of course to end the night, after I had finished and cleaned up, Iliana (our client and friend from EDOAO), Angelo, and the other wine pros, toasted Stigibeu from my flask of Del Maguey Tobala (thanks Ron!) and walked back to our hotel at 4:30am, just in time for a breathtaking sunrise from the balcony of the hotel.
Absolutely amazing...
Off next to the lost city of Atlantis

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Taste of Santorini

It is no secret that I am a fanatic of Santorini wines, and a devoted student and taster (and lover!) of the Assyrtiko grape, particularly its proclivity to proclaim its birthright (uh, terroir much?) and its incredible and, for the uninitiated, unexpected, ability to age.

That said, I was extremely excited and eager, to say the least, to dive into the entire flight of Santorini wines in the EDOAO tasting at Bar Boulud, a flight which represented every incarnation of Santorini Assyrtiko, from each of the best producers, all tasted blind.

The Sigalas wines showed brilliantly---unanimously---as expected, which once again, still, in some way provided a certain validation to the tasting overall, and to my own personal sense of taste. I also, personally, truly appreciated and even adored Gaia’s “wild ferment” Assyrtiko, but as you might imagine, it virtually polarized the room, drawing out a few naysayers to conflict with we lovers of the wine. Two vintages of Thalassitis (also from Gaia) demonstrated the unique ageability of the wines, as did the 07 Kallisti Reserve, another favorite of the group, and the Argyros was agreed to be an excellent example of Santorini, even if slightly overshadowed by preceeding the Sigalas in the tasting, an undesirable position for any wine.

Perhaps the most pleasant surprise, however, was the Nykteri from Santowines, which for many, including myself, showed brilliantly. Some had it as one of their two or three best of the tasting. To that end, in the dessert flight at the very end of the day, which wine would you suppose was again one of my/our favorites? The Santowines Vinsanto 2003, which again held its own next to some of Greece’s finest island muscats and other delicious sweet wines.

Yamas Santorini!