Archive for June 2010

David Rosengarten visits Boutari

June 28, 2010

If you don’t know leading food writer David Rosengarten, you must have been living under a rock for the last 25 years.

Here’s his bio (lifted from his personal blog): “Journalist, television personality, and cookbook author, David Rosengarten has covered great food products, restaurants, wines, beer, coffee and tea, gastronomic travel destinations, and related subjects for over 25 years. He has written hundreds of articles and contributed hundreds of original recipes to publications such as Gourmet (where he was Restaurant Critic from 1996 to 2000), The New York Times, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Harper’s Bazaar, Departures, The Wine Spectator and Newsday. David is perhaps best known for his work as the host of Taste, the award-winning Food Network television show devoted to the principles of good taste in food and wine.”

David visited the Boutari winery in Naoussa in June and posted about his passion for the wines of Greece over at the Dean & DeLuca Gourmet Food blog. Here’s what he had to say…

My favorite traditional red wine in Greece is made in the northwest, not too far from Albania, from one of my favorite red-wine grapes in the world: Xinomavro. It is grown all over this Macedonian part of Greece, but the center of Xinomavro production is the town and area of Naoussa; luckily, Naoussa wines from producers such as Boutari are not hard to find in the U.S.

Click here to read David’s post on Greek wines.

“Chicagoland’s best Greek festival”: the Lincoln Park 32nd annual Greek Fest

June 25, 2010

The Boutari Wines Social Media Project recently had the chance to catch up with Nick Pipikios (left), one of the organizers of the 32nd annual Lincoln Park Greek Festival, “Chicagoland’s best Greek Festival.” This was the first year Boutari wines has sponsored this amazing two-day event, where Greek food and drink, music and dancing, and family-friendly and cultural events make for truly great summertime fun. Here’s what Nick had to say about this amazing festival and its origins in one of the leading Greek communities in the U.S. (And in an totally unrelated note, Nick turned us on to this great website about Greek life, culture, and community in the U.S. and beyond, DailyFrappe.com, definitely worth checking out! Thanks again, Nick! Efharisto poli!)

The Lincoln Park Greek Festival has been held for over 30 years. It was started and run by the St. George Greek Orthodox Church of Chicago.

The food and bar sales are run by the volunteers of the church with various businesses participating as sponsors. This year we had about 15 sponsors from various local bars and restaurants to national Greek brands like Opa, Grecian Delight, Metaxa, and Chobani yogurts. All the sponsors are Greek owned but not necessarily Greek-themed restaurants or bars.

Lincoln Park is not a historically Greek neighborhood although it is one of the most affluent neighborhoods of Chicago. Around the 1920s and 30s however, there were a large number of Greek families to the north and west of the church.

Lincoln Park has always been home to some of the most affluent families in Chicago and is home to Depaul university, the largest Catholic private university in America. it has an abundance of bars, restaurants, boutqiues, and a few theaters. It is home to two of the worlds best restaurants, Alinea, (which is part owned by a Greek) and Charlie Trotter’s.

Boutari is by far the most popular Greek wine in America and has had a presence here for much longer time than the other Greek premium wines. Greek wines are now finally getting the recognition they deserve and Boutari is a forerunner. I personally like the Kretikos and the Nemea red.

Thanks also to Terlato team members Fernando Baptista and Mackenzie Lake who helped to make the Lincoln Park Greek Festival a grand success this year! 🙂

Greek wine in Detroit, a dispatch from a hometown son

June 24, 2010

This just in via our Facebook page:

Back in my hometown of Detroit and decided to head to Greektown for my brother’s b-day celebration. A wonderful night with my family and we had some great Greek food (hard to find in Reno). The Platos Platter was great and we topped off the night with a very nice bottle of Boutari Moschofilero. Perfect for a warm summery night. Thanks Boutari!

—Andy Pasternak, Reno, NV

Andy and his lovely wife JoAnn are adventurous food and wine lovers based in Reno, Nevada (and they’re some of the nicest folks you’ll ever meet). Thank YOU, Andy! 🙂

Greek wine in San Diego: the amazing Yanni’s Bistro in Poway

June 23, 2010

Let’s face it: while “America’s Finest City” is known for its beautiful beaches, its great nightlife scene, and the natives’ love of surfing, sport fishing, and other extreme sports, San Diego is not exactly what you would call a renowned fine-dining destination. That’s just one of the reasons that Boutari webmaster Jeremy Parzen (a native San Diegan) was all-the-more surprised to find a hidden gem of a restaurant, Yanni’s Bistro in Poway, an inviting and family-friendly eatery tucked away in an otherwise anonymous Southern California strip mall. Owner Yanni Pihas is the consummate restaurateur, a natural when it comes to warm hospitality… and great food.

Yanni does all the Greek classics and he does them exceedingly well. He also has a smattering of Italian dishes on his menu. But his seafood… aaaaa… his seafood… The mussels in saffron were so fresh and tasty. Yanni makes the most of San Diego’s “fruits of the sea.”

When asked one of the classics of Greek cuisine on his menu not to be missed, Yanni produced a steaming plate of grilled loukaniko (loo-KAHN-ee-koh), the quintessential Greek sausage. Simply delicious…

The pièce de résistance of our meal there was “Cappellini Tourkolimano”: shrimp, tomato, feta, garlic, and basil. The freshness of the seafood combined with Yanni’s deft hand (perfectly al dente cappellini) delivered a truly world-class dining experience.

A natural-born host and consummate restaurateur, Yanni is also an avid wine collector and his wine list includes some fantastic Italian and Californian selections. The affordable pricing extends even to older bottlings of collectible red wines like Xinomavro and Nebbiolo (from Italy).

Yanni’s Bistro and Cellar
12205 Scripps Poway Parkway
Poway, CA 92064
(858) 527-0011

Chapeau bas, Yanni! Looking for the next time we get to dine in your fine establishment!

Look for Yanni’s Facebook fan page, too.

LA Times recommends Boutari Moschofilero and Santorini for summer

June 18, 2010

This just in from the Los Angeles Times and one of our favorite wine writers (and one of the nicest people in the biz) Patrick Comiskey:

“White wines at the ready for summer: Stock up for seasonal meals with a variety from the Mediterranean, Australia, Chile, Oregon, good old California and more.”

I’ve heard it said that a good summer wine is like sunshine in a bottle. There’s some truth to that: The ideal wine will have the brilliant, drip-down-your-chin succulence of freshly picked fruit, as unadorned as a cloudless sky. But it’s probably more accurate to say that a good summer wine is sunshine’s foil, capable of turning back the day’s dazzling heat with the cut of its coolness, the quenching prickle of its acidity, the bite of its finish.

In a Mediterranean mood

Probably no region on Earth embodies summer better than the Mediterranean. In outdoor cafes and on beaches from Costa Brava to Kalamata, Mediterranean culture seems drenched in sunlight, and for each port of call there are several white wines on hand to quench thirsts.

Nearly every white wine in Greece serves this purpose; indeed Boutari, its largest wine company, has about a dozen by itself, but their nervy Moschofilero (about $16) or their sun-kissed blend from the island of Santorini (about $20) are worth grabbing.

Ancient documents that point to the origin of the name Vinsanto

June 16, 2010

Our blog master, Jeremy Parzen, who holds a Ph.D. in Italian literature, posted this find today on his blog:

After I posted the other day debunking the myth that Italian Vin Santo and Greek Vinsanto are related in any other way beyond a homonymical coincidence, the chief enologist at Boutari, Yannis Voyatzis, express-mailed me a wonderful volume on the wines of Santorini, which (literally) just arrived. In it, I found this wonderful reproduction of a map, printed in 1576 by a Venetian printer. As you can see above and in the detail below, in late 16th-century Venice, the Venetian name of the island Santorini was already well-established.

But more importantly, you can see that the name Santo Erini was still prevalent.

I believe that this supports my theory that the Greek appellation name Vinsanto comes from Vin[o di] Santo[erini].

Pairing the World Cup with wine

June 14, 2010

Across the blogosphere, wine bloggers are having fun pairing World Cup matches with their favorite wines from the countries on the field.

Like this post, by the popular wine blog Enobytes, where the authors suggest that we predict a winner based on the quality of wines produced in the competing countries.

“The 2010 World Cup has officially started,” they write, “and everyone seems to have #worldcup fever! But rather than figuring out who’s got the better team based on soccer odds, let’s pick a winning team based on which country has the better wine! Buleuah!”

Unfortunately, Boutari Moschofilero didn’t help the Greek national soccer team, despite being Enobyte’s Greek “value white” pick.

Korea Republic v Greece

In Korea, wine is enjoyed only by a small portion of the population and has not yet achieved a place in the mainstream culture. Korean drinkers prefer beer and a distilled spirit called soju. As for viticulture, Korea has roughly 40,000 acres of vineyards, primarily used to make table grapes and dried fruit, focusing more on the fruit and medicinal wines. Can I convince you soccer fanatics to drink a dried fruit wine on game day? Oh, come on, drink it, you’ll like it! Alright, I give up, the winner is GREECE!

Greece has been modernizing their wine making practices for a while now and they’ve been experimenting with 300 indigenous grapes. I’ll list them and test you later. Seriously, you’ll be impressed with the quality and styles produced. Don’t be intimidated by the indigenous grapes named Assyrtiko, Xinomavro, Roditis and Moschofilero.

South Korea beat Greece 2 – 0. 😦

Click here for the entire World Cup schedule.


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