Archive for June 2011

Greek Grape Name and Appellation Pronunciation Project

June 30, 2011

In the wake of the positive response to the Italian Grape Name and Appellation Project, it seemed only logical to launch the Greek Grape Name and Appellation Project. And where better to start than Assyrtiko, the noble white grape grown on the island of Santorini?

That’s Boutari chief enologist Yannis Voyatzis, who graciously posed for my camera to pronounce Assyrtiko.

Snooth calls Santorini dome one of “world’s coolest winery features”

June 29, 2011

Top wine blogger and editor-in-chief of Snooth Gregory Dal Piaz calls Boutari’s Santorini dome (above) one of the “world’s coolest winery features.”

Click here to read what Gregory had to say about this Santorini landmark.

A horizontal and vertical of Assyrtiko for top U.S. wine bloggers and wine writers

June 28, 2011

Yesterday, Boutari chief enologist Dr. Yannis Voyatzis (above) led a horizontal and vertical tasting of Boutari’s bottlings of Santorini-raised Assyrtiko stretching back to 1989. The tasting was hosted at the winery’s Santorini estate in the village of Megalochori (Santorini, Greece).

The tasting was attended by top U.S. wine bloggers, wine writers, and wine professionals including Alder Yarrow of Vinography, Jon Troutman of Daily Grape, Gregory Dal Piaz of Snooth, and husband and wife Jordan Mackay and Christie Dufault.

Highlights included the 1996 Nichteri (above), an oxidative Assyrtiko developed by Dr. Voyatzis, who first began making wine on the island in 1985 (the first official vintage of Boutari’s barrel-fermented Assyrtiko, Kallisti, was 1989; see below).

The 1989 Kallisti, Boutari’s first vintage on the island and the first vintage to be shipped abroad (previous to Boutari’s presence on the island, wines were generally sold in bulk).

And the 1993 Naoussa Grand Reserve (from Naoussa in Northern Greece), a wine that impressed the group with its bright acidity and gorgeous fruit (a wine still very young in its evolution, all agreed).

“New Greek cuisine” at Koukoumavlos in Fira, Santorini

June 27, 2011

Marina Boutari treated us to a seat one of Santorini’s most coveted tables at Koukoumavlos in Fira, where we sampled some contemporary Greek cuisine crafted by the deft hand of chef and owner Nikos Pouliasis.

Highlights for me were the yoghurt mousse and red mullet caviar topped with mint gel (above)…

And this fava bean “flan,” topped with fried seaweed, toasted almonds, and a fruit reduction.

Φηρά, Fira, Thira – Fira 84700, Greece
+30 2286 023807

The wine list features a broad selection of Santorini and Greek wines at reasonable prices, as well as a hand-picked short list of international blockbusters, including the 2005 Silex by Dageneau.

Highly recommended.

Sunset over the Caldera of Santorini

June 27, 2011

My camera simply could not capture the truly mesmerizing beauty of sunset over the Caldera of Santorini last night.

An aerial view of Santorini

June 26, 2011

I managed to take some shots from the plane as we landed in Santorini this morning, a thirty-minute flight from Athens where we slept last night.

In the short time that we’ve been here, it’s already been a fascinating experience to talk with my colleagues from Boutari about what makes the wines here so unique. More on that later…

Now it’s time to head to lunch and then a swim in the afternoon!

The Acropolis!

June 26, 2011

After finally arriving in Athens after a long day of circuitous travel (a missed connection in Newark and a lost bag in Paris), my tired feet were rewarded with what is perhaps the most illustrious stroll in the entire world — along the street below the Acropolis.

Our gracious host, Christina Boutari, had invited us to dinner at Dionysos, a restaurant that enjoys one of the most spectacular views in all of world history.

As we drank a fresh, bright bottle of Boutari Moschofilero and munched on delicious marinated sea bass and avgotaraho — cured red mullet roe, served atop fava bean fritters — I couldn’t help but think to myself: so much of what happened in the “high city” more than 2,000 years ago has shaped how we live our lives today. I can’t imagine a more “electric” place in the world.

Today we head to Santorini for a series of Assyrtiko tastings… Stay tuned!

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