Home > Bulgaria, Greece, Italy > Gleanings from a good weekend

Gleanings from a good weekend

On SAT we repeated the great food experience my wife and I had last MON together with our Greek friends and the unbelievable tasty food Christiana makes. This time she invited us for a delicious slow cooked lamb brought from Crete. The lamb was cooked for almost 5-6 hours at a very low fire in the oven together with some Cypriot Halloumi cheese and potatoes.

The potatoes were roasted in the oven using lamb fat therefore the final result was very delicious.

As our hosts prepared such a gargantuan meal it was only fair for me to bring at least the wines, so my choices for SAT were three different wines: a white for appetizers and two reds. The reds were Enira 2007 and 2001 Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva Tenute Marchese. The white was a bottle purchased from our 2010 vacation in Greece: Biblia Chora 2009 a wine commented already several times on this blog.

As the ladies still had some immediate massage to attend before lunch, me and Iannis, our host, opened the Enira 2007 with some cold mezze – a term used in Greece for small portions of different food that can be from cold and hot appetizers to the actual final dish of the meal. The rule is to keep the small dishes coming. This can go on for hours. So we started the meal by sampling different cold appetizers and drinking Enira 2007.

Bessa Valley Enira 2007

A red garnet color wine. A youthful and developing nose with medium intensity and aromas of blackcurrant, cranberry, cloves, anise and cassis. In the mouth this medium bodied wine is round and balanced, offers a pleasant mouth feel, with sweet ripe tannins,good intensity and a medium finish with intoxicating but pure cassis. The 14.5% alcohol is very well balanced by the rich texture. The finish reminds of a good Chilean Cabernet. 86-87 points

After about 1 hour our ladies joined us at the table and we started with a hot salty cheese pie. To match this salty hot cheese pie we opened the white Biblia Chora 2009, a wine I know my friend Iannis likes a lot. The wine delivers great freshness and a pleasant modest complexity.

Ktima Biblia Chora 2009

A blend of Sauvignon blanc and Assyrtiko with 12.5% alcohol.The wine has a pale yellow-green color. The nose is very fresh and sweet with plenty of yellow flowers and freshly cut fruits with melon, lime and passion fruit. In the mouth the wine is off dry, a lifting acidity making the wine crispy, with flavors of acacia, elder, ripe pear, apple and grapefruit finishing with a fresh short to medium fruity aftertaste. Great wine to pair with fish. 85 points

For the main attraction of the lunch – the slowly cooked lamb from Crete – we opened the 10 years old Chianti Classico Riserva from Antinori and left it in the decanter for about 45-60 minutes. This is the second bottle I have this week from the lot of wines purchased recently and this bottle shows itself better. The first bottle I had on TUE was in a more developed stage of maturity.  I guess it is fair to say we have a case of serious bottle variation. Today I have the proper tools to uncork the wines so the process goes smoothly. The cork is almost completely soaked in wine. This is something that troubles me as most of the wines I had from Italian producers, especially Antinori, have this in common. I am not talking about 2-3 isolated cases here. I remember when I opened the 2000 Solaia that its cork looked the same: completely soaked in wine. These are wines that have no problem resisting the test of time, but the cork can make a serious sabotage and spoil everything.

2001 Antinori Tenute Marchese Chianti Classico Riserva

The wine has a dark red color with light brick tones on the rim. The nose is fully developed with a medium intensity with saddle leather dominating, truffles, caramelized smoked dark fruits and earth. In the mouth the wine is medium bodied, with a nice and round mouth feel, melted tannins, matured, well balanced offering great pleasure. There is a medium finish with a sour and salty dark chocolate aftertaste. 88-89 points

The wine is a perfect match for the two ways lamb. The Halloumi cheese melted and covered big parts of the lamb with a crusty layer. For me and Iannis the combination between the 10 years old wine, the tender and juicy lamb and the crusty Halloumi cheese is perfect. All the people at the table appreciate both the food and the wine, but the ladies prefer more the younger Enira because of its sweet fresh ripe dark fruits.

We finished the meal with an interesting dessert: a cheeseburger made with marsh mellow and ice cream. A little bit too sweet for my taste but good nevertheless.

This was the culmination of an amazing lunch spent in good company with great food and wines. I hope your weekend was as good as mine.

P.S. The pictures on this post have a lower quality as I forgot my camera at home and I had to use the Blackberry to take photos.

Thanks for reading!

Categories: Bulgaria, Greece, Italy

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