Ο Γιάννης Ρίτσος τραγουδά δύο στίχους από τον «Επιτάφιο» του: «Μέρα Μαγιού μου μίσεψες, μέρα Μαγιού σε χάνω, άνοιξη, γιε, που αγάπαγες κι ανέβαινες απάνω». Λίγα δευ…
Ο Γιάννης Ρίτσος τραγουδά δύο στίχους από τον «Επιτάφιο» του: «Μέρα Μαγιού μου μίσεψες, μέρα Μαγιού σε χάνω, άνοιξη, γιε, που αγάπαγες κι ανέβαινες απάνω». Λίγα δευ…
Το διαβάσαμε και μας άρεσε είναι έκδοση του 2008 και έχει στοιχεία
έως το 2005.
Καταρρίπτετε πολλούς μύθους που θα αναλύσουμε.
1ος ΜΥΘΟΣ 1η Παλαιότερη ποτοποιία : Καλλικούνης – Καλαμάτα -1850
2 άμβυκες των 1.000 lt.
2ος ΜΥΘΟΣ 2η Παλαιότερη ποτοποιία : Κατσαρός – Τύρναβος -1856
2 άμβυκες των 250-500 lt.
3ος ΜΥΘΟΣ 3η Παλαιότερη ποτοποιία : Καραμπελιάς- Σέρρες -1856 .
4ος ΜΥΘΟΣ Τα περισσότερα ποτοποιία είναι στην Αττική 28
5ος ΜΥΘΟΣ 2η σε ποτοποιία είναι η Αχαΐα με 20
6ος ΜΥΘΟΣ τους περισσότερους άμβυκες τους έχει ο Τσάνταλης διαθέτει
20 x 1.000 lt.
Δεν διαθέτουν μονάδα παραγωγής ούζου οι παρακάτω Νομοί : Φλώρινας,
Καστοριάς, Γρεβενών, Ιωαννίνων, Θεσπρωτίας, Καρδίτσας, Ευριτανίας,
Κεφαλονιάς, Ζακύνθου και Ρεθύμνου .
Τα παραπάνω ισχύουν έως το 2005 δεν ξέρουμε αν άνοιξαν ή
έκλεισαν κάποια ουζάδικα.
Επίσης διαβάσαμε : Το κοράνι απαγορεύει την οινοποσία, οπότε οι Μουσουλμάνοι
κατέφυγαν στην απόσταξη.
ΣΕΜΙΦΡΕΝΤΟ ΓΙΑΟΥΡΤΙ ΜΕ ΑΡΩΜΑ ΛΕΜΟΝΙΟΥ ΚΑΙ ΚΑΡΔΙΑ ΑΠΟ ΦΡΑΟΥΛΑ
Πριν από λίγες ημέρες έλαβα ένα πακέτο με της Silikomart, στα πλαίσια της συνεργασίας μας. Το ένα από αυτά ήταν η φόρμα σιλικόνης Armony. Μόλις την είδα, σκέφτηκα ότι με αυτή πρέπει να φτιάξω ένα σεμιφρέντο. Επιστράτευσα λοιπόν όλα όσα έχω μάθει μέχρι σήμερα γιά το σεμιφρέντο, μέσα από τις διάφορες συνταγές που έχω φτιάξει μέχρι τώρα, και σας παρουσιάζω το αποτέλεσμα : σεμιφρέντο με γιαούρτι και άρωμα λεμονιού, συνδυασμένο με σεμιφρέντο φράουλα, σερβιρισμένο με φρέσκιες φράουλες, που είναι και στην εποχή τους, και κουλί (σως) φράουλας. Με ωραία κρεμώδη και φρουτένια γεύση, πιστεύω ότι είναι τέλεια ιδέα για επιδόρπιο σε ένα τραπέζι, και το δημιούργησα, έχοντας στο νού μου το επικείμενο πασχαλινό τραπέζι.
Μπορεί να φτιαχτεί 1-2 μέρες πιό μπροστά, αλλά βέβαια την διακόσμηση με τις φρέσκιες φράουλες θα πρέπει να την προσθέσετε την τελευταία στιγμή.
Δόση : για 8 άτομα
Βαθμός δυσκολίας συνταγής : λίγο πολύπλοκη
γιά την κρέμα ζαχαροπλαστικής : 150 gr γάλα φρέσκο πλήρες,
40 gr κρόκους αυγών (από 2 αυγά),
40 gr ζάχαρη κρυσταλλική,
10 gr corn flour,
μερικές σταγόνες φυσικό εκχύλισμα βανίλιας.
γιά την σως (κουλί) φράουλα : 200 gr φράουλες,
50 gr ζάχαρη άχνη,
1 κ.σ. χυμό λεμονιού.
γιά την ιταλική μαρέγκα : 150 gr ασπράδια αυγών,
50 gr δεξτρόζη,
250 gr ζάχαρη κρυσταλλική,
75 gr νερό.
γιά το σεμιφρέντο γιαούρτι : 120 gr κρέμα ζαχαροπλαστικής,
150 gr στραγγιστό γιαούρτι πλήρες,
20 gr πάστα λεμονιού,
200 gr ιταλική μαρέγκα,
150 gr κρέμα γάλακτος με 35% λιπαρά.
γιά το σεμιφρένρο φράουλα : 50 gr κρέμα ζαχαροπλαστικής,
100 gr σως φράουλα,
120 gr ιταλική μαρέγκα,
100 gr κρέμα γάλακτος με 35% λιπαρά,
ελάχιστο χρώμα ζαχαροπλαστικής (προαιρετικό).
γιά την διακόσμηση : φρέσκιες φράουλες,
Ετοιμάστε την κρέμα ζαχαροπλαστικής. Αναλυτικές οδηγίες θα βρείτε εδώ και εδώ. Οπως έχω πεί επανειλημμένα, εγώ προτιμώ την μέθοδο στον μικροκυματικό φούρνο.
Ετοιμάστε την σως (κουλί) φράουλας. Αναλυτικές οδηγίες θα βρείτε εδώ.
Ετοιμάστε την ιταλική μαρέγκα. Αναλυτικές οδηγίες θα βρείτε εδώ. Την δεξτρόζη, την οποία την προτιμούμε όταν φτιάχνουμε ιταλική μαρέγκα για σεμιφρέντο, γιατί βοηθά να μην παγώνει, μπορείτε να την αντικατατστήσετε με ίση ποσότητα κοινής ζάχαρης.
Οδηγίες για να φτιάξετε την αρωματική πάστα λεμονιού θα βρείτε εδώ.
Οι ποσότητες την κρέμας ζαχαροπλαστικής και την ιταλικής μαρέγκας είναι λίγο περισσότερο απο ότι χρειαζόμαστε για την συνταγή.
Ετοιμάστε το σεμιφρέντο γιαούρτι. Αναμείξτε το γιαούρτι με την κρέμα ζαχαροπλαστικής και την πάστα λεμονιού. Προσθέστε σταδιακά την ιταλική μαρέγκα, αναμιγνύοντας απαλά με μία μαρίζ και με κινήσεις από κάτω προς τα επάνω, για να μην ξεφουσκώσει το μίγμα. Προσθέστε τέλος και την κρέμα γάλακτος, χτυπημένη σε παχύρρευστη μορφή, σαν γιαούρτι, και αναμείξτε και πάλι απαλά. Βάλτε το μίγμα σε ένα κορνέ μίας χρήσης και βάλτε το στο ψυγείο.
Ετοιμάστε το σεμιφρέντο φράουλα. Αναμείξτε την σως φράουλας με την κρέμα ζαχαροπλαστικής. Προσθέστε σταδιακά την ιταλική μαρέγκα, αναμιγνύοντας απαλά με μία μαρίζ και με κινήσεις από κάτω προς τα επάνω, για να μην ξεφουσκώσει το μίγμα. Προσθέστε την κρέμα γάλακτος, χτυπημένη σε παχύρρευστη μορφή, σαν γιαούρτι και αναμείξτε. Αν θέλετε να χρωματίσετε πιό έντονα το σεμιφρέντο φράουλα, προσθέστε ελάχιστο χρώμα ζαχαροπλαστικής, κατά προτίμηση σε τζελ, ώστε να μην αλλάξετε την ισορροπία των υγρών στο μίγμα. Βάλτε το μίγμα σε ένα κορνέ μίας χρήσης και βάλτε το στο ψυγείο.
Γεμίστε την φόρμα Armony με το σεμιφρέντο γιαούρτι. Η εφαρμογή με το κορνέ βοηθάει ώστε να γίνεται η κατανομή το μίγματος ομοιόμορφα και να μην σχηματίζονται κενά αέρος στα τοιχώματα της φόρμας. Πάρτε το κορνέ με το μίγμα για το σεμιφρέντο φράουλας, βουτήξτε το μέσα στο ήδη υπάρχον μίγμα του σεμιφρέντο γιαούρτι, και προχωρόντας περιμετρικά μέσα στην φόρμα, πιέζετε το ανά διαστήματα, ώστε με αυτό τον τρόπο να γεμίσετε το σεμιφρέντο γιαούρτι με το σεμιφρέντο φράουλα.
Σκεπάστε την φόρμα με διάφανη μεμβράνη, για να απομονώσει το σεμιφρέντο από οσμές που τυχόν υπάρχουν στην κατάψυξη, και καταψύξτε το για 4-5 ώρες, ή ακόμη καλύτερα γιά όλη την νύχτα.
Οταν έρθει η ώρα να σερβίρετε το σεμιφρέντο, βγάλτε το από την κατάψυξη και αφήστε το για περίπου 20 λεπτά στο ψυγείο. Ξεφορμάρετε μέσα σε έναν δίσκο σερβιρίσματος. Στολίστε με φρέσκιες φράουλες και την σως φράουλας που περίσσεψε.
Το σεμιφρέντο διατηρείται στην κατάψυξη. Πριν το σερβίρετε, αφήνετε το πάντα για ένα μισάωρο στο ψυγείο, ώστε να έρθει σε θερμοκρασία σερβιρίσματος και να μην είναι πολύ παγωμένο.
SEMIFREDDO ALLO YOGURT GRECO CON CUORE DI FRAGOLA
Qualche giorno fa, ho ricevuto un pacco con prodotti Silikomart, sempre nell’ ambito della nostra collaborazione. Tra questi era anche lo stampo Armony, che quando l’ ho visto, mi è venuto subito l’ idea di preparare un semifreddo.
Volendo già da qualche giorno sperimentarmi preparando un dessert, che potrebbe essere servito anche come dopo pasto al pranzo festivo di Pasqua, ho creato un semifreddo doppio gusto : scrigno con semifreddo allo yogurt greco al gusto di limone e cuore alla fragola. Per realizzare la ricetta, ho cercato di applicare tutto quanto avevo imparato sul semifreddo finora; quindi non tutto è farina del mio sacco, anche se la ricetta è originale, nel senso che non esiste qualche ricetta simile mai pubblicata.
Questo semifreddo può essere preparato con qualche giorno di anricipo, ma certo la finitura alle fragole fresche, deve essere aggiunta solo prima di servire.
Dosi : per 8 persone
Difficoltà della ricetta : elaborata
per la crema pasticcera : 150 gr latte fresco intero,
40 gr tuorli (da 2 uova),
40 gr zucchero semolato,
10 gr maizena,
qualche goccia di estratto naturale di vaniglia.
per la coulis di fragole : 200 gr fragole,
50 gr zucchero a velo,
1 cucchiaio succo di limone.
per la meringa italiana : 150 gr albumi (da 5 uova),
50 gr destrosio,
250 gr zucchero semolato,
75 gr acqua.
per il semifreddo allo yogurt : 200 gr meringa italiana,
120 gr crema pasticcera,
150 gr yogurt greco colato,
20 gr pasta di limone,
150 gr panna a 35% grassi.
per il semifreddo di fragole : 120 gr meringa italiana,
50 gr crema pasticcera,
100 gr coulis di fragole,
100 gr panna a 35% grassi,
qualche goccia di colore alimentare rosso (facoltativo).
per la finitura : fragole fresche (una decina),
coulis di fragole.
Preparate la crema pasticcera. Istruzioni dettagliate troverete qui e qui. Come ho scritto più volte, io preferisco la preparazione al microonde. Lasciate raffreddare nel frigo.
Preparate la salsa (coulis) di fragole. Istruzioni dettagliate troverete qui.
Preparate la meringa all’ italiana. Istruzioni dettagliate troverete qui. Siccome questa meringa all’ italiana verrà utilizzata per la prepazionedi semifreddo, viene aggiunto anche del destorsio, che come abbiamo detto, abbassa il punto di congelamento; in mancanza sostituite con zucchero semolato.
Istruzioni dettagliate per preparare la pasta di limone troverete qui.
Con le dosi riportate sopra per la crema pasticcera e meringa all’ italiana, prenderete un po’ di più di quanto è necessario per la realizzazione di questa ricetta. La meringa italiana avanzata, potete tranquillamente congelarla e utilizzarla in altre preparazioni.
Preparate il semifreddo allo yogurt. Se non troverete lo yogurt greco colato, ponete lo yogurt in un pezzo di panno rado, appendete e lasciate colare per un paio d’ ore. Mescolate lo yogurt con la crema pasticcera e la pasta di limone. Aggiungete gradatamente la meringa italiana, mescolando delicatemente con una spatola e con movimenti dal basso verso l’ altro, per non smontare il composto. Aggiungete anche la panna semimontata (alla consistenza di yogurt) e mescolate. Ponete in un sac-a-poche monouso e conservate nel frigo.
Preparate il semifreddo alla fragola. Mescolate la coulis di fragole con la crema pasticcera. Aggiungete gradatamente la meringa italiana, mescolando delicatemente con una spatola e con movimenti dal basso verso l’ altro, per non smontare il composto. Aggiungete anche la panna semimontata (alla consistenza di yogurt) e mescolate. Se volete accentuare un po’ il colore del semifreddo alle fragole, aggiungete qualche goccina di colore alimentare rosso, preferibilmente in gel, e mescolate bene. Ponete in un sac-a-poche monouso e conservate nel frigo.
Versate il semifreddo allo yogurt nel stampo Armony; l’ uso del sac-a-poche impedisce la formarzione delle bolle d’ aria alle pareti dello stampo. Prendete il sac-a-poche con il composto del semifreddo alle fragole e inserite il beccucio nel semifreddo allo yogurt; premete a tratti per tutto il giro dello stampo, in modo di farcire il semifreddo allo yogurt con quello alla fragola.
Coprite con pellicola transparente, così da isolare il dolce da eventuali odori presenti nel freezer, e congelate subito. Lasciate riposare per 4-5 ore, o meglio per tutta la notte.
Prima di servire il semifreddo, estraettelo dal freezer e ponete nel frigo per una ventina di minuti. Sformate su un vassoio da portata. Decorate con le fragole e la coulis di fragole avanzata.
Si conserva nel freezer per qualche giorno. Sempre prima di servire, lasciatelo riposare nel frigo per mezz’ oretta.
130 χρόνια από την Πρωτομαγιά του 1886, στο Σικάγο, και οι 200 κομμουνιστές της Πρωτομαγιάς του 1944, στην Καισαριανή, είναι «ζωντανοί»… Είναι «ζωντανοί» πέρα από οποιαδ�…
Barolo is located in the southern part of Piedmont in the north of Italy. Piedmont is the second largest of Italy’s 20 regions and borders with France, Switzerland and the Italian regions of Lombardy, Liguria, Aosta Valley and Emilia Romagna. Like most of central and southern Piedmont, the climate in Barolo is continental and influenced by the Tanaro River. The eastern part of Barolo, which includes Serralunga d’Alba, Castigline Falletto and Monforte d’Alba, have soils higher in sand, limestone, iron, phosphorus, and potassium, which render very powerful and austere wines. The western part, Barolo and La Morra, have soils higher in clay, manganese, and magnesium oxide, which contribute to more delicate wines, with perfumed aromas and velvety textures. La Morra is the most planted district and produces nearly a third of all wine labeled Barolo.
Barolo, made exclusively with the Nebbiolo grape, evolved to become ‘the wine of kings and king of wines,’ a favorite of the Italian aristocrats and a wine embraced with accolades by collectors and connoisseurs the world over, but it was not always that way. Barolo was once a little rustic, sweet wine that grew up and dried up. The story as to who fermented Barolo dry is up for a sober discussion. One account has a French enologist, Louis Oudart, saving the day some time circa middle of the 19th century. However, new research by Kerin O’Keefe introduces a different hero into this fascinating tale. O’Keefe puts Paolo Francesco Staglieno at the center of the story and not the Frenchman. Staglieno is credited with fermenting Nebbiolo dry and made the early version of what we now know as Barolo. The wines were an immediate hit and his dry-fermenting process famed ‘methodo Staglieno.’
There are many heroes in Barolo’s history: Staglieno’s making the first dry Barolo; Camillo Benso, Conte di Cavour, patronage of said winemaker; Giulia Falletti, Marchesa di Barolo, earliest property owner in Barolo and a wine entrepreneur, championing the wine; and King Alberto and son Vittorio Emmanuele (future King of unified Italy in 1861) and their Fontanafredda estate popularizing and maintaining Barolo production. But what about Nebbiolo, the noble grape in this Barolo wine? All these historical figures collaborated in making and then distributing and promoting the young, dry Barolo – but Nebbiolo could be the star in this northern Italian story. Nebbiolo, the finicky red grape that demands much precision, first to bud but last to ripen. Its origin is unknown, but it has been in Piedmont for seven centuries, early writing references dating back to 1250. It is remarkable that 80 percent of this rigorous variety’s world plantings are in Piedmont but that only amounts to 9 percent of total production in the region. There are very few places in the world producing Nebbiolo, the number of successful efforts is even less. The big revelation, and it needs to be mentioned with every opportunity, Palmina in Santa Barbara, their wines, both white and reds (but especially the reds), speak Italian with a Piedmontese dialect.
Vietti’s Tre Vigne vineyard home to Castiglione Tinella
For most of the 20th century, Barolo remained a local wine and production was limited by the primitive conditions in most cellars and the harsh times facing Italy coming out of two world wars. Barolo started to make noise again in the late 1970s as a few winemakers, inspired by their French counterparts in Burgundy, sought ways to improve their grape-growing and winemaking practices and make wine production financially rewarding. The critically-acclaimed wines of that period were the fruity, barrique-aged wines – a custom different from the large Slovanian vessels, ‘botti,’ preferred by previous generations of Barolo producers. Led by Gaja, a producer of Nebbiolo in Barbaresco, the oak assault on Nebbiolo in Barolo began and soon after, the period coined “the Barolo Wars.” By the end of the 1980s and until this day, two versions of Barolo were being made, two types of Nebbiolo producers: one that preferred fast fermentations and quick macerations followed by aging in flavor-imparting barrique or new oak barrels and another that preferred long fermentations, long macerations and older, neutral oak. The former practice of winemaking modifies the wine and makes it approachable and accessible upon release; the latter, and the one practiced by previous generations in Barolo, is less invasive but produces powerful, tannic wines that are best enjoyed after considerable aging time.
These days, producers appear to be somewhat in the middle between old and new traditions and there is more focus on vineyard management than ever before.
Barolo did not receive commercial approval and media backing until the 1990s, when most of the examples receiving much admiration were the ones that drifted from traditional ways. In fact, great versions of traditional Barolo were unpopular and confusing to many wine experts and great vintages from the late 1980s were unfairly dismissed early on. Still, this commercial success elevated Barolo production to new heights and from the mid 1990s to 2013, it doubled. Producers and new farmers-turned-producers still fight over land and find ways, sometimes at the expense of other crops or varieties, to cultivate more Nebbiolo.
So where does Barolo stand today? Well, most actually lays, collecting dust in private cellars and storing facilities. Since the mid-1990s and well into the the first decade of the 21th century, the region has been blessed with numerous great vintages, but the wines still need time. This stubborn wine will not wait for you, but rather demand that you wait.
Barolo is terribly misunderstood, a wine with a lot of history but rather recent commercial success – and while some may think it is too expensive and too long to wait to really enjoy, the experience of an aged Barolo, 12+ years, can be a singular and memorable experience, one difficult to match and worth the wait. Barolo has not lost its charm; it is a wine with a rich history, a wine that transforms itself and speaks of a specific place.
Further Reading: Barolo and Barbaresco: The King and Queen of Italian Wine.
Grape Collective talks to Vietti winemaker Luca Corrado.
The Vietti winery can trace its roots to the 19th century. It was at the beginning of 20th century that Vietti offered its own wines in a bottle. The winery is based in the village of Castiglione Falletto, in the heart of Piedmont. As well as being famous for single vineyard bottlings of Barolo, it helped make the native Piedmont varietal Arneis popular. In 1990, Luca Corrado joined the family business as winemaker after working at California’s Opus One and and Bordeaux’s Mouton-Rothschild amongst other wineries. Grape Collective talks to Vietti winemaker Luca Corrado.
Christopher Barnes: Luca, tell us about Piedmont, what is the history of the region?
Luca Corrado: Piedmont is one of the oldest wine regions in Italy. It’s very fascinating and very incredible, the history of viticulture in our land. The first traces of viticulture go back to Roman times, about 75 years after Christ. Basically they found there are traces of shipping wine from Alba. Alba is the major city of the Barolo region in Langhe. It was Alba Pompeia, so a Roman city. There was this Roman general called Plinio il Grande which means Plinio the Great, or the Tall. He was, of course, a short guy but with a big ego as was the case with many Roman generals. He shipped the «wine of the fog,» as it was called, from Alba to Roma.
Why the wine of the fog? Because Piedmont means «the foot of the mountain.» This region is 180 degrees surrounded by the mountains, the Alps. The highest mountains are between Piedmont and France, and Piedmont and Switzerland. These mountains, they do a lot for us. They collect a lot of snow for the winter time. They protect us in the summertime from the heat but also, in the fall, they collect a lot of fog. When we harvest the Nebbiolo, it’s on the hillside with all these beautiful rolling hills with all these Medieval castles on top.
In late September, early October, when the Nebbiolo grapes are ripening, we start to see this fog that grows from the bottom of the hill from the flat going up to the top of the hill. We wake up in the morning and see just the castle outside of this ocean of fog. It’s really scenic.
Why the wine of the fog? Because fog in Italian is «nebbia.» Our most important grape variety is Nebbiolo because it’s the variety that’s ripe when the fog rises up the hill. I think it’s a fascinating story because it really tells us that it’s one of the most ancient varieties of Italy.
The Romans found the grape in Puglia, the heel of the boot of Italy, when they arrived in Italy from the Greece. The Romans were very interested in doing something with this grape, this fruit. They made the first wine. At the time, it was similar to a vermouth. It was not the wine as it is today because they didn’t know how to preserve and fortify it. They were adding herbs to cover the defects of the wine.
Then the Romans brought the vines with them when they conquered Italy, France, Spain, Germany, and England. They used to plant the vines before they would plant the tent because they wanted to make their wine for their happiness. Many of the important wine regions of Europe belonged to the Romans at the time, like Burgundy and Champagne. They transported the grapes to France, Spain and England also.
I have friends that have a winery in England and they told me the history of the first planting and it goes back to the Roman times. Alsace, and in Champagne, all the caves and the winery are used to store Champagne. They were Roman caves. The Romans built them to extract the stones to use for building.
In Piedmont, the Barolo region is one of these areas where the vines from Roman times found the perfect microclimate conditions and thrive there even today.
The Scarrone vineyard home to Castiglione Falletto
Barolo is the most famous region in Italy. It’s the region that people talk about when they talk about the top wine regions in the world. How did that happen, how did Barolo become the standard barrier of Italian wine?
My friend in Montalcino will be not very happy about that, but-
But Montalcino, but Montalcino is a fairly recent-
No, absolutely, absolutely, no, you’re right, I’m kidding. Absolutely, the history, first of all because it’s a very old history but in Italy there are other regions sold as the Barolo region. One very important thing to understand is that Italy is one country, and it’s a very old country, from the Roman times, Rinascimento. But it’s one country and has seen only one flag since about 160 years ago when the king of Savoy, the king of Italy, conquered all of Italy.
Before it was seven different countries with seven different cultures, different languages, food and wine. This is the reason that the biodiversity of the wine in Italy is extraordinary. In terms of cuisine, we cannot talk about Italian cuisine because it’s a concept that doesn’t really exist because what we eat in Piedmont is very different than what they eat in Tuscany, what they eat in Naples. Piedmont was a Savoy kingdom, Torino was the capital and the king of the Savoy. The Savoy in the old times was not only Piedmont, the Liguria, the Riviera in Sardinia in Corsica, but it was also French Savoy, up to part of the Côtes du Rhône and Côte d’Azur.
The Savoy family were very ambitious people. They always tried to compete with who was making the best food, making the best wine. This is why the culture of quality in Piedmont, the history of quality in Piedmont, was very strong. This is the reason, for example, even the Piedmontese cuisine is considered one of the most refined Italian cuisines, because it’s kind of a mix between the simplicity, in the good way, of the Italian cuisine and the complexity of the French cuisine.
Ingredients are always fresh and seasonal, Italian cuisine is mixed with the creativity of the French cuisine. The king of Savoy was a huge promoter of our food and wine. Many say Barolo is the wine of kings, and that Barbaresco is the wine of queens.
You can say this is because Barolo is more masculine and Barbaresco is more elegant, but I think one of the explanations for this and this goes back to the love the king of Savoy had for our wine, is that he was giving as birthday gifts in the 1800s to all the kings of Europe one barrel of Barolo and one barrel of Barbaresco to all the queens of Europe. This is one of many stories.
One of the reasons that Barolo became so popular is not only because the history of quality is very deep, but also because it’s a kind of wine that showcases the Nebbiolo grape variety. Just as Pinot Noir is one of the pickiest in terms of terroir, land and weather, there are very few regions where Nebbiolo grows very well. Pinot Noir is planted in many parts of the world but the real Pinot Noir is not made in many parts. It becomes so good and so special in just a few areas of the world.
It’s crazy but for me, for example, one of the best Nebbiolos that I had in my life was from Australia.
From Adelaide Hill, because down there the sun conditions are incredible. Nebbiolo and Pinot Noir are two varieties that many people consider sister varieties. I don’t know if they are long, distant relatives, this I don’t know, but for sure they have many similarities. Think about the color, the elegance, the finesse of the color. Barbera, Cabernet, Merlot are much more deep and rich in color. Some characteristic of the region, these rolling hills where there are some corners of these hills that we call Grand Cru or vineyards as in Burgundy, where the quality that these small parcels give to the wine is fantastic and is why vineyards that are known for over a hundred years are so special.
So, Luca, what is the difference between traditional and modern winemaking in Piedmont?
It’s different interpretation of the vinification. Modern producers make fermentation and maceration very very very short, 3-4 days sometimes. They press the grapes sweet and do not wait to extract tannin from the grape and then finish the fermentation and aging in French oak barrels and therefore get tannins from the oak. Traditional producers extend the maceration 30, 40, 50 days on the skins and the tannins from the grape get together and are polymerized. Then they age the wine in neutral large cask, oak cask.
Greece is steeped in ancient winemaking tradition, but not known in modern times for exceptional wine. In the past 40 years, young Greek winemakers, passionate and educated in France, returned with a vision, to be a player on the world wine stage, producing modern Greek wines that are expressive, with juicy acidity, earthy perfume, and unusual flavor profiles. Today, there are many thrilling wines coming from Greece. Channeling their ancient wine culture, modern day Greek wines blend indigenous varietals, and revive long forgotten grapes. Many wines sparkle with contemporary highlights, blending international grape varieties with native grapes, and crafted with cutting edge technology. Ktima Gerovassiliou is one of Greece’s leading modern wineries, experimenting with the old and the new, and produces a high quality lineup of white, red, and sweet wine.
The single vineyard of Ktima Gerovassiliou sprang from the Gerovassiliou family farm, located southwest of Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city, in the heart of Greek Macedonia, revived and transformed by Vangelis Gerovassiliou. As a young man, Vangelis studied hard and became a winemaker, spending time in Bordeaux under the legendary Emile Peynaud, who is credited with modernizing and improving winemaking worldwide. Vangelis returned from France, and worked as Chief Oenologist at Domaine Porto Carras, where he made history, by bringing back the ancient Greek wine grape, Malagousia, from the brink of extinction. During this time, Vangelis began renovating the family vineyards, a mere 2.5 hectares, turning it into a living laboratory, planting indigenous Greek wine grapes, like Assyrtiko and Malagousia, along with the international varieties of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier, Syrah, Merlot, and Grenache.
Today, the Ktima Gerovassiliou vineyard stretches over 56 hectares in Epanomi, caressed by a mild Mediterranean climate, and so close to the Aegean Sea, its influence can be felt in the wines. All work is done by hand, virtually in sight of Mount Olympus. Always tinkering and experimenting, Vangelis planted more Greek varietals, Limnio, Mavroudi, and Mavrotragano for the reds. It is here in this family owned, single vineyard estate, that first-rate Greek wines are made, reflecting the distinct microclimate and biodiversity of the adjacent wetlands area. The state-of-the-art winery not only produces and stores the wine, but has a visitor’s center, where wine culture is celebrated. The Gerovassiliou Wine Museum is where Vangelis‘ personal collection of antique wine making equipment, such as amphora, presses, and bottles, is displayed, in addition to one of the largest corkscrew collections in the world, with over 2,600 openers to ogle, dating back to the 18th Century.
Ktima’s Assistant Winemaker, Thrass Giantsidis, has worked alongside Vangelis since his days at Porto Carras. On this sunny Spring day at Ledlow Restaurant in downtown Los Angeles, Thrass has come to spread the word, that Greek wines, and especially Gerovassiliou, are refreshingly distinct and are of the highest caliber. Thrass shared his passion for the wines, tasting through nine of the ten wines that Gerovassiliou produces. Although a white wine star, with over 250,000 bottles produced, a small amount of intriguing red wine is made, about 50,000 bottles. Ktima Gerovassiliou was anointed Winery of the Year five times in the past six years by Wine & Spirits Magazine USA, and Vangelis is considered to be among the six best wine producers worldwide. With so much attention lavished on Gerovassiliou wines, exports have been booming, that’s good news for the winery. With all of Greece’s financial turmoil, taxes were levied at the beginning of this year on wines consumed within Greece, and as Thrass notes, “it’s frustrating to do business, we are uncertain for the future”. But exports were spared, thank goodness, because these wines are fabulous.
The Ktima Gerovassiliou Estate White 2014, 50% Malagousia and 50% Assyrtiko, is very distinctive, with an exotic nose of tropical and citrus fruit, accented with a floral note of jasmine. It’s a rich round wine, mineral, with good acidity, and a lemony finish. This is a match made by the gods, Malagousia’s aromas and body are balanced by the intensity and acidity of Assyrtiko, yielding a crisp white with good mouthfeel. Recognized as one of the Top 100 Wines of 2014 by Wine Spectator, this fresh white blend is perfect with grilled fish and shellfish, ceviche, and sushi.
The Ktima Gerovassiliou Malagousia 2014 is aromatic, with ripe aromas of pear, pineapple, and citrus, and that jasmine note. On the palate, its rich texture reflects its partial barrel fermentation, with lees aging for depth of flavor. Floral and fruity, with grapefruit, lemon, and white peach flavors, and an oaky undertone, this 100% Malagousia finishes long, perfect for grilled seafood. It made the cut for the 2015 Top 100 Wines by Wine Enthusiast, recognized as a truly unique wine.
The Ktima Gerovassiliou Sauvignon Blanc-Fumé 2013 channels a white Bordeaux, with tropical fruit and melon, while the Ktima Gerovassiliou Viognier 2010 is floral, with a fleshy body and medium-high acidity, infused with peach and apricot fruit, accented by spice and honey, it’s elegant and intense. The Ktima Gerovassiliou Chardonnay 2014 is classic, with citrus and apple fruit, framed by toasty oak, balanced with good acidity and a touch of nuttiness on the medium long finish. All three of these wines are fermented in barrel, giving them texture and a touch of oak in the final wine.
On to the reds, the Ktima Gerovassiliou Estate Red 2010, a blend of 70% Syrah, 15% Limnio, and 15% Merlot, is delicious, with its brooding black fruit, plum, spice, and bittersweet chocolate highlight. Balanced and round, with a mineral tang, and slightly herbal character, its polished tannins lead to a pleasant, lingering finish, a perfect companion for roasted pork or lamb. The Ktima Gerovassiliou Avaton 2008 is their first 100% Greek red varietal blend, 50% Limnio, 20% Mavrotragano, and 30% Mavroudi. A big wine with stewed plum and dried cherry fruit, accented with pepper spice and black olive, its vegetal notes take center stage, Limnio’s herbal character comes through the blend. It needs more time to integrate the tannins and alcohol, but would be good with food, especially steak.
The truly fabulous Ktima Gerovassiliou Evangelo 2008, named for the founder, is made in the classic Northern Rhône style, 92% Syrah and 8% Viognier, co-fermented for color and aroma. Macerated for 20 days, fermented in oak, with malolactic fermentation and 15 months aging, this is a complex wine. Blackberry fruit, meaty and smokey, spicy with dark chocolate highlights, this is a big, mouth-filling wine, with delightful acidity, ripe tannins, and a long finish. Excellent drinking right now, but will age well, the Evangelo would pair well with grilled meats, charcuterie, and eggplant dishes.
Who needs dessert when you have Ktima Gerovassiliou Late Harvest Malagousia 2009? This spectacular and distinctive sweet wine is 100% Malagousia, with a seductive nose of apricots, honey, and flowers. Only made in years when weather conditions are right, the grapes are left on the vines, shriveling and intensifying its flavors. Fermented very slowly in French oak barrels, it’s aged for 3 years before release. The palate is rich and honeyed, with an herbal tinge, great acidity, and an extremely long finish, it’s an amazing wine.
Ktima Gerovassiliou’s premium wines are fragrant and delicately balanced, and are deservedly the recipient of many international awards. Vangelis continues to refine his vision, inspired by his original dream, to produce the highest quality wines from his estate grapes. You’ll be thrilled with the sense of place, the pristine quality, and the novelty of modern Greek wines.