Monday, February 23, 2009

Wines of the Mediterranean!

It’s time to talk wine again! This time, wines of the Mediterranean, Sicily and Greece to be exact!

Our wine guru Dick had six lined up for us, one of which was a dessert wine. Clayton had a smile for us all through the brightly colored bottles!

We started with the Planeta La Segreta Bianco 2005, a white wine from Sicily. It was a dark golden color, sweet and fruity in aroma and peppery and fresh in taste, designed for raw seafood and salads. This wine was $15.

Then we sampled a white from Greece – Kretikos 2006. This was from the Boutari winery in Skalani Crete. It was a little lighter in color than the first. This brought the following comments:

“It tastes better than it smells.” – Pat

“It smells like an old wool sweater.” – ?

“Going down it tastes good.” – Clayton

We pretty much all agreed it had a strange odor, and while it tasted better than it smelled, at $16.50, the other was a better buy and better enjoyed.

We went back to Sicily for Planeta La Segreta Rosso, a 2005 red wine, also $15.

It was very dark in color – a ruby red with a hint of purple and had a rich smell. (“It smells like $25,” someone said.) Recommended for flavorful cheeses, risotto with beans or meat and meats like lamb, it had soft tanins, some acidity, and a sharp peppery taste but very dry.

We already labeled the INO from Central Greece – a dry red wine from the Thebes region, as “Excellent” before we knew its price.

“This could get me in trouble,” Clayton said, while Roger said it reminded him of Italian spaghetti. It was a very deep purple – the color of Roger’s Grandpa’s Pontiac, with a fruity aroma. One who knows wine better than I said it had a “fruity frunt and was dry in the papte going down.”

We were enjoying this with gorgonzola and weren’t surprised when they said it was best with sharp cheeses, meat and game.

Oh, and the price for this wine (probably the collective favorite of the day)? A whopping $6.50.

The next wine – another red – was Manousakis Nostos 2004. Grown in the foothills of the White Mountains in Crete, it was a dark ruby blend with several Rhone varieties of grape.

This got more negative reviews in the aroma category:

“A nasty smell.” – Anne

“Tastes much better than it smells,” “smells like Merthyone (or something like that), and “Smells medicinal” were other comments.

Cheryl noted, “Until tonight we never had a slop jar,” as Meredith opted to give hers a toss.

The men considered it port-like.

At $19 I decided to leave this one at the counter.

Our final wine was Mavrodaphne of Patria, a sweet red wine from Boutari Winery in the Peloponnese Region (Gulf of Corinth). It was port-like for dessert or aperitif.

We found it excellent with the chocolate toffee Anne brought. It was also recommended to serve this with fruit pastries, cheese and chocolate fondue.

“Super sweet but divine,” “Totally fabulous,” and “I could line these up in a row like shots” were some of the comments.

Or, as Barb pointed out, “They made the Trojan horse to steal these secrets.”

As always, our tasting concluded with pot luck – lasagna, salad...

...and wonderful breads.

We then enjoyed my chocolate dessert watching Roger and Meredith’s photo DVD of their Mediterranean cruise.

Seriously wonderful wines – and that $6.50 bottle really is a steal!


Linda Jo said...

Oh yum! Wish I had been there!!!!

JessInFocus said...

"It smells like an old wool sweater." Ahahahaha! Looks like you all had so much fun!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the education - I know nothing about wine!

Anonymous said...

What do I have to do to get invited to this bash???

beth said...

I had a little too much wine friday night...I hate it when that happens....but ohhh we had fun !! anyway even after that.... I'm just not a wine person and think often that they smell like old sweaters :)

anno said...

Oh, this looks like so much fun! I love these wine reviews and all your tasting notes -- thanks so much for sharing it all!

Bree said...

I want to go to your wine tastings! What fun

Anonymous said...

what fun, this entry! hey, how about a book of wine labels, with your stories and anecdotes?!!!! Kudos!

Bree said...

OH has a great idea. You should start a book for your friends and you to enjoy.

Anonymous said...

I am barely getting started by trying at least one label per week, but I have to say I am SO JEALOUS of your group. Would love to do that in our area.

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