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Monthly Archives: May 2014

Crazy to drink Krasi?

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One doesn’t automatically think of Greece as a bastion of fine wine despite the country boasting a vinicultural tradition that is one of the oldest in the world. Anyone that has holidayed in Greece might consider Retsina, Ouzo, Raki or any other flavoured alcohol as examples of a low level of sophistication. However you’d be wrong to assume most Greek wine is crap – there are some outstanding wine regions, especially Nemea where we recently visited.

Sadly, we weren’t there to tour Nemean vineyards. The wine we did drink was ‘Krasi’.

Krasi is just ‘Greek Wine’. It’s usually locally produced and decanted very young straight from barrels and in tavernas is brought to the table in traditional copper carafes. Sophisticated it is not, but Krasi is very drinkable and pairs superbly with simple food.

Whites are usually very dry with floral and herbaceous characteristics. Reds, often chilled, are rather like Beaujolais – think strawberries and something slightly savoury.

That week we drank the local Krasi that came in plastic bottles – bought at the bakery in Ancient Epidavros. Sceptical at first, we really enjoyed quaffing this. The wine we had in local tavernas in the town of Napflion and the gorgeous port village of Vathi were far superior though – more complex than the local Krasi and really quite interesting.

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Crazy to drink Greek wine? No definitely not

@jk_cunningham

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You cannot be serious man!

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Back in the UK about 8 weeks now, and as Arnold says, let’s get serious.

A list of the grown-up, serious things I’m currently occupied with includes;

– trying to a job to support myself, my wife and kid, in London with a modicum of comfort (see below)

– buying a pair of serious shoes – by that I mean brown leather handmade brogues, and definitely NO MORE TRAINERS (Ed. My wife wrote that bit)

– buying a new ‘grown up’ wardrobe – by that I mean, SERIOUS shirts, SERIOUS jumpers and SERIOUSLY expensive accessories (…no more jumpers that make you look like a hip-hop wannabe from the ’90s…)

– having serious conversations like:

Wife – “when you have a minute let’s talk about what nurseries to sign Ashley up to” (Ashley is only 6mo old btw)

Me – “OK”.

Wife – “they’re frikking expensive but if we don’t sign him up now to a Montessori place, he might miss out on life’s opportunities and end up a pauper with no prospects”.

Me – “OK”.

Wife – “So, when are you going to get a job?”.

Me – “Soon” (but only once head stops spinning…)

– Tried and spectacularly failed to sign on for jobseekers allowance

To lighten the weight of all this seriousness, I have:

– bought a new pair of old-school Adidas Torsion trainers – swoon

– played a fair bit of golf

– eaten my body weight in burritos

– had conversations that go like:

Me – “would you rather have spaghetti for eye-lashes or salad for hair?”

Wife – “obvs the spaghetti because you could colour and trim it”

Me – “no you can’t trim it, or colour your spaghetti eye-lashes neither”

Wife – “OK what kind of salad?”

Me – “Frisee”

Wife – “mmm, tough one, but I’d go salad hair”

So life has very definitely got much tougher and more complex. But not on the wine front.

I am LOVING being back in London, and recently took delivery of 6 bottles from my Fine & Rare collection that has been out of reach for the past 2 years.

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Today we had Chateau de Saint Cosme’s 2007 Domaine de la Crillonne Cote du Ventoux – 100% grenache from South Rhone. In 2009 it was given a score of 89 by Robert Parker. I must have neglected to read his review saying that it should be drunk within 1 – 2 years, so we are about 5 years late according to the Master. However referring back to the Wine Society’s 2007 opening offer, the drink window was 2014 – 2016 so either Parker or the good people at the W.S are missing the mark by a country mile…..

Still let’s not be so serious about this; we ate delicious 14 day aged mutton from the fabulous Turner & George, with a ridiculously good gravy, spring greens, carrots and smashed roast waxy potatoes. The wine was DELISH.

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I think Parker had it wrong – shock horror!!!. According to his timescale he was suggesting drinking it at 2009 – 2011. Having cellared this for the past 7 years, I think this wine still has  a bit of aging potential. On the nose it is an abundance of under-ripe blackberries, a hint of spice and slightly of wet leaves. On the mouth it was bursting with firm tannins and red fruit – sour red currant – a slightly gamey flavour and an almost chili-like twang.

With the lamb it was gorgeous regardless of readiness – a perfect, serious, match.

 

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