Hey guys! Today we have a very special Wine Wednesday guest post from my fabulous sister-in-law, Melissa. She and my brother are the entire reason I got into wine. They are big travelers as well, so she’s sharing some awesome Greek wines from one of their recent trips. She is much more knowledgeable about wine than I am, so you’re in for a real treat!
Kacy and Tom came to visit us in Okie-land. Per usual, there may have been some day drinking involved. And night drinking. We are lovers of wine around here, people. Here’s the rundown of what we drank during their visit.
Blackbird Arriviste Rosé
The first rosé we drank is an absolute favorite of Cory and mine, Blackbird’s Arriviste Wine. I don’t have a picture of it, but I want to mention it. I’m a huge Cabernet Franc lover, and since this wine is composed of that varietal along with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (more yum), I think that is why I enjoy it so much. It has a heavy body and packs a punch on flavor. The wine is exceptionally bright, and I like that it is balanced. It is one of the few rosés that carries a heavier floral note on the back-end that doesn’t annoy me. Do not let that fool you, it is very fruit forward as well. In the past, I have paired it with pesto gnocchi and shrimp, and with roasted chicken and vegetables. I feel this would be exquisite with duck or pheasant as well.
Bespoke Collection Foo Fighters Rosé
The second rosé we popped open was a wine I ordered for Cory for Father’s Day from the dogs (yes, we’re those people). Bespoke released a Foo Fighters wine collection made by the one and only Blackbird Vineyards. This wine was good, but it is lighter in body (and color) than the Arriviste. The wine maker uses “elegant” to describe it, and I would agree with that. However, I like heavier bodied wine, so it was hard to drink this wine after the Arriviste. It tasted “flat” to me after drinking such a bold wine. I would recommend drinking this wine by itself or with lighter fare.
Cory and I went to several vineyards while in Santorini (Thera) earlier this summer, and did a full tasting at Gaia (pronounced “yeah-ah” in Greek). This little Mediterranean gem ships wine to the United States, in case you are interested. Plus, the views are killer.
I had been saving our favorite white wine from Gaia for Kacy and Tom to try since we don’t waste the good wines on people who drink white zin all day. The Thalassitis (thah-lah-see-tees) wine is a full body bone dry white that has a strong mineral flavor due to the high content of volcanic ash. It has a slightly acidic citrus taste on the back-end, which is divine. It is made from the versatile Assyrtiko (ahs-seer-tee-koh) grape. Assyrtiko has traditionally been made unoaked, but some wine makers have been experimenting with oak. Gaia has done both, but we prefer the unoaked version. This is an excellent wine to pair with citrus-heavy salads or seafood dishes. I enjoyed it with some scallops and risotto I made.
Giocato Pinot Grigio
Several evenings later, we went to The Jones Assembly to see what all the fuss was about. It may be my new favorite place even though they’re closed Mondays, and that is generally the day I need a drink the most. Our friend, Taylor, joined us and she loves some dry white wines like I do. I spotted a white wine from Slovenia producer Giocato. I remembered the white wines I had across Northern Italy and Austria and the Czech were stellar, so I ordered a glass since Slovenia is north of Italy and south of Austria. Taylor had the same one when visiting the Jones Assembly before and enjoyed it, so we ended up canceling my glass and ordering a bottle since it is the most cost-effective way to drink wine. This wine was delicious with crisp, ripe citrus notes and paired well with my salmon dish which included carrot ginger broth, pesto and basil. Editor’s note: It also paired well with my cacio e pepe, which was absolutely fantastic!
So, real fall overnight temperatures have finally reached us in Oklahoma, and I bet you’re wondering what to pair with your lingering love of white wines or rosés with fall food? Fear not, I made brunch the other day. I wanted to drink my little bottle of Nichteri (nick-tee-ree) from Santorini (also spelled Nychteri- “nichta” means night in Greek). This wine is pressed during the night directly after harvest when temperatures are lower. This white wine came from Faros Market & Vineyard in the Cyclades region of Santorini. It is high in minerals (and tastes “earthy”), but balances beautifully with herbs and savory foods.
I am not sure how I came about this concoction, but I had butternut squash and leeks in my fridge I needed to cook. I sautéed both in a large pan with olive oil and fresh thyme sprigs until the squash was fork tender (you can pick the stems out later).
After it was finished cooking, I drizzled 1 tablespoon of dark maple syrup over it. You can also use sorghum which was my original intention, but when I opened my fridge, I realized my sorghum was gone. I topped the leeks and squash with Gruyère cheese, a fried egg, pepper and Fumee del Sel salt. This is a fancy salt smoked with oaked chardonnay. I chose to use it for its complex flavor which takes most dishes to the next level AND pairs fantastic with the Nichteri wine.
I had some black grapes to compliment my meal. Here is the finished product!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this Wine Wednesday and that it has given you some inspiration for your next Fall gathering. Cheers!