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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 12 May 2018
12 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 12 MAY 2018 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM The rizogalo. PHOTOS: NELLY SKOUFATOGLOU A trip to Naoussa, only in Melbourne Xinomavro producers from northern Greece in collaboration with Elyros Restaurant put together a divine wine-tasting dinner, further establishing Hellenic varieties in the Australian market NELLY SKOUFATOGLOU Greek wine appreciation; an annual tradition we have religiously been honouring. This year we found ourselves being immersed in the unique dark tannin of the Xinomavro variety, Naoussa's signature wine, in a Cretan cuisine restaurant. Elyros and Epocha's trio, Angie Giannakodakis, Disa L ast week ended on a high note, kicking off a long week of Dimitrakakis and chef Guy Holder took us on yet another culinary adventure on Friday and Saturday nights. Due to the unique mix of its flavours and aromas coming from an array of earth and territory plantation influences, it can become a great pairing combination for most dishes that feature on a Greek menu and both nights, with the culmination being Saturday's dinner, proved that. On Friday, we were exposed to 22 wines that fall under the Xinomavro category, offered to us by Markovitis Winery, Vaeni Naoussa Coop, Estate Tsantali and Naoussa Boutari. We focused on the 2013 Markovitis Naoussa, the 2012 Vaeni Grande Reserve, the 2015 Vaeni Naoussa, the 2014 and 2015 Vaeni Damascenos, the very interesting 2014 Tsantali Naoussa Reserve, and the 2016 Boutari Naoussa. Representatives from each winery would explain the uniqueness of each vintage while Elyros' staff would make sure we could compare the flavour both on its own and accompanied with local mezze the likes of green leaf and cheese kalitsounia, fava, taramosalata, seafood kritharaki, lamb meatballs and marinated chicken skewers among other canapes, spicy and pickled delicacies. Saturday's private seated event, however, heightened our senses and brought on not one but many consecutive tastebud explosions. Angie Giannakodakis put into effect her sommelier talents and in collaboration with chef Guy Holder prepared a very well thought out menu to match their favourite Xinomavro wines. A much needed event, to the pleasure of many predominantly Australian Melbourne-based wine lovers, esteemed Greek community officials, Hellenic wine distributors, and press. "It is through such events and gatherings that we can further establish our beautiful Greek wines in the Australian market," Angie said while popping the first bottle open. The journey into northern Greece's flavours began with a white, chilled, fruity Xinomavro, Kelesidi's Malagouzia followed by a tray of freshly baked breads, olives and feta cream. The fava (yellow split pea puree), bathed in extra virgin olive oil, topped with capers and shallots was my personal favourite, almost addictive. The starters also included pickled mussels on a wild herbs Cretan delicacy apakia. The mussels. Chicken and hilopites.
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