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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 28 July 2018
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 28 JULY 2018 13 FOOD FOR THOUGHT A night of modern Greek wine artistry NIKOS FOTAKIS of caramel. It has a medium body for a rosé with more acidity giving out red berry and strawberry aromas. I'd say it's a gentle wine with a sweet buttery aftertaste that can age for up to two to three years after harvest. Served slightly cooled, with green salads, fresh fruits and light desserts; of course cheese platters and Asian cuisine make for a great pairing." in a pleasant mix of flavours and aromas that can age for up to three years. Served at 8-10°C, it makes an excellent match for seafood, lean white meats, salads with light dressing, Mediterranean dishes and pasta with light sauces, giving out light hints of melon, citrus and gooseberry. The homonymous red wine is made from the Syrah and Merlot varietals at a 60 and 40 We have incorporated and tested many new techniques that help make viticulture better. Not only do we upgrade our vineyards continuously but we are putting in a great deal of effort to differentiate ourselves from the rest of the region of Drama. The next of those new labels is Black Sheep, arguably one of Greece's highest-selling vinos in both the white and red categories. For this label, the winery has introduced the metallic screw-top. "The Black Sheep is an eccentric name for a product that stresses its diversity and particularity," Federica continues. "Its thoroughly modern philosophy is evident from its contemporary appearance, its screw cap, and its characteristic freshness. It is produced at the Mackedon Winery at Platanotopos, Kavala, while the vineyards are found a small distance away." The Black Sheep white wine is made from a combination of 60 per cent Sauvignon Blanc and 40 per cent Semillon, per cent respectively, offering a wine with ruby colour and purple highlights, exuding aromas of cherry, violet and plum, wrapped up in a velvety texture with a pleasant mineral aftertaste and harmony between the acidity and the tannins. Served at 15-18°C, it is a worthy accompaniment to red meat, braised meat casserole, refreshing green salads and pungent cheeses. The red can stay in the bottle for up to five years. The final new-age duo coming from Nico Lazaridi Wines are the Queen and King of Hearts, both from 2017 originating from the PGI Mackedon region. "Everyday, yet precious wines that will steal your heart for good," Federica says, "and not your budget." The King of Hearts is a blend of the Merlot international variety at a 85 per cent and a 15 per cent of the Greek Xinomavro. This combination results in a deep ruby red colour and an intense bouquet of red fruit and dried fig with some hints of spices and pepper. "It has a pleasant, balanced taste leaving oak and mocha notes in the mouth while maintaining a crispy acidity through soft tannins," she describes. "It can complement any kind of red roasted meat with some sweet or spicy sauces, and any kind of cheese." Its partner, the Queen of Hearts, is slightly more intricate. "For this white wine we chose the Greek varieties of Assyrtiko, the Roditis, Muscat of Alexandria, and the cosmopolitan varieties of Chardonnay and Ugni Blanc," Federica says. "With a gentle nose of white-flesh fruits and distinctive aromas of spring flowers, it's an excellent match for Mediterranean dishes, fish, seafood, pasta and green salads." For the end, Federica kept a batch of the winery's more premium labels Cavalieri, Magic Mountain, Perpetus and F to give her esteemed guests a full taste of the different terroirs and varieties. In Melbourne, the Nico Lazaridi wines are available at Mykonos Taverna and Vanilla, with more locations coming soon. To find out more, go to chateau-lazaridi.com/en/ you can always count on Vanilla for some warmth and comfort - at least in the form of food and cakes. The venue played host to a small, intimate reception to honour Federica Lazaridi and what she represents: a family tradition of winemaking excellence. The event was also an opportunity to showcase the winemakers' flagship wines; the acclaimed and beloved Magiko Vouno, but also the modern, popular labels Queen of Hearts, King of Hearts, and Black Sheep. A group of leading T community representatives, not least among them head of Delphi Bank Jim Sarris, president of the Greek Community of Melbourne Bill Papastergiadis, and head of the Greek Centre Jorge Menidis, gathered around the table. But everyone's attention was focused on Federica, as she passionately recounted her family's history of winemaking, as well as her own vision to modernise the family business and uesday was a particularly cold night in Oakleigh, but continue to produce fine, yet largely accessible, wine. Case in point, the labels adorning our table, being paired with the trademark Greek tastes presented in share platters - you can't get more Hellenic than that. Our hosts offered us traditional Greek dips - tarama, baked eggplant, tzatziki - with pita bread, followed by a perfectly crisp, chewy grilled saganaki cheese, perfectly paired with the Black Sheep blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, its balance of dryness and sweetness cutting through the greasy delicacies. Black Sheep goes well with seafood, which was proven when grilled octopus and crispy, light, fried calamari arrived on our table. Queen of Hearts shed a different kind of light on these dishes, with its blend of varietals creating a balance of flavours - with distinctive citrus zest aromas. Our generous hosts then presented us with platters of mixed grilled meat, calling for a switch to the Nico Lazaridi reds. The velvety Black Sheep (Syrah and Merlot) seems to be made for beef and pork, but when it comes to a greasy sausage, you need a dash of Xinomavro and this is what King of Hearts delivers, the traditional Greek varietal being perfectly blended with the 'rounder' Merlot. These modern labels have become an everyday staple for wine lovers in Greece and Federica hopes that they will be embraced by the Greek Australians, as they fit the Australian wine consumption culture. They are crisp, fresh, everyday, affordable wines, perfect for both light meals and rich Greek feasts. Of course, as everyone knows, the Australian wine market is quite competitive, but all those who gathered around the table on Tuesday were impressed by the quality, and expressed their commitment to making these labels better known, and helping modern Greek wine find its way into Greek Australian wine glasses. As the night went on, discussion shifted from the challenges of creating highquality products and breaking the Australian market, to the tragedy unfolding in Greece. The night was colder, but as Greeks know, it is when we come together and share a meal and a glass of wine, that we form communities and start taking care of each other and mend things. Federica Lazaridi seated amongst community leaders at Vanilla.
21 July 2018
4 August 2018