Brett happens

All wine, most of the time

oenopole’s Greek spring workshop (1/6)

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A group of wine and food geeks, several of them writers or bloggers, were recently invited to oenopole world headquarters for a second wine and food workshop, titled printemps grec. The wines this time around were entirely Greek but the food most definitely wasn’t, the idea being to see how Greek wines work with non-Greek dishes. Guest chef Noam Arieh Gedalof, formerly of The French Laundry and Kaizen, turned out a succession of beautiful small plates, a feat made all the more impressive by the HQ’s complete lack of a kitchen.

While waiting for the tasting proper to being, we were offered glasses of a sparkler.

Amalia Brut, Méthode traditionnelle, Domaine Tselepos ($23.00, 11901103)
Formerly available only on a private-import basis, this 100% Moschofilero traditional method sparkler will go on sale at the SAQ on September 26 and not a moment too soon. 12% ABV.
Light straw-yellow with fine persistent bubbles. Fleet yet present on the palate, pure and quite dry. The fruit tends to lemon and is accompanied by a crystalline minerality and a telltale hint of Moschofilero’s floral aromatics. The acidity and effervescence keep things lively. The clean finish brings a faint saline note. Can hold its own against any cava or crémant at the price point. (Buy again? Can’t wait.)

The first dish was a lightly dressed salad of mixed greens, planed root vegetables and herbs.

Mantinia 2012, Moschofilero, Domaine Tselepos ($17.85, 11097485)
100% Moschofilero. The grapes are macerated eight hours at 10ºC, then pneumatically pressed. Fermentation with selected yeasts and in stainless steel vats is at 12ºC and lasts 20 days with regular stirring. 12% ABV.
Lightly fragrant nose – grapey and floral (honeysuckle?) with white mineral notes – evocative of Muscat and Gewurztramner. Dry and bright in the mouth with an appealing tautness. The fruit is citrusy (lemon, white grapefruit) and, again, the finish is clean and faintly salt-crystally. Straightforward and fresh, this makes an excellent aperitif but also has enough heft to go with food. (Buy again? Yes.)
> The wine’s acidity handled the vinaigrette with aplomb. The root vegetables brought out the wine’s minerality, the bitter radicchio its sweetness and fruit. The fresh mint leaf achieved a surprising synergy. Theo Diamantis mentioned that the first local non-Greek restaurant to put the wine on its list was Toqué!, where chef Normand Laprise paired it with wild asparagus, a combination I intend to put to the test now that local asparagus season is upon us.

And speaking of printemps grec wine and food pairings, oenopole and SAT Foodlab are joining forces this evening for a Nuit greque au Labo culinaire with four visiting winemakers. If last year’s event is anything to go by, it should be epic.

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Written by carswell

May 15, 2013 at 13:23

One Response

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  1. […] for another of the agency’s workshops devoted to food and wine pairings (previously: oysters, Greek wines with non-Greek dishes). This atelier focused on charcuterie and Italian grape varieties. As the group assembled, a nearly […]


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