Monday, July 15, 2013

Warm Wine Country Charm

My wine and culinary adventures through Greece continue, next stop is Domaine Spiropoulos (organically certified) in Mantineia in the Peloponnese (a large peninsula in Southern Greece).

As my companions and I approached the winery we were warmly greeted by Mr. and Mrs. Spiropoulos and invited in to explore and taste. Inside a tasting of wines from producers all over Mantineia was set up (further mention of other wineries in upcoming posts) . Although wines from the Moschofilero grape are grown all over Greece, it really shines here in Mantineia as we discovered throughout the tasting. Wines made from Moschofilero are most often perfumed and floral on the nose with hints of rose petals and rose water and crisp acidity with notes of spice on the palate.

I am always on the hunt for sparkling wine when/where ever I travel so I was quite pleased when I discovered that Domaine Spiropoulos does indeed make sparkling wine. First to try was their Ode Panos Brut, a 100% Moschofilero dry sparkling wine that had the beautiful notes of rose petals, green apples and ended with a creamy finish. Their Ode Panos Brut Rose sparkling that is made with 90% Moschofilero and 10% Agiorgitiko was next to try. The Rose also had the aromas of rose petals but with addition of red apple and on the palate there was a lovely touch of blood orange as well. I was quite pleased, both lovely sparkling wines!

As we finished the tasting Mrs. Spiropoulos invited us downstairs where she had prepared an authentically local lunch for us. She was so excited to share the dishes with us and the history and details of the recipes. Of all the dishes we had I was very excited to learn about Kagiana (pronounced Kayana). Kagiana is an egg dish and Mrs. Spiropoulos' version was with a simple tomato sauce made first by cooking down tomatoes. onion, a little garlic and oregano. Then fold in a few whisked eggs, after a minute or so some feta and finish with salt and pepper. It was so warm and comforting and was delicious with the Ode Panos Brut!

My other favorite dish was just what I had been waiting for...simply done...grilled lamb chops with just salt, pepper, oregano and a squeeze of lemon. I poured myself some Ode Panos Brut Rose to try with it and for the next 5-10 minutes had a beautiful symphony of flavors...sip, lamb chop bite, sip, lamb get the idea!
Upon the meal's conclusion we gratefully, but sadly departed. All thinking the same thing, how lucky we were to share the day with such a proud, passionate and warm family that sincerely loves to share their wine and culture with others! 

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