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 "...A Red Blend From Crete (Greece)" 
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Post "...A Red Blend From Crete (Greece)"
A Wine Lover's Weekly Guide To $10 Wines - A Red Blend From Crete (Greece)
by: Levi Reiss

This is one of our first Greek wine reviews; it's the first review devoted to a wine from the island of Crete which produces approximately one fifth of all Greek wine. Kourtaki, the producer, was founded way back in 1895 by Vassili Kourtakis; perhaps the first Greek to obtain a diploma in oenology, the study of wine. This company started with retsina, but happily moved on to better wines. Kourtaki is now the largest producer of Greek wine, bottling an estimated thirty million bottles a year, half of which are exported. They are still producing re;sina wine, but frankly the less said about retsina (which by European Economic Community policy may only be produced in Greece) the better. The wine reviewed is a blend of the red Kotsifali grape found mostly in Greece and the red Mandilara grape, the most widely planted Aegean red variety. These two grapes are often blended together.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review have been purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed Kourtaki Vin de Crete Red 2008 12.0% alcohol about $8.50

Let's start by quoting the marketing materials. Tasting Note : Deep purple color ; cassis and red berry aroma ; berry fruit flavor, medium body and medium length. Serving Suggestion : Serve with souvlaki or pork kebobs. And now for my review.

At the first sips the wine was strongly acidic with some berries. It was not unpleasant. Its first pairing was with barbecued beef ribs in a sweet ketchup sauce. The wine's acidity was tamed. There were no tannins and not much flavor. The accompanying potatoes roasted in chicken fat gave this wine more body. When tasted with an overly spicy salsa with tomatoes, onions, green peppers, and cilantro the wine picked up some power.

The next meal involved zucchini stuffed with rice and ground beef accompanied by green beans in a tomato sauce. The wine was somewhat harsh and short. I tasted berries. With the green beans the wine's acidity diminished and as the meal proceeded the its harshness dropped. The dessert of orange fruit juice candy rendered this wine essentially tasteless.

My final meal was composed of beef stew with potatoes. The wine was thin and tasted of tobacco and berries. When I added some powerful jalapeno pepper sauce the wine's fruit intensified. The oriental-style side salad with tomatoes, pimentos, and garlic made the wine longer.

I ended the bottle with Matjes herring and two local cheeses. With the herring the wine was lightly acidic with virtually no tannins and tasted of red cherries. A relatively tasteless brick cheese managed to overpower this wine. When facing a somewhat tastier marbled cheddar cheese, the wine perked up a bit; the fruit was back.

Final verdict. I would not buy this wine again. But if you don't like tannins and want a red wine other than Beaujolais you might consider this wine.

About The Author
In his younger days Levi Reiss wrote or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but he prefers drinking fine German or other wine with the right foods and the right people. He teaches computer classes at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his global wine website with a weekly column reviewing $10 wines and new sections writing about (theory) and tasting (practice) organic and kosher wines.
The author invites you to visit:

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[Note: Due to a size limitation, the title, above, had to be abbreviated. Apologies to the author and - Admin]
This article was posted by permission.

Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:28 am
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