Year 2000. I’m a twelve-year-old girl waiting for the new millennium to arrive. I decorated all around my room, and I even wrote “Welcome 2000” on my window with a snow spray. I still remember my excitement that day.
Year 2020. It is very hard to believe 20 years have already passed from then, but the excitement of a new era stayed the same.
This is my last article of 2019. I’d like to make a list of my favorites of the year: vineyard visits, wines and dinners of the year. Finally, I’ll share a small summary of what happened in Wines of Nesli this year.
Let’s start with the list my favorites of 2019:
Favorite vineyard visit of the year
When we took the tour bus and started to drive through the slopes of Mount Vermion, I wasn’t expected to find such an amazing view. When we arrived at the vineyards of Ktima Kir Yianni, (Naousa, Greece), everybody in the group had sparkles in their eyes. The vineyard has mainly Xinomavro grapes, which is one of the local varieties.
Favorite sparkling wine of the year
R de Ruinart Brut, Champagne. Everybody has a preference when it comes to Champagne, and Ruinart is one of the houses that I appreciate the most. This bottle brings aromas of citrus, pear and brioche to the nose, it has a creamy texture accompanying gently through the throat and elegant bubbles making it even dreamier. I’ve designed a 3-course meal to enjoy this champagne: Fresh oysters from Nova Scotia as appetizer, a warm salad of glazed carrots, beetroots, walnuts and goat cheese as a starter, a risotto with giant shrimps as main dish. The clean plates and an empty bottle were proof of deliciousness of this meal.
Favorite white wine of the year
Chateau de Saint Cosme 2016, Condrieu. Made from 100% Viognier grapes. Impressive intense aromas of blossoms, honeysuckle, peach, apricot, a touch of white pepper and cinnamon. Fresh and balanced on the palate. Could this be the definition of “elegance”? It definitely can. Paired into perfection with Digby scallops cooked in butter, with side dish of fresh potatoes and beetroot puree.
Favorite rosé wine of the year
Château Routas Rosé, 2018, Coteaux Varois en Provence. Was it the summer that made this wine more enjoyable, or the wine that made summer more enjoyable? Fruity and fresh with its vivid acidity. Paired with some sautéed shrimp with garlic and merkén (smoked chili pepper, traditional from Mapuche cuisine in Chile), beetroot and sweet potato chips; and some fresh mozzarella with tomato and basil from the balcony.
Favorite red wine of the year
Ktima Driopi, Agiorgitiko, 2013, Nemea. Hard not to be interested in Greek varieties, especially after having visited Northern Greece this summer. I carried this bottle all the way from there, and I’m very glad I did that. It fills the glass with its deep garnet color. Full of aromas; plums, blackberries, figs, prunes, nutmeg, blonde tobacco and cloves… Definitely high alcohol, but well integrated into its full body. Created a feast with a barbecue of beef, roasted veggies and sweet potatoes.
Favorite dinner out of the year
There are three elements that makes a dinner unforgettable good food, good wine and above all two, good accompany. In 2019, two of the dinners stood out.
First one is the dinner at the restaurant called La Cigale situated in Alsancak, Izmir (Turkey). It’s at the garden of L’Institut français, that’s why it has a French name. The menu of this restaurant is a mixture of world cuisine, you can find many different options. The wine list has both Turkish and international wines.
Second one is at Full Tou Meze (Φούλ του μεζέ) in Thessaloniki (Greece). They only serve local food, a wide range of mezes and seafood. Local wines from neighbour vineyards and islands are also served.
Finally let’s go through the articles of this year:
This year, I continued to bring stories of wine professionals to your attention:
- I had a chance to talk with Sanem Karadeniz, Wine Production Manager of Kavaklidere Winery. She shared her insights and changes in the vineyards and winemaking scenery in Cappadoccia, Turkey in the last then years.
- I interviewed Mehmet Yigit Keskin, the Turkish winemaker. He shared all about his wine story that started in Turkey and continues in California.
- A very interesting story over Chile and Spain from Jose Javier Echandi, the Spanish winemaker. All about his experience as a winemaker.
Wine Tastings and Food
- Back in April, Francisco Diez and I organized a very interesting Turkish-Chilean wine tasting. All local varieties and different styles of wines.
- I finally got the chance to share all about the fine dining experience at El Celler de Can Roca. Without discussion the most delicious part of the blog.
- Six interesting wine and food pairings.
What’s left behind from this year is visiting different wine regions, tasting local varieties around the world and creating unforgettable memories around the tables. Thank you 2019 for every minute, and now on to 2020! I wish a great new year, full of love, health, joy, happiness, travel and wine!
All images © 2019 by Wines of Nesli. All rights reserved.