“Life is what happens while you’re making other plans.”
2020 might not have started nor finished as we imagined. We all went through it day by day. In this final blog post of the year, I’ll put my pink glasses on, and review the enjoyable moments. Good wines, long vineyard walks and lots of photos. Let’s begin!
Favorite vineyard visit of the year
One of the things I felt most was living close to nature. I’ve taken every opportunity to take a walk in the vineyards, breath the fresh air and feel the vibes of the grapes. The vineyard visit I made towards end of the year to Sheffield Mills surrounded with dandelions had a special effect on me.
Favorite sparkling wine of the year
Moët et Chandon Imperial, Champagne, France. I had this same bottle on many occasions, celebrating different life events, birthdays, anniversaries, special days and achievements. Although the quality and traits of the wine is consistent, it makes me feel different emotions each time I have it.
Favorite white wine of the year
Idisma Drios Assyrtiko Vintage 2017, Wine Art Estate, PGI Drama, Greece. Made with 100% Assyrtiko grapes, its name Idism Drios means sweetly oaked, as it’s aged in French oak barrels for five months. It has lemon, apricot and melon aromas and also notes of cream and toast coming through the fruit aromas delicately. On the palate, it’s balanced with medium acidity and a nice long finish.
Accompanied a huge Greek inspired meal with Greek salad, Kalamata olives dressed with olive oil and thyme, and grilled baby calamari as starter, and a seafood pasta for main dish.
Favorite rosé wine of the year
Romance, Berne, 2019, Mediterranee IGP, France. Think about white roses. Before they open, they have a light pink color on the edge of their leaves. The color reminds me of that. Roses, raspberries, strawberries and peaches are through as I smell the wine. Finally, the taste, light, fresh, balanced alcohol, but the best part is the red fruit flavours that accompany.
Lobster cakes for the pairing. Delicious lobster pieces, onion, potato and parsley and eggs go in to assemble the cake, and breadcrumbs give the crispiness outside. They are cooked in the pan with olive oil to continue on the theme of Mediterranean flavors of the wine. Served with some lemon wedges on the side. Good harmony with the wine.
Favorite red wine of the year
Château Kirwan 2015, Margaux, France. While at home during quarantine, I opened one of the bottles I have been keeping for a special occasion. It was not a special occasion as expected, but more like an extraordinary occasion.
Having actually been and worked in Bordeaux for the 2015 vintage, this bottle is very close to my heart. I taste this now and keep another bottle of it to try in a couple of years. Currently it has a nice ruby color, intense and complex aromas of cherries, prunes, black pepper, some leather and game, and tobacco. On the palate, it has high tannins, but they were already smooth and well integrated to the balanced profile of the wine. For the pairing, I cooked a nice piece of meat with bulgur rice, it was delicious enough to accompany the wine, but left the floor for the wine to be the star of the table.
Favorite home meal of the year
Joyful dinner tables are full of small plates to share with nice people, for me this is part of my culture: getting united around the table, and simply putting all what we have for sharing, food, stories and emotions. For this occasion at home, I prepared a “meze night” with four types of different mezes, roasted peppers, carrot and walnut tarator, zucchini and spring onion tarator and pink hummus (hummus with beetroots). A classic pairing for this is our traditional alcoholic drink, raki. It’s a grape distillate aromatised with anise and complements nicely the strong ingredients used in mezes such as onion, garlic and hot peppers.
Favorite photo of the year
This year, I’ve sent some of my previous photos to the Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year contest, and one of my photos was shortlisted in the Errazuriz Wine Photographer of the Year – People category.
A photo I took during my harvest experience in Napa. This represents my respect to the harvesters, the huge amount of labor behind everything we eat and drink, and all the people who work physically and mentally so that we can enjoy our sips and bites.
We are lucky if we manage to have some good memories in 2020. I wish for a healthy and happy 2021.
All images © 2020 by Wines of Nesli. All rights reserved.