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Surprising Wines

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I have been constantly seeking out wines from unexpected places, sometimes hoping I can be surprised, other times just to try something others will turn there noses up at.  Possibly some of the most shocking places from which I have had wines, were from Lebanon and Turkey.  I have also had a few different wines from Greece too.  Some of my favorite wines have been from places in Spain other than their more highly known Rioja region.

 

These wines though, while they are occasionally very good, can often than not be insipid, horribly off balance.  But mostly they fall somewhere in the middle.   Spain has been notably exceptional in my mind.  Greece I feel could easily improve, and while it is already producing some great wines, I feel it could easily produce many more of that quality.

 

Lebanon and Turkey were really shocking.  Being as they come from predominantly Muslim countries in which they have a much different world view upon alcohol than Western Europe and the America’s.  As such I never really expect to find alcohol sold by countries that view it so poorly, even though Turkey is Much more westernized than other parts of the near east, and I honestly am not informed enough on foreign politics to know Lebanon’s views of the western world.  But both of these have produced some good wine, even though it was entirely unexpected.

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June 15, 2011 at 11:00 am

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Mercouri Winery

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The very first winery I ever visited which really gave my love of wine an incredible shot in the arm, was the Mercouri Estate Winery, in Peloponnese Greece.   What surprised me the most, is the wines that I tried had more character than I have ever really had from buying retail in the United States.   The wines were certainly eye opening, and the estate pituresque.

The wine I liked the most from their winery was their Foloi Fume.   Their Foloi wine, comes in two types, and is known for a distinctive charcoal sketch with a green background, although the picture on the label is interesting enough.  The sketch is of Hercules fighting a Centar, and lets just say the unclothed Hercules is a bit excited by the battle.  But as for the wine, it comes as Foloi, and Foloi Fume, in my understanding the basic mixture of grapes is rather similar between the two, the largest difference being that Fume spends some time in Oak Barrels to pick up a bit of extra character and giving it a slightly drier profile.

I am honestly surprised that Greek wines are not more widely available, considering many locations in Greece seem to have a thriving wine culture, the island of Santorini being one of them.  Granted I do not think there are many very very large wineries in Greece, which might be the reason why most of their wines seem to be aimed at local consumption rather than world wide distribution.

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June 2, 2011 at 2:07 am

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For the Love of Grape Juice

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Wine is surely a wonderful beverage, made by the hands of man, but perfected in the fields of nature.  The final product is reliant on so many things, that it hardly seems fair to consider Wine a simple consumer product.  Wine is much more akin to a drinkable, and enjoyable work of art.  Its to be sipped, savored, and recorded in our memories.

 

So ho did I get interested in Wine?  It all has to do with a trip to Southern Europe, in which I visited several wineries.   That being done I have tried to visit a decent number of other wineries, the most fun in my opinion are visiting those wineries in places that are not known for wine.  Perhaps its because their owners are sufficiently nuts to think they could make this work, or because they are onto something that the world doesn’t quite believe yet.   Just think of all the more recently emerging Major Wine producing regions in the world, it is safe to say it is not just France anymore.

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May 31, 2011 at 7:27 pm

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