Sunday, March 30, 2008

Greek Wine and Kebobs

Taster A and I were out and about just before supper time and knowing there was nothing in the house, popped into a local market to grab some chicken. What we found in addition to the chicken was some decent looking leg of lamb for a reasonable price so we decided to take a chance.

It turned out to be a good gamble. Taster A who is a little more familiar with cooking lamb than I, cut the meat into cubes, along with some red bell pepper, and Vidalia onions. He didn’t season the meat at all—just put it under the broiler for roughly 12 minutes (I think everyone has to play around with timing in their own broiler). Once the kebobs came out, and this is the genius part, he brushed the kebobs with a paste of olive oil and zhatar. For our side dish, he toasted some whole fennel, cardamom and cumin and we made some basmati rice with the spices, some olive oil, and a little bell pepper and sea salt.

Lamb and rice. Click to enlarge. (C)2008 SmellsLikeGrape

I had opened up our Loire red because I wanted to get it going so I would have a couple of days to evaluate it before Wine Blogging Wednesday #44 but, it wasn’t working for us. So at the last minute I said “Hey! Let’s open up that Nemea wine!” I said that because I couldn’t remember how to pronounce Argiorghitiko (Ah-yor-yee-tiko) right at that moment. What could be better with North African style shish kebobs than a Greek wine? It was a fantastic meal.

Click for high resolution photo. (C)2008 SmellsLikeGrape

Varietal: Agiorgitiko (also agiorghitiko)
Vintage: 2003
Alcohol: 12%
Price: $10.99

Color: Ruby Red
Intensity: Medium
Aromas: Apricot, prunes, fig, baklava, lemon blossom, olives, sage
Flavors: Apricot, strawberry, rosemary, chalky
Body: Light
Sweetness: Off-dry
Acidity: Moderate
Finish: Moderate

Summary: This wine is just so Greek, which is just so good when you’re freezing and severely lacking in the tan department in New England. It stood up well to the exotic spices in our rice, and even seemed sweeter than it is with our meal. It was like a built-in dessert: Baklava and galaxy burrito all rolled up into one. Don’t let me scare you off, it’s not a sweet wine, the meal just brought out more of the richer fruit characteristics in the wine.


Richard A. said...

Greek wines can be so good yet they don't seem to get much publicity in many blogs. Plus, they can be hard to find at many wine stores. I too recently reviewed a Greek wine and have a few more in my cellar as well.

Glad you enjoyed this one.

Taster B said...

Yes, you hardly ever find a selection of Greek wine. The largest selection I've found locally is at