Recently I had the opportunity to dine with Evangelo Chatzivaritis of Chatzivartis Winery, and his wife who is the Agriculturist. This Organic Greek Winery produces some stunning wines that I absolutely fell in love with upon each first sip. The winery uses predominately Greek grape varietals such as: Xinomavro, Negoska, Roditis, and Assyrtiko. The names are hard to pronounce but don’t let that stop you from walking into a restaurant or wine shop and buying one of these fantastic wines.
This dynamic duo bought their first vineyard in 1994 in the small town of Goumenissa. This little country town is the center of a famous wine-producing region that boasts “Designation of Origin” (O.P.A.P.) status. This is a symbol of quality, and has been renowned for its wines for hundreds of years. Most of the production practices are done by hand, ensuring this fine quality. They also practice a process called “green harvesting”, which ensures the highest possible quality of grapes and wine.
Evangelo Chatzivaritis and his wife joined us for dinner at Docks Oyster Bar in NYC. Here, Chef prepared a wonderful menu to pair along with the wines. The first course: Upland Cress with Bosc Pear and Goat Cheese Croquet was beautifully plated and paired with the Eurynome White Roditis 2013. This wine is crisp and elegant which pairs nicely with the creamy cheese and sweet pear.
Butter Poached Maine Lobster with Belgian Endive was next. Paired with this meaty and succulent dish was the 2013 Staphylus White Assyrtiko/Sauvignon Blanc Blend. This wines brightness and body paired well with the buttery lobster and slightly bitter endives, which was a perfect choice to round out the pairing.
Next up with some great Greek Reds was the Duck Confit with Morels and Fava Bean Fricassee. Paired with this delicious dish was the 2012 Staphylus Red Xinomavro/ Cabernet Sauvignon Blend. Duck with a beautiful and bold red wine? This was one delectable pairing!
For the final savory course, I was very happy to see a fish pairing on the menu, especially with a red wine. Skuna Bay Salmon, Crispy Fingerling Potatoes, Fava Beans, and Pomegranate Glaze paired with the 2011 Eurynome Red Xinomavro/Negoska Blend. This dish was heaven! The salmon perfectly flaked bite by bite, and with the crispy potatoes, sweet glaze, and red wine pairing… it was a great fourth course.
To our surprise, chef brought us out a little sweet treat. Housemade Raspberry Sorbet with Berries; a great choice to compliment the rest of the reds.
Be sure to check out many of the restaurants who are carrying these wines, as well as stores in Queens and other parts of NY.