Archive | September 2012

Spanish Wine pairing with Japanese Food!

After tasting wonderful sherries, it’s time to enjoy them with friends. Especially for La Bota De Manzanilla 32, I have a good pairing idea; “Clam Soup with Miso and Tofu” . The recipe from my favorite cookbook; “The Family Meal” prepared by celebrated chef Ferran Adria.

Why this pairing? Because, I have taste this kind of pairing at Serendipity Restaurant in Wilderness, South Africa and we amazed of “Miso Soup and Fino Sherry” pairing in their tasting menu. The difference between two soup will be additional clams which are the traditional pair for Manzanilla and will have more weight with creamy Tofu. And Clam Soup is enough original and easy to prepare for a weekend dinner which will be prepared together with friends at home, a PARTY!

Yes we began! We have all we need, not really! except from Dashi powder, cause I couldn’t find it yet;

Dividing Tofu,

Boiling in Miso and Fish stock (instead of Dashi powder),

Naughty girl is tasting clams! Before the meal gets ready 🙂

Almost ready and took less than 20 min. Creamy and deep, but not heavy, really delicious!

Over all the pairing is like sea breeze. Weights and aromas of Soup and Sherry are matching. My tasting note for La Bota De Manzanilla 32 can be found in other post.


Have a good weekend, Cheers!!!


Tasting and Appreciating ” Old Ladies’s Drink ” ; Sherry!

I’ ve been quite excited to taste the Sherries I bought from Vila Viniteca during my last trip to Barcelona. Especially, dry or off-dry Sherries, which are my favorites, such as Manzanilla, Fino, Amontilado and Oloroso. They amazes me with their very different aromas from all other red and white wines and their unique production method; Solera*.

As Sherries are underappreciated and misunderstood by wine drinkers for years 😦

– some can call them as “Old Ladies’s drink! ” , never mind 🙂

maybe so that their prices are still reachable in the premium level !

And before dinner, I would like to taste three different styles of sherry; Manzanilla ( which will be consumed at the dinner and I will try to pair it attentively, I hope! ), Amontillado and Oloroso.

While uncorking them, an accident happened! with Amontilado’ s cork, but luckily helping with Ah So cork puller, everything is under control again.


EQUIPO NAVAZOS La Bota De Manzanilla 32

It has deep gold color with lemon rim. Nose is quite complex, fruity aromas; lemon and red apple peel, nutty; roasted nuts and refreshing edges; moss and mineral tones. On the palate bone-dry, beginning with lemon peel and salty-minerality, mid palate is rich with apple peel, lemon zest and chestnut, at the long finish, roasted nuts and ginger aromas are getting intenser. It has good acidity and medium (+) body. Revitalizing! 15% Vol.

EMILIO LUSTAU Single Cask Amontillado

Amber colored with orange rim. Harmoniously comlex and deep. Sweet on the nose; perfume-like aromas of green olive, moss, iodine, dried fig, chestnut candy. Round on the palate with quince marmalade, caramel, cajun, touch of saltiness and the long dry finish with persimmon and ginger flavours. Full (-) bodied with lots of acidity. 18,5% Vol.

BARBADILLO Oloroso Seco – Aged 30 years

Mahogany colored with gold rim. Intense aromas of roasted chestnut, raisin, peach and apricot marmalade, brown sugar, smoke, mineral edges, touch of ginger. On the palate good acidity, full- bodied,round texture and off-dry, touch of saltiness and ginger,ending with lemon cheese-cake flavours. Very Long. 22% Vol.


In order to complete appreciation of wine, my next step is preparing food for Manzanilla. Of course I’m not a pairing expert but also I like to play pairing game 🙂 , then home-made sushi! Why?

I expect;

– Medium (+) body of wine could be match the weights of salmon and overcooked rice,

– Flavours of sushi roll and Manzanilla are almost equally intense ( also they have common flavours of moss, sea and ginger ).

– Powerful taste of pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce will be refreshed by acidity of Manzanilla.

Otherwise, we can easily back to the basics; there is some almond and green olives at home 🙂

It is quite fun to prepare simple sushi roll at home. Actually over cooked rice and wrapping them tightly are the keys. I’ll use avocado, cucumber and salmon ( Instead of fresh salmon, I use lightly smoked salmon )

Looks like a good match 🙂

And Old Ladies have obviously good taste!

Sharing with friends is the next step!!!

*Sherry is a fortified and non-vintage wine that aged in Solera – a very complex ageing technique that the wines belong to successive vintages ( also vineyards ) are blended on vertical and horizontal base with/without flor layer for years -.

Vineyard Trip to Barbare Wines!

A boutique wine producer located on the north-west coast of Marmara sea, Barbare Wines took attention of wine lovers by producing first ( and still only ) Southern Rhône style red blends in Turkey.

Firstly, 2009 Barbare Syrah & Grenache & Mourvèdre took place in the market and was appreciated well for its complexity, finesse and balance. Followed by a Châteauneuf-du-Pape blend, 2009 Barbare Elegance is my favorite in their premium selection.

So, we thought it was nice timing to visit the vineyard before harvest!

We met in Taksim square with Tulin Bozuyuk, General Menager of Barbare wines and other wine lovers. It takes nearly 2 and half hour to The Vineyard from Istanbul that we kept on good company together about food, wine as well as Turkish policy and social life at their comfortable shuttle.

The location is quite intriguing that between two big water; Black sea and Marmara sea near to Tekirdag with a delighted view ;906.jpg” class=”alignnone size-full” />

20120902-170153.jpgAfter we had our welcoming drinks, 2011 Rosé Cabernet Sauvignon & Mourvèdre we started informative touring the Vinery that we learn ;

– After alcoholic and malolactic fermentation of the grapes, resulted wines of varietals are aged in mainly French oak except from Grenache wines.

– They use only high quality medium or light toasted Allier and Nevers as French Oak barrel,

– Their wine-making philosophy is minimum intervention in Vinery,

– No carbonic maseration process for any grape varietal,

– They produce their premium level wines to be benefited with bottle-age.

And tasting at the Vinery Cellar;

– Firstly, we tasted without oak sample of red Rhône blend,
– After that barrel sample,
– Finally 2009 Syrah & Grenache & Mourvèdre.

It was quite surprising and informative tasting experience to understand how barrel ageing process can effect the aroma and texture of the wines.

Than at the vineyard we noticed perfect application of VSP Cordon-trained, Spur-pruned healthy vines and tasted their berries. And also noticed different skin thickness of red grape varieties especially between Grenache ( was obviously thinner ) with Syrah, Cabernet Souvignon, Merlot and Mourvèdre.

– Tulin Bozuyuk states that they have 23 ha total vineyard area and are happy with that size. Instead of extending the vineyard area their aim to apply biodynamic and sustainable viticulture efficiently.

Vineyard area divided to 17 parcels according to sun exposure, drainage, soil type etc.

– Viticulture is organic and certified by ECOCERT,

– Effective Yield Controlling, restricted to 350kg/decare ( ~ < 35hl/ha ),

– No irrigation with exception of Merlot parcels have drip-irrigation system only for excessive drought conditions,

– Sea breezes protect the vineyards to humidity in growing season and related vine diseases, also has warming effect against to frost,

– Attentive vineyard and vinification activities are checked by Xavier Vignon during his monthly visits.

After the vineyard tour, time to barbecue! with local speciality Tekirdag Kofte;

Tender vine leaf wrap ( vine leafs from vineyard );

And we tasted almost all of their wonderfully distinctive wines 🙂

Thanks to Tulin Bozuyuk and Barbare Wines Team for such a lovely day!!!