Encuentro con vinos griegos


Nos fuimos unos días a Grecia, para vivir y respirar su cultura. Una vez en Atenas, ubicados en un céntrico hotel, el Hotel Achilleas, cercano a la plaza Syntagma, intenté sin mucho éxito que digamos aprender de los vinos griegos.

Grecia, como país mediterráneo, tiene buena mesa y regiones vitivinícolas. Es evidente ojeamos libros de historia y nos topamos con Dionisio, el dios del vino. En Macedonia y Tracia, al norte producen tintos mientras en el centro, hay tres denominaciones: Zitsa, Rapsani y Ankialos. En la zona del Peloponeso hay muchas cómo Mantinia, donde producen un vino blanco bien perfumado que se hace con la cepa moscophilero. Esa cepa lleva un nombre raro, casi como el de la temible enfermedad de la vid, filoxera. En Corinto se produce con la cepa sanjorge un tinto de mucha fruta. Estás no son las únicas cepas y zonas de cultivo de la vid. En las islas también se cultivan uvas para vino.

En nuestro recorrido por Santorini, visitamos un viñedo en Megalochori, un pueblito pintoresco con vistas maravillosas y, por su puesto, uvas. De hecho, nos explicó nuestro guía, que es el único cultivo de toda la isla. Por poco colapsamos al escucharlo. Todos los productos comestibles llegan de la península griega. Peor aún, hasta el agua la traen a la isla.

El año pasado se firmó un acuerdo para establecer un sistema de energía geotérmica que aliviaría el problema de producción energética y alimentaría una planta desalinizadora de agua. Comento este hecho pues me resultó chocante porque toda operación agrícola necesita de estos y otros elementos. Siendo isleña, tengo la preocupación siempre de la sustentabilidad local. Santorini se fundamenta en su turismo pero tiene mucho que ofrecer a sus habitantes de siempre. Supongo que la historia de producción vitivinícola de Santorini, que comenzó hace 3500 años, le da mucha tradición y experiencia a los viticultores.

Las cepas de Santorini son mayormente la Assyrtiko, para los blancos, y la Mandelaria para las tintas. Hay cultivos menores de Akiri y Aidani, que son variedades blancas.

El vino más conocido de esta isla es el Vinsanto. Cuando lo supe me cuestioné qué relación tenía con el Vin Santo de la Toscana, ese que me gusta tanto con un biscotti dentro del vaso. Ah, pero Vinsanto de Grecia significa vino de Santorini. Es un vino dulce, aromático elaborado predominantemente con Assyrtiko, recomendado para acompañar postres.

Un Sauvignon Blanc con personalidad griega, regio para mariscos y ensaladas frescas.

¿Qué probé en mis andanzas por las islas griegas? Entre magníficas comidas en la que destacó la moussaka de berenjenas, el pulpo, las ensaladas con pepinos y olivas, entre otros sabores salpicados de especias, mi limitada incursión se trató de dos vinos, uno blanco y otro tinto.

El blanco era de la bodega Alpha, de Macedonia. Se trató de un Sauvignon Blanc, 2018. Su aroma perfumado, tropical y afrutado, con personalidad única al compáralo con los vinos neozelandeses, chilenos o californianos. Su perfil de terroir es muy definido. Refrescante en paladar, crujiente e ideal para comidas ligeras, ensaladas y mariscos. Me pareció equilibrado y armonioso.

El tinto degustado era un coupage de la cepa xinomavro con Syrah. Procedente de Macedonia, bajo la etiqueta Naparka, añada 2017, es un vino joven, que puede aguantar más estructura. De buen aroma de frutas, le falta complejidad en paladar. Me resultó muy ligero y desequilibrado.

En materia de vinos griegos, reprobé y estoy orgullosa de mi fracaso. Eso significa que tengo que regresar al país del Olimpo, visitar sus viñedos con tiempo y aplicar lo aprendido para hacerle mayor justicia a la vitivinicultura milenaria de esta región.

Esto es lo bueno del vino, se aprende con moderación y a ritmo propio.

© Amanda Díaz de Hoyo and Paquecepas.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Amanda Díaz de Hoyo and Paquecepas.com, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Wine and Weed: Chocolate is Always a Plus


 

Cocoa alias Cacao in Spanish
This is the real thing. Cocoa beans from the Caribbean.

 

Amanda Díaz de Hoyo

There is always someone who will look at you when enjoying a glass of wine and dark chocolate. One of my favorite chocolates are Forteza from Cortés. Cortes was the very first chocolate of my childhood. Yes, I know it was when I was over 6 yrs. Old. Chocolate and I had a very rough beginning. I was alla to some debris left in the process from cocoa to chocolate. In my prehistoric knowledge of chocolate, that hot chocolate and queso de papa from my abuela Sole’s kitchen had the most amazing smell ever.

So, I made it to that sad part of my life, enjoying every chocolate I couldn’t take before, on the precise moment. Since I have taste knowledge, I have always love very dark, tanic and sometimes bitter dark chocolate. So I have tasted some good Cabernets from Napa and Chile with chocolate. Also, chiantis, tempranillos –like the one I’m pairing with the Forteza Milk chocolate as I write this paragraph, a pretty dark milk one– and so many others. Just for the thrill of tasting!

It is not only about this chocolate, the Seis de Luberri Cosecha 2014 –not even a crianza from Spain, just a more simple one– goes well with the chocolate and the weed.

Tonight I have chosen a new hybrid Critical Kush. It is a very high one in THC, so it works perfect for me. The flavor of this kush is more terroir like. I really mean earthy, creamier and spiced weed in my tasting buds. With the chocolate goes very well. The cannabis enhances the some sweet flavors of the chocolate. It shows the spicy notes of the wine. So it is no big deal, a good hybrid, a good table wine and a good hybrid go together.

There is a reason why they match so perfectly. There are similar components in all 3 that work wonders on your brain. Let me keep this simple, the 3 together have a blast “on your feel good part of the brain”.

So keeping that in mind, you can work on how to pair foods, spirits and cannabis for you well being.

Let me add a disclaimer: You must be at home, relax, do not operated any machinery or social app, and do this in moderation. Be responsible with yourself and others.

© Amanda Díaz de Hoyo and Paquecepas.com, Timetravelslife.com 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Amanda Díaz de Hoyo and Paquecepas.com, Timetravelslife.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

Suicide Mode among Chefs


By: Amanda Díaz de Hoyo

After having written about my encounter with the late Chef Anthony Bourdain for Porthole Cruise Magazine, I remembered Benoît Violier, the French chef who committed suicide en 2016 in his restaurant in France.

Is this a trend or just another mystery? Somethings we will never know for sure. The late Anthony Bourdain was a brilliant mind, you can read his point of view in social media. No problem. But was his death something to do with illness or reputation? It will take some weeks to find out, if scientific research is done and published.

Bourdain is not the only one to take this road. Violier did the same in 2016. The chef, according to an article published in The Telegraph, written by Alexandra Williams, was victim of a huge wine scam by a Swiss wine company. The then best chef of the world was 44 years old.

In 2003, Bernard Loiseau was on the verge of loosing his beloved Michelin stars. Under such stress he took his life. According to Eater.com, in an article written by Amy McKeever, published in 2013 “the Michelin Guide may have cover up its role in the affair”.

The late chef Homaro Cantu Jr, who mixed in a bowl food and science, died at 38 yrs old in 2015. He was a very creative chef who gained a Michelin star. Cantu worked with the acclaimed chef Charlie Trotter. Trotter died at 54, on 2013 due to a stroke. Cantu was a visionary in terms of food and environment according an article published in the Chicago Tribune, by Mark Caro.

Chefs David Halls and Peter Hudson had a cooking TV show for 11 years in New Zealand before moving to London. Then BBC was their home. According to pantograph-punch.com, with no formal cooking training, they were excellent hosts, cooks and entrepreneurs. Also, they were lovers in an era when being a homosexual was a crime. After chef Peter Hudson died of cancer in 92, David Halls was so depressed that committed suicide in 93.

All of them left behind a powerful statement, not written in a note, but for us to reflect upon. We are all mortals, with ups and downs. There is no true happiness unless you find it within yourself. As a society, we must really research this behavior. We have to learn that uncontrollable stress, ignorance, hatred, bigotry, and the daily excesses lead us to a complicated emotional state. Seek help from health professionals, understand your human nature. Depression is a burden that you can´t handle alone. Do not be afraid to talk about it. It can happen to anyone you know, including you.

Copamarina

© Amanda Díaz de Hoyo and Paquecepas.com, Timetravelslife.com 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Amanda Díaz de Hoyo and Paquecepas.com, Timetravelslife.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Wine and Weed: Cherry Wine Strain plus Real Wine


 

img_4006
Cherry Wine Strain. I took the picture!

My body is my lab. I have this scientific approach to everything in life nowadays. I really appreciate all my years as agricultural communicator for the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus. A plus is my background as wine writer and humanistic approach to everything. This is not a CV just plain reality…so I write as nobody reads, that’s my philosophy.

Being an open book, true to my feelings I decided to shift to wine and weed in my Paquecepas blog. I write from the heart!

With this disclaimer or whatever it is, here I’m analyzing the flavors and effects of the strain cherry wine and Prophecy Red Blend, vintage 2015.

To increase my well being and knowledge, I had to take some steps. When I decided that my CLL was going to be treated with Ayurvedic medicine, spiritual guidance, pharmacological medicine and cannabis, I started out by contacting my dear friend and wine lover Dr. Jaime Claudio Villamil. And in my health ship, a great friend, Dr. Jose Caldera Nieves, is on board, as well as the understanding of my family. This is the great coupage not to a cure for leukemia, I do not expect that, I just want dignity. With that being said, my journey to a better life has been a learning process.

So I’m having a blend of wines from Washington state and California, I’m tasting the  cherry wine strain.

Let me make clear that I’m convinced that this is a hybrid, dominated by sativa. On this century, there are no pure strains due to evolution and breeding. I haven’t had this agricultural issue explained to my bud tender from my professor point of view.

I grinded my flowers and started trying them for the  anti inflamatory properties.

My taste buds are trained for wines and spirits, but here after vaping some of this cherry wine strain, the earthy, humid soil, a little flowery taste comes to mind. After some vaping, I felt a nice up feeling, very relaxed and there is no pain in my neck nodes.

I will have to see it the accumulative results of this strain will really alleviate my neck nodes. But there is something I am proud of, it goes well with the coupage. I really bet on this strain to pair with Zinfandels from California, Primitivo from Italy and even Priorats from Spain.

For now, the after taste is clean and long.

Remember, I’m not a weed guru, just a cannabis user and wine blogger. I came from the sublingual drops to cartridges to grinning. This is better understanding of what cannabis can do for you.

Be you, be well.

Amanda Díaz de Hoyo

© Amanda Díaz de Hoyo and Paquecepas.com, Timetravelslife.com 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Amanda Díaz de Hoyo and Paquecepas.com, Timetravelslife.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.