TN: The night after Greece’s win against France

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    N_Neocleous

    TN: The night after Greece’s win against France

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    Last night Greece beat France one nil in the European Football (US translation = soccer) Championships. A tournament that is held every four years and Greece had never progressed to the knockout stage. They beat France, the favourites and current holders, in a thrilling 90 minute display of heroic defending and skilful counter-attack on the break.

    For Saturday night dinner, I wanted to add a novel twist. I decided to try mostly wines from each of the countries that Greece had played so far in the tournament. A lovely pasta dish and salad, in addition to various side dishes, were on offer and we tried the following.

    1) Russian theme – Smirnoff red vodka
    A small shot glass of this chilled spirit set the evening on the right note.

    2) French theme – Laytons Reserve – NV Brut Champagne
    Light yellow, lots of bubbly fizz. Fresh lemon meringue on the nose. A citrus mouthfeel, some mid palate action but a disappointingly short finish.

    3) Spanish theme - 1994 Faustino Gran Reserva (Rioja)
    Poured straight from the bottle, a dark strawberry red with a pink rim. The nose showed lots of Volatile acidity, old oak barrels in a negative way, damp leaves and overripe tinned strawberries. A medium bodied, silky wine with totally resolved tannins and a decent if uninspiring length. If you own any bottles, now is the time to drink them. Judging by my experience with this wine (four bottles in the last 18 months), it is on its downhill run.

    3) Portuguese theme – 1985 Warre’s Vintage Port (Douro)
    Double decanted 4 hours in advance. A medium strawberry red, the rim almost has no colour, just a hint of pink. The nose displays nuances of soft dates and a little alcohol. Medium mouthfeel, a prickle of acidity, and the warm mid palate holds well to the pleasing finish. An uncomplicated vintage Port that has entered its drinking window, for my palate. I have to say I have tasted bottles from other sources that seem younger than my parcel.

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