Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pastel Pink Mummies

The Wife, Ph.D.'s Latest Nightmare
One morning a few months ago The Wife, Ph.D., and I ran out of toilet paper. Colorful IKEA napkins and a couple packs of pocket-sized tissues were on standby just in case I couldn't track down extra-soft, fragrant and medicinal rolls at the convenience store just two blocks from our apartment. The selection wasn't remarkable, but a six-pack of pastel pink toilet paper printed with evenly distributed strawberries or dandelions (depending on the angle) caught my attention with its "Buy One, Get One Free" seduction ploy. Maybe it was the paper's shades of creamy-beetroot-and-mayonnaise salad that seduced me or the fact that deep down I stalk all types of bargains. The Wife, Ph.D., took one look at the puffy tubes and for a minute I feared she would wrap me in all that pink paper during my sleep, turning me into a flowered mummy Michael Kors would have been proud of calling his own creation. Her distaste for pink TP sparked my own revelation—Cyprus rosé season was upon us.

In the past, rosé wines never really rocked my kayak. However, as I sampled more and more of The Rock's rosé, the diverse bottlings made both with local and foreign varieties grew on me and have become a spring and summer staple chez nous. Unlike the toilet paper, The Wife, Ph.D., loves their fruitiness and freshness, and I agree with my friend AK-47 when he says that it's one of the better accompaniments to the schizophrenic spread—from crisp greens to grilled meats to saucy stews—known as Cyprus meze. Some bottles—the Zambartas rosé made of Cabernet Franc and Lefkada comes to mind—have become cult-classics, selling out quicker than the time it takes me to mock The Wife, Ph.D., on these pages. Besides Commandaria, I have no hesitation whatsoever asserting that, across-the-board, rosés are the best wines being produced on The Rock.

2011 Aes Ambelis Rosé (Maratheftiko & Lefkada)
Consumers, as well as the international and local press, seem to think alike. When I spoke to Theodoros Fikardos of Fikardos Winery at last year's Limassol Wine Festival, he pointed out that his clients' most beloved wines are his dry and medium rosés, Iocasti and Valentina. Furthermore, wine journalist Yiannos Constantinou extols on the virtues of The Rock's rosés throughout his Cyprus Wine Guide, probably the leading book on Cyprus wines. Likewise, year in, year out, Angela Muir, regional chair for Central & Eastern Europe in the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA), highly recommends these wines to visitors but warns consumers to stick to the current year's vintage to enjoy maximum freshness and flavor. Personally, I find it mind-boggling that (last time I checked) The Mall's Carrefour still shelved many bottles of the 2007 (?!?) Sodap Kamantarena rosé, a wine that's definitely way past its prime and might taste like some of the really old plonk I uncorked as a joke with My Zolpidem Supplier one merry Sunday morning. This oversight is a true pity since this wine's 2010 vintage won a Silver Medal at last year's DWWA. 

What's great about The Rock's rosés is that wineries are crafting them with many different varieties, creating a wide array of distinct aromas, flavor profiles and vibrant hues. Meant to be drank young, these playful wines explode upon being uncorked with the scent of raspberries, cherries, cranberries, strawberries, pomegranate, red roses, violets and/or wild herbs, among others. To the palate, the drier ones are fresh, crisp and abundantly acidic, while those with some residual sugar (off-dry) feel weightier yet remain thirst-quenching when served at a temperature between 5 and 8 degrees Celsius. Ultimately, they are not ultra-complex but they do a fine job once the scorching heat rolls in and you spend your afternoons preparing asparagus omelets with the sidewalk as a skillet. Keep in mind that not all Cyprus rosés are great but lately I haven't come across a disappointing bottle. Besides the aforementioned, some of my favorites are Aes Ambelis (Maratheftiko & Lefkada), Ezousa (Maratheftiko) and Hadjiantonas (Cabernet Sauvignon & Shiraz). Additionally, people I trust—Cousin #2 and Radio Free Cyprus—rave about Tsangarides Winery's rosé (Shiraz), a wine I have not had the good fortune to try. The day I do, though, rest assured I will spill some all over a white tablecloth and force The Wife, Ph.D. to pat the splotches dry with some sea salt and bargain toilet paper.

2011 Aes Ambelis Rose (Maratheftiko & Lefkada) - I chose this wine to launch our humble abode's 2012 rosé season. Vibrant aroma of roses, strawberry and pomegranate. Candied strawberries and other red berries on the palate. Syrupy with good length and a nice lingering sweetness. 87/100.

2011 Zambartas Rose (Lefkada & Cabernet Franc) - Lovely red fruit (cranberry and pomegranate) on the nose with just a hint of sweetness. Bright red fruit (red apple?) throughout the palate with a tangy finish. Good acidity but not as remarkable as past years' vintages. 86/100.

2011 Tsangarides Rose (Shiraz) - Tame nose with hints of sour cherries and cranberry. Dry to the mouth with notes of raspberry and a lively acidity. In my opinion, lacked some flavor and length. 85/100.

No comments:

Post a Comment