Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sleepless in Row One Eight Seven

It's tough for me to sleep on airplanes. I'm the opposite of The Wife, Ph.D., who minutes before takeoff unlaces her shoes, drapes a blanket over her small frame, rests her head on the window and several hours later needs an extra-strong coffee to acknowledge my cranky presence next to her. While she dreams, I watch lame movies and television series, spread runny cheese on stale bread, stuff my face with complementary Twix bars, and try to read without being interrupted by sudden turbulence. If someone remotely interesting is on the other side, I'll talk and talk and talk as if the airplane's engines depended on my verbosity to keep humming. In the past, I've even self-medicated with drowsy cough syrup, which helped me get some shuteye but seemed somewhat irresponsible. These days—no surprises here—I get sloshed on multiple aviation bottles (187 ml) of average wine and wake up depressed and hungover yet with little recollection of the trip. Hyperbole is indeed my middle name so don't be too frightened if one day you are sitting next to me on a transatlantic flight.

Four down, one to go
Besides helping me cope with travel, these minute bottles are ideal for certain occasions. First, they keep my drinking during dinner in check; no longer do I feel tempted to polish off a regular-sized bottle with little assistance from The Wife, Ph.D. Plus, I still experience the sense of accomplishment that comes from consuming an entire bottle minus the massive blow to the liver. Second, it facilitates multiple tastings of fresh wines without the uncorked bottles sitting around to be finished a day or two later and being exposed to oxidation. Third, I can stuff a bottle or two down my pants and smuggle them into a boring football match, Greek theater, Sunday mass, doctor appointments, AA meetings and lonely nights in bed.

Here on The Rock, as far as I know, your best bets for decent Cypriot wine in aviation bottles are Aes Ambelis and Makkas Winery. Alfa Mega stocks miniature versions of Makkas' white, rosé and red and these have become my go-to wines on school nights.

2011 Makkas Red Dry (Grenache, Shiraz, Maratheftiko and Lefkada) - This was the highest-rated Cypriot wine at the 2012 Decanter World Wine Awards. Very smoky and meaty nose with a floral component and a touch of cherries. Chewy tannins, great mouth-feel, good weight and smooth transitions. Flavor-wise, meaty and earthy with notes of red fruit. 88/100.

2011 Makkas Rodostafylo Rosé (Maratheftiko and Lefkada) - To the nose, sweet red fruit like pomegranate and candied strawberries. Tastes predominantly of raspberries but I found it kind of mild and rather flat. Short with a bitter finish. 80/100.

2011 Makkas White Dry (Chardonnay and Xynisteri) - Green apples, peaches and a citrus component come together in a pretty nose with some sweetness to it. Medium-bodied with a flavor profile that recalls tropical fruits (some pineapple, some guava) and citrus. Fresh and good for the summer. 84/100.


Wine Cyprus said...

Pity these bottles don't actually fly with CYair

Mateo Jarrin Cuvi said...

True. These would do well representing Cypriot wine to travelers.

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