Friday, December 6, 2013

An Afternoon with George Kassianos & Chile's Cono Sur Wines

Hard At Work
For those of you who are out of the loop, I have turned to radio-broadcasting in an attempt to jump-start my flailing career as a [fill in the blank]. For about two months now, I have been hosting a show called "On The Panamerican Highway" on MYCYradio dedicated to all-things Latin America. A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing George Kassianos, chief sommelier for Thanos Hotels in Paphos, on Latin American wine. We also held a live wine tasting of Chile's Cono Sur's range of budget wines. I want to thank George Kassianos for his invaluable knowledge, Photos Photiades Distributors for providing us with the wines, and the dope Cyprus Community Media Center staff and The Wife, Ph.D., for partaking in our raucous tasting. If you're interested, the recordings of the hour-plus-long show can be found below. Fast-forward to minute 7:00 of Part 1 to get started.

Part 1
Part 2

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Best. White. Period.

Red & White
And so I've found the best white wine produced on The Rock. By goleada as a South American football fan would exclaim.

Kyperounda Winery recently launched a line of high-end wines under the label Epos. These wines, a red and a white, are made from Kyperounda's own vineyards, which allows the oenology team to monitor the grapes' development and release products that closely mirror the winery's terroir. Each bottle costs about 18 Euros, and the white, for Radio Free Cyprus' and my amateurish wine sampling skills, is simply superb.

2011 Kyperounda Epos White (Chardonnay) - Beautiful, rounded nose of pears, green apples, a hint of citrus fruits and oak. Fullish on the palate with notes of citrus, pears and white pepper. Quite long and with good acidity for a Chardonnay. 91/100.

2009 Kyperounda Epos Red (Cabernet Sauvignon & Shiraz) - Nice red fruit, black pepper, some dark cherry, coffee and oak on the nose.What is most attractive about this wine is a subtle note of licorice, mint and/or eucalyptus that sings throughout. Medium bodied with smooth tannins. 89/100.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Wino Ref Nicosia: Battle Cypriot Lager

A billboard is to blame. I first caught its eye on Paralimni's main road, standing tall and proud, announcing to whomever paid attention that Leon, The Rock's afterthought of a beer, had received one Golden Star for "Notable Taste" from the Belgium-based International Taste & Quality Institute Superior Taste Award. My curiosity piqued, I decided it was an opportune time to stage the blog's second ever blind tasting, this time around with Cyprus' three lagers, KEO, Carlsberg and Leon, as our secret ingredient. The first, if you're late to the party, was an infamous horizontal tasting of 2007 Cypriot Shiraz.

Before KEO's and Leon's Facelifts
When there are no American IPAs lying around and push comes to shove, I always choose KEO. It's fuller and hoppier, and does a better job quenching one's thirst thanks to the blessing of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus, the company's largest shareholder. Carlsberg, on the other hand, I find blander than Little Miss Despot's salt-less brown vegetable purees. To label it "probably the best beer in the world" is akin to calling Miley Cyrus' fondness for sledgehammers "cute." Besides its fierce name, Leon was (up until the night of our tasting) an enigma. I think I tried one five years ago, but at the time my senses and judgement were clouded by the glorious view of Fig Tree Bay from Zefkas Restaurant, the summer heat and the four or five KEOs that had preceded it.

Coming into the tasting, our venerable panel of judges (The Disney-Obsessed Man Child, The Father-in-Law, Cousin #1 and me) was fairly confident it could single out KEO, the beer each member considered the best of the lot. To give you an idea of this belief, The Disney-Obsessed Man Child, who, I must mention for the purpose of full disclosure, owns a weekend retreat in Never Never Land, thinks KEO is God's gift to earth. Plus, his marriage to KEO is longer than that to his wife Minnie Mouse; his first, albeit indirect, taste of the beer was while splashing around amniotic fluid. As the sole alien foreigner in our panel, I was at an obvious disadvantage; my inaugural KEO happened only eight years ago and my preference for hoppy beers was bound to throw my palate for a loop. Still, I had ample faith in my abilities as a taster.

Herein are the results:

Tasting #1 - Friday Night
(Beers ranked in order of *blind* preference)

Mateo: Leon, Carlsberg, KEO
DOMC: KEO, Carlsberg, Leon
Father-in-Law: Leon, KEO, Carlsberg

Tasting #2 -Saturday Night
(Beers ranked in order of *blind* preference)

Mateo: Carlsberg, KEO, Leon
DOMC: KEO, Carlsberg, Leon
Cousin #1: KEO, Carlsberg, Leon

In conclusion, I don't know shit about lagers.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

In The Deep Blue Sea

Here are two fascinating videos on Gaia Winery's project to find out how their Thalassitis Santorini P.D.O. Assyrtiko will age underwater. The first clip shows the actual process of submerging the wines, while the second is an interview with Yiannis Paraskevopoulos, winemaker and co-owner of Gaia, discussing this effort. Next year, they plan on comparing their 2009 cellar-aged Thalassitis to that of the same vintage that's been kept underwater in the Aegean Sea for five years. I would love to sit in on that tasting!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Something Different #3

Yeah, I know I've been bad. Call it the summer blues. To make it up to you, though, here's my short story, "Milk and Cookies," which I submitted to the 'Creative Writing Competition: the Transformative Power of Words’ organized by Reading the Lines and the Cyprus Association on Books for Young People. Lo and behold, I won Second Best in Show and a nice contribution to the Jarrin Wine & Diaper (J-WAD) fund.

The first time our family’s chauffer drove us through the gargantuan favela, my younger brother and I cowered in the backseat of our grey Volkswagen station wagon. Had Mother known about our driver’s brash decision that morning, she would’ve fired him on the spot. But rush-hour traffic heading into the city from the southwestern beachfront properties of the rich was heavy, and the winding, uncongested road into the shantytown ended on the other side at the American international school’s main gate.
The school—six hexagonal towers that rose from a lush forest like giant honeycombs—educated the sons and daughters of foreign diplomats, country managers of multinational corporations, wealthy Brazilian families and Protestant missionaries. Students’ padlocked metallic lockers lined each floor’s long encircling balconies and the view east showcased at a distance Corcovado’s arm-spread Christ and Sugar Loaf. Even the buildings’ less privileged sides were witnesses to nature’s beauty. From my English classroom, its wide doors shrunk like oriental folding screens into the greenness that surrounded us, we saw macaques swing from limb to limb, gnawing on anything edible and chattering in the same way preschoolers do.
Like my brother and me, students wore typical American brands and head-banged to typical American bands. For the studious, school time was for sealing a spot at an Ivy League or Stanford; for the lazy, smokes, gossip and sexual innuendo in an isolated vertex of one of the hexagons. After-school hours were spent figuring out how to hit B-Flat on a saxophone or a worn-out softball over the school’s massive fences that protected its grounds from the neighboring slum’s miscreants. Students vacationed in Miami, Aspen or Paris and came back each time with scrummy candy, fashionable alternative music and hip haircuts. There was little life beyond those blocks, the southwestern high-rises with their private pools and garrulous maids, and the shopping malls, movie theaters, and country clubs that served as weekend escapes.
I didn’t know what to expect but I imagined a scene out of a Hollywood action movie. A potholed road narrowed by thousands of haphazard shacks made of cardboard boxes, aluminum panels and mud spread out like an infection into the mountainside. Rotting garbage piled up outside and the acrid smell that impregnated itself onto one’s hair and skin was impossible to scrub off. Scrawny children ran barefoot behind a wobbly ball, while older versions of themselves, bandanas covering their pursed lips, manned each meandering passage with rusty weapons and vicious stares. These same men—I pictured them as dark skinned and muscular versions of Tony Montana—catcalled aging prostitutes, who traipsed along the streets revealing too much of their product and expecting too little in return, and sold tainted drugs to addicts that floated along like ghosts. Any random dark overcast afternoon, a swarm of rainwater, sludge and human waste would slither down the hill like a nest of snakes, knocking down the makeshift homes and slowing to a halt with all of its weighty baggage on a wide sandy beach in front of the Atlantic Ocean.
The car pushed its way over a few bumps on the main road and I took a quick peek out the window. Our chauffer, a potbellied older man who’d been with our family for about a month, caught sight of my trepidation from the rearview mirror. He chuckled and shook his head in disbelief while expertly shifting gears.
“There’s no danger, boys. Take a look,” he said.
I sat up and pressed my face against the window. Motorcycles, cars and trucks rumbled up and down the hillside. The nondescript structures—homes, shops, apartments, schools and offices—that skirted the road were bunched like books on a shelf, combinations of brick, concrete and tiles that swallowed most signs of plant life throughout the neighborhood. Mothers dressed in work attires held uniformed children by their hands and waited in one of many sheltered and well-marked bus stops. Shop owners unlocked their storefront security gates and slid them open for their employees to mop the floors and sweep the dirty water down the storm drain. Pushy street vendors peddled traditional foods and drinks to pedestrians who consumed them on the run, and boys selling chewy candies, tropical fruit, gossip rags or windshield wiping services approached stopped cars eager for a shiny coin or crumpled bill. It was a hustle and bustle similar to that I experienced on visits with my family to fancier neighborhoods like Ipanema or Leblon.
“Jorge, it’s busy like this every day?” I asked.
He nodded.
“How about at nighttime?”
He laughed again and told me it was sufficiently lit and safe as long as we didn’t wander into the alleyways that branched off the thoroughfare like dark tributaries to a major river. I unbuckled my seatbelt and jumped into the empty front seat for a better view of the controlled chaos.
“Do you know anyone who lives here?” I asked.
“Yes. Actually, we all do.”
“No way. I do not,” I quickly retorted.
“Don’t be so surprised,” he uttered as the German car hit a final left turn and shut down its engine outside the school’s heavily fortified gates.
“See you kids at one-thirty, okay?” Jorge said.
We swung the car’s doors open and jumped out. Our bulky school backpacks dangled off of our feeble shoulders as we darted past the armed guards to catch up with our friends and finish last night’s math homework. Jorge sped away to run endless errands for Mother.
On the way back from school, Jorge swerved off the favela’s main road and parked the car outside an unfinished two-story house. A group of laughing older women sat on plastic lawn chairs outside a contiguous home fanning themselves with old newspapers and drinking hot coffee in espresso cups. A few stray dogs rummaged through garbage bags that had been piled next to a lamppost and a hand-painted sign signaled left to the neighborhood’s Assembleia de Deus temple.
“This is my home,” he said. “I would like you to meet my wife.”
My wide-eyed brother turned to face me and reached for my fingers.
“We want to go home, Jorge,” I pleaded, my heart skipping a beat.
“That’s fine, boys. If you don’t want to get off for a few minutes, I will take you back.” Jorge restarted the car and took a deep breath.
“My wife and I cannot have children,” he blurted out and rubbed his eyes with the palm of his calloused hands.
“We tried and tried. We prayed each Sunday and confided in our pastor for strength. But God preferred for us to be alone and we’ve learned to live with His decision.”
A slim snowy-haired woman—she wore reading glasses, black rubber sandals and a white and blue flowered dress that fluttered with each measured step—tapped the driver’s window with her bare knuckles. Jorge rolled it down and smiled.
“Hello, dear. Boys, this is my wife, Sônia,” he said.
My brother and I apprehensively waved. Sônia greeted us and asked about our day. At first, we hesitated but her motherly countenance and the warmth of her voice put us at ease. I told her about the tying goal I had headed in during recess and my brother revealed how he pretends to be a Japanese television action hero around his classmates. She clapped her hands and chuckled at our childish tales.
“My husband talks about you all the time. He says you’re wonderful children and I’m happy to have finally met you. Would you boys like to come in for a snack?” Sônia asked. In unison, we shook our heads and grimaced.
Without saying goodbye, she turned around and walked back into the exposed brick house. Jorge stormed out of the car and told us to stay inside. “I will be right back,” he repeated and locked the doors. My brother and I got scared; he whimpered and I banged the car’s paneling with my clenched fist yelling out our driver’s name but he disappeared behind his wife. I cradled my brother and waited.
Minutes later, though, Sônia, followed by Jorge, returned lugging a large wicker basket. Upon opening the front passenger door, she set the container on the rubber floor mat, kneeled down on the leather seat and yanked out a variety of foods.
“We thought it’d be nicer to have a picnic. What do you think?” she asked.
My brother wiped a few tears off of his cheeks and we nodded. Jorge said a short prayer before his wife served us chocolate chip cookies out of a sealed pack, some banana slices on paper napkins and plastic cups topped with lukewarm milk.
“Don’t worry about making a mess. I’ll take the car for cleaning as soon as I drop you off,” Jorge assured us. Sônia grinned and spoke to us forever about crocheting, cooking garlicky black beans and her favorite evening soap opera. We stuffed our faces to our heart’s content and never told a soul.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Three for Monday #6

It's summer in Cyprus and things tend to run slow. Including my already plodding self.

* Here's a fascinating interactive map of all American wineries courtesy of The New York Times.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Captain Haddock and The Spuds from Mars

Despite my Andean heritage, I am not one to get turned on by spuds. I certainly appreciate hand-cut, crispy and discerningly salted French fries, but more often than not potatoes on my plate are pushed aside like sucked-on olive stones. So when I set out to track down The Rock's premier fish and chips joint—one positive remnant of eighty years of British colonial rule over the island—the chips were the least of my worries.

Lambros' "gazebo" in Dhekelia
Whomever I asked for pointers on lightly battered, perfectly fried fish sent me in the direction of the sovereign British base of Dhekelia in southeastern Cyprus. Figures, no? Overlooking a beautiful bay, home to the Dhekelia Leisure Centre, you will stumble upon Lambros Fish & Chips, arguably The Rock's best eatery of its kind and, if you ask The Wife, Ph.D., one of my many obsessions. On hot summer days, sun-kissed people pack the dark beach below and children waddle through the minute waves that wash ashore. I already envision weekend excursions with The Wife, Ph.D., and Little Miss Despot to stake claim on a few sunbeds and umbrellas and, come lunchtime, take away a few large servings of deep fried haddock and a bottle of Cypriot white to devour by the sea while the daughter swallows sand as if it were Beluga caviar.

Haddock fish and chips
There's nothing fancy about the restaurant. There's a nondescript indoor area and, across the pedestrian walkway, a large rectangular "gazebo" that skirts the seaside and seats most patrons. The furniture is made of durable plastic, and a few annoying feral cats hang out under the tables and pray for a morsel of seafood to fall from the heavens. Even though the menu includes all sorts of goodies (the souvlakia, which I had once, is quite good), their pièce de résistance is rather obvious if you peruse other people's plates. Haddock, cod and plaice are your options and there's plenty of vinegar to douse the fish with. On my last visit, I tasted both the haddock and cod, ultimately preferring the former for its fishier taste and flakier texture. If you like a meatier, less briny meal, definitely go with the cod. What's the money, though, is the batter—light, airy, crunchy, and with hardly any signs of the oil used for the deep fry. The crust is thin so you actually taste the fish and not just greasy, thick dough as in other lesser versions of this English classic. Not sure what's their secret but it makes it worth the momentary arterial shock.

2012 Ayioklima Xynisteri
If you're not a purist and opt to stray from the classic pint of KEO to match your meal, the wine list is basic but good enough to chance upon a decent bottle. The 2012 Ayioklima Xynisteri by Constantinou Winery, for example, had going for it a very subtle fizz and pleasant aromas of citrus and tropical fruits such as pineapple and mango. Otherwise, there's the always reliable Kyperounda Petritis, one of few Cypriot Xynisteris that ages, and a few of the island's vibrant rosés.

With that said, next time you're at Lambros, look out for an overweight Ecuadorian cholo, wife and sand-covered kid in tow. Stop by, say hello and please help yourself to my fries.

Whine On The Rocks' Rating: 4 out of 5 Sparkling Spatulas

Monday, July 8, 2013

Three for Monday #5

* Another shining review for Greece's bootylicious variety Assyrtiko. Upon tasting the 2012 Sigalas Santorini Assyrtiko, certified sommelier and blogger Stevie Stacionis of Serious Eats called the wine "fierce."

* Wine Commanders highlights a new project by Cretan wineries Lyrarakis and Manousakis, who combined forces to create a new line of red and white blends called 2-Mazi ("Together"). Check them out as a portion of the profits will be donated to the Hellenic Society for Disabled Children.

* A good piece on daughters in New Zealand following in their father's footsteps and taking over the family business. Part of the article focuses on Villa Maria Estate, one of the island's most awarded wineries. Just in case, Cypriots, you can find Villa Maria wines at Remuage Wine Boutique in Paphos.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Three for Monday #4

* Aegean Pan, a blog on stories and photos of life in the Aegean Sea, has a wonderful set of photos of Argyros Estate's production of Vinsanto on Santorini. Deserves a good look.

* Andrew Hall's blog on random interesting things has a decent post on The Anama Concept. He claims the 2008 is the best of the bunch. What do you think?

* Did you know Virginia (Go Hoos!) is the United States' fifth largest wine-producing state? The drinks business has an article on how Virginia is trying to become the East Coast's wine capital. Finger Lakes, watch out!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Three for Monday #3

* Excellent piece in The Jerusalem Post on wine production in the eastern Mediterranean with a focus on countries neighboring Israel. Two paragraphs are dedicated to Cyprus, and Sodap Kamanterena, Vlassides, Zambartas and Kyperounda are mentioned.

* A map of Santorini with the location of all of its wineries courtesy of Santorini Wine Adventure!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Well, Not All of Us Age Like Clooney

A week ago, My Zolpidem Supplier, The Wife, Ph.D., and I met at Vinocultura for Whine On The Rocks' second ever vertical tasting. Our first was a roughshod affair on a balcony in Limassol involving various excellent vintages of Domaine Vlassides Cabernet Sauvignon. This one, instead, exuded class—multiple sparkling glasses, an oenologist as guide, spittoons, a crowd of thirty-plus oenophiles, and wines for sale. What's rather interesting was the wine selected for the vertical, Kyperounda Winery's Petritis, made of the indigenous grape Xynisteri, which (for all intent and purposes) is meant to be consumed within a year or two of release. Unlike other Xynisteris, though, Petritis "spends 6 months in stainless steel, 3 months in oak barrels and 6 months on the lees," a process that certainly extends its lifetime as evinced from the vertical. Besides this specific choice in wine-making, Kyperounda also boasts of south-facing, high-altitude (roughly 1,400 meters above sea level!) vineyards in an area with one of the lowest relative humidity levels on the island.

Kyperounda oenologist, Minas Mina, who was onsite to lead us through the tasting and answer our questions, also commented briefly on Maratheftiko, the big-berried, thin-skinned, pain-in-the-ass-to-grow variety that most experts claim is the most promising grape on The Rock. He ascertained that its production is extremely difficult, and that this year, for example, for the one hectare of Maratheftiko planted by the winery, the yield was a rather meager 200 kilograms.

Anyhow, without further ado, our noggins, palates and imagination at work:

Kyperounda Petritis 2012 — Bottled three weeks or so ago so it might need some time to develop. Waxy, white pepper, rather closed nose. Palate defined by citrus, apricots, some floral components and a touch of honey. Ranked 5 out of 8.

Kyperounda Petritis 2011 — Pleasant sweet nose with touches of honey and caramel. Great acidity on the palate with a grapefruit, citrus finish. Ranked 3 out of 8.

Kyperounda Petritis 2010 — Here the wine starts to yellow a bit. Smoky, dusty nose with a hint of flowers. Much fuller to the mouth but with diluted taste and little finish. Ranked 6 out of 8.

Kyperounda Petritis 2009 — This vintage won a Grand Gold Medal at the 5th Cyprus Wine Competition. Lovely bread-y nose with nuances of stone fruits and quince. Again, much fuller, very smooth with stone fruit rounding out the palate. Ranked 2 out of 8.

Kyperounda Petritis 2008 — Undisputed best in show. Great acidity, smooth, citrus finish with hints of honey. Feels awfully fresh for a five-year old Xynisteri. Minas told us that the 2011, 2008 and 2005 vintages were very similar given those years' cool summers. Here's hoping the 2011 develops as nicely as this one. Ranked 1 out of 8.

Kyperounda Petritis 2007 — Sweetcorn (high levels of dymethil sulfide?) and vegetal nose. Practically flat with little body or flavor profile. Granted, it might have been unfair to follow the stellar 2008 with this clunker. Ranked 8 out of 8.

Kyperounda Petritis 2005 — Again, a touch of sweetcorn matched with some smokiness, leather and cedar. Good acidity for an 8-year old. Long finish, smooth and remarkably sweet. Not quite sure whether it is peaking or already on its downhill. Still, ranked 4 out of 8.

Kyperounda Petritis 2003 — Better than 2007 but also felt flat. A smidgeon oxidized. Ranked 7 out of 8.

Summarizing, here are the final rankings, best to not best — 2008, 2009, 2011, 2005, 2010, 2012, 2003, 2007

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Case of Questions with Elena Sophocleous Toth,

Elena Sophocleous Toth, mastermind behind the quite useful, was kind enough to participate in the blog's Case of Questions. I wrote a very short profile of the service a few months ago and reached out to Elena to gauge her interest in participating. Voila the result.

Why wine?

EST: Since our move from Sweden to the island we discovered Cyprus really has world class quality wines. I wanted to learn more...

First wine that really captured your attention? How old were you?

EST: I think when starting to explore Stockholm's many fabulous fine-dining restaurants in my mid-twenties I started to speak a special dialect of French involving bouquet and tannins.

All-time favorite bottle of wine?

EST: Ha. It must be that unlabeled bottle of white my friend received from her work. It was the last most unwanted bottle, as she was late to the party. When I visited her that middle-of-the-week afternoon, she invited me to join her and her toddler daughter for a simple meal. I remember we had fish fingers and we uncorked that mystery bottle to find a year imprinted under the cork: 1975. Had it gone sour? Flush it down the drain? So glad we didn't. It was absolutely fab. (Very special food-wine pairing.)

Favorite wine-producing region? Why?

EST: Currently into local wines. Not sure Cyprus counts as a region though? [Editor's Note: Of course!] France otherwise. No specific region in mind.

Favorite wine-and-food pairing? 

EST: Awesome red with red meat and nice white/rose with seafood/fish/white meat That's how far my food-wine pairing skills stretch. Let me get back [to you] in 10 years.

What is Cyprus missing when it comes to wine?

EST: Recognition locally and worldwide. The “buy local” trend can help increase sales of our great local wines. Cooperation between wineries are truly great initiatives such as for filling international demands as embraced by beautiful Mrs Olivia Haggipavlu @ ETKO.

What do you foresee for Cyprus's wine industry? 

EST: Positive growth!

What do you enjoy most about your work in the wine world?

EST: My wine work consists of enjoying lovely wine with fantastic people. No more.

What is your "Five Year Plan" for your business?

EST: Keeping the service up-to-date, useful and perhaps market it more.

Who is your favorite wine personality? Why?

EST: Marcos Zambartas, the humble star (besides his father) of Zambartas Wineries.

Any embarrassing episodes involving spilled wine, corkscrews, sommeliers or drunken behavior? 

EST: Me? Naaah.

Of course, your all-time favorite island wine?

EST: Thinking of some jewels from Zambartas or Kyperounta.

For more information, you can reach here.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Three for Monday #2

* Palate Press, the online wine magazine, has a great article penned by Michael Cervin on the rise of Cretan wines. The piece highlights the white variety Vidiano, calling it the island's flagship grape, and supports my opinion that Vilana, the most planted type, makes average wines.

* The Marlborough (New Zealand) Express summarized a July 2013 Decanter article on a tasting of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs priced under 15 Euros. According to the world's leading wine magazines, "people who drink New Zealand sauvignon blanc are looking for new and exciting styles of the country's flagship wine."

* Some crazy professor in France wants to shut down wine blogs and forbid wine-related tweets. Mishimou, he says it will help reduce alcoholism and drinking among the young. Ridiculous, n'est-ce pas?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Three for Monday #1

I've decided to launch a weekly post ("Three for Monday") that will highlight island wine-related articles that caught my eye during the past week. If you have any interesting pieces to include, please add them to the comments section. Happy reading, happier drinking.

* The article Cyprus wine has been raving about. Jancis Robinson, one of the world's preeminent wine connoisseurs, tasted the 2011 Kyperounda Petritis and loved it.

 * Design and branding are important. Elloinos, one of Greek wine's biggest fans and promoters, highlights Cypriot The Anama Concept's sophisticated collector's bottles. Also, Vouni Panayia Winery's labels got a wonderful makeover courtesy of designer Marios Karystios, and The Dieline, a company dedicated to the packaging design industry, tells us what they love about them.

* If you read the blog and my crazy tweets, you know I have a soft spot for Pinot Noir. Will Lyons, wine columnist for The Wall Street Journal, writes about his favorite New Zealand Pinot Noirs. Make sure to check out the slideshow at the bottom of the article! (Last time I checked, Bottles in Limassol stocks Felton Road.)