Smashing plates to inspire Cyprus wine tastes

Magical Cooking by Maria Elia inspired in Cyprus to reach the bookshelves in time for aspiring winemaking

Smashing plates with maria elia

“Eat well feeds the soul” a fulfilled task endorses Ferrán Adrià, about Maria´s newest editorial proposal; Smashing Plates; Greek Flavours Redefined

That magical effect that cooking can bring to the palate, accompanied with wine, is an invitation to be inspired. Evolving tastes deeply rooted in one’s origins can also contribute to inspire other creators within the gastronomic spectrum to seek out how to match this renovation which calls also for adding news styles of wines, pushing the limits of local grapes and winemaking.

Smashing Plates is an invitation for those that love the fresh flavours of Greek and Mediterranean cuisines, and who are not afraid to be adventurous in the kitchen with flavours and combinations. The 120 recipes are inspired by Maria’s Cypriot roots and a summer spent cooking at her father’s taverna in the Troodos mountains.

From delicious vegetable dishes such as Carrot Keftedes to food of the seas such as Courgette and Feta Crumbed Squid, alongside a tempting range of sweet dishes including Watermelon Mahalepi, Rose Water and Almond chocolate tea cakes and Chocolate Tahini Cake.

Smashing Plates is a stunning compendium of Maria’s inventive recipes that will open the readers eyes to a whole new world of Greek cooking, with its focus on fresh food, vegetables and olive oil, is healthy, affordable and delicious. Maria’s inventive approach gives it a contemporary appeal.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqhEBzC-IbA&w=480&h=360]

Nothing like smashing recipes to inspire grape crushing and winemaking in Cyprus as work in the wineries goes into full swing.

About Maria Elia

Maria Elia Chef CookMaria Elia’s love of cooking developed as a child growing up in the kitchen of her Greek Cypriot father’s restaurant. After a rigorous apprenticeship, Maria began her progression through the culinary world. She worked in Italy, America and Australia, spent time cooking at El Bulli and Arzak restaurants in Spain and at The Oriental Cooking School in Bangkok. www.thisismariaelia.com

The regional flavours of these far-flung places feature in Maria’s own recipes with considerable originality, earning her many fans during her tenures as head chef at Delfina and the Whitechapel Gallery Dining Room, where she garnered 2 AA rosettes and a Michelin recommendation. During her time as the executive chef at Joe’s in South Kensington, Maria continued to astound with her imaginative and flavoursome dishes. Not surprisingly, she was voted one of the Top 10 Female Chefs to watch by the Independent. Maria has appeared regularly on television programmes, including BBC Saturday Kitchen, Market Kitchen and Perfect, and contributes to various publications such as, BBC Good Food Magazine, Olive, Waitrose, Delicious and The Guardian. Alongside The Modern Vegetarian, she is the author of the award-winning cookbook Full of Flavour, also published by Kyle Books.

Smashing Plates is published by Kyle Books and is to be released on the 26th of September, 2013.
At Amazon Smashing Plates: Greek Flavours Redefined (affiliate link)

Harvest in Cyprus has begun, The grapes are here

By all my Evoinos! The grapes have arrived. Cyprus Wine 2013 Vintage is on

Cyprus Grape harvest has begun.

It is with these creates of grapes that Harvest begins in Cyprus. A hearty welcome to the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes at the Zambartas Winery in Ayios Amvrosios

It feels like we’ve been suddenly relieved. As if it were a miracle, the lifecycle is put into gear again and we begin again. Eight months of the year listening and falling out to false expectations, these grapes, as international as they may be, right now they’re the most welcomed of guests that tonight will occupy the cool chambers of the winery.

The work has begun, and he who has no hand to lend, should now hold forever his peace.

All that wasn’t said and was left undone is just today part of a history chapter that has great chances of not even being written. That’s all for now, let’s just rejoice for the farmers, eonologists, wine makers and winery owners – the continuity has been ensured.

Great work ahead and Καλα κρασια (Kala krasia, Good Wine, Bon Vins)

Xynisteri reveals it’s second nature for Cyprus dry white wine

A secret about Cyprus Wine not to be taken as an advertisement – Xynisteri actually does age

Ezousa Xynisteri 2008
Most Xynisteri white wines produced in Cyprus are actually meant for year-in consumption. However, a few winemakers, exhibiting patience and care for longevity, have been as of late, pleasantly surprised about how Xynisteri expresses today it’s second nature.

The downside to this is that only few selected wineries and  have any well maintained stock to express this nature for the upcoming interest by Winelovers, yet this upcoming appreciation does open possibilities for expanding future styles of Xynisteri.

Pictured:  Xynisteri 100%, 2008 Ayios Chrysostomos, Ezousa Winery

Petritis Xynisteri Vertical Tasting in Kyperounda Pitsilia

The coming of Age of Xynisteri

A desirable appetite for New Generation Wines from Cyprus

Petritis Xynisteri Vertical Tasting in Kyperounda PitsiliaThat taste which washed away a 30 year myth – Is this a far fetched afterthought for Cyprus Wines and Xynisteri grape?

Don’t just take it from us,  seemingly, that past and sleepy giant is slowly but surely awakening to be appreciated again; A few years back it was in the words of  a surprised Jancis Robinson.

Some of the worst wine I have tasted since I started writing about wine was what was available the one time we went on holiday to the far-eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus in 1983. The whites showed the most old fashioned of faults, oxidation, clearly having been made without recourse to temperature control. Rather charmingly retro in a way.   BUT THE OTHER DAY,…..I came across this marvel, Kyperounda, Petritis Xynisteri 2011 Cyprus, so fresh and bursting with fruit

You can take reviews for whatever they’re worth, but in the context of wiping out 30 years of sustained negative review – the latest positive appreciation, is quite an achievement by the Petritis Xynisteri from Kyperounda.

Well done to the winemakers at Kyperounda Winery and the efforts of HallgartenDruitt (Novum Wines) and other importers, for taking a risk to  make more Cyprus Wines available on their local markets.

Update 2015: The upcoming 8th Cyprus Wine Competition is to be celebrated in Limassol during the month of April.


For your interest: The actual Cyprus Wine Competition results sets the quality benchmark for Cyprus Wines.

Here: Consult current Cyprus Wine Awards (2012) results.

Wines & Vines ZineFlip Through Cyprus Wines on your Device Wines and Vines from Cyprus - Evoinos Cyprus Wine

Decanter Awards Silver Lining for Cyprus Wine with Commandaria

The silver lining at the Decanter Awards 2013 for Cyprus Wine participation

Sodap Commandaria Decanter Awards 2013

The results are in,  Decanter Annual Awards of 2013 have been discerned and Cyprus Wines participating may have been the highest in recent years, if it hadn’t been for some significant wineries not participating among the 23 wines being judged in this 2013 edition.  Nonetheless, this year’s participating wines  do carry the spirit for Cyprus Wines and the constancy in the pursuit of further excellence.  Congratulations to the new wineries participating and to Sodap and 2002 vintage of St. Barnabas Commandaria – still carrying the flag for the absolute taste of Cyprus in Wine.

Below you may find a summary of the participating wines and wineries.

 Silver  Bronze  Commended
 Sodap Saint Barnabas 2002 Aes Ambelis Aes Ambelis Omiros 2010 Aes Ambelis Ektor 2010
K&K Vasilikon Winery Ayios Onoufrios 2010 Aes Ambelis Xinisteri-Semillon 2012
K&K Vasilikon Winery Methy 2009 Makkas Winery Gold, Chardonnay 2011
Prophet Elias Winery Gerolemo Muscat 2012 Makkas Winery Gold, Merlot 2010
Sodap Kamanterena Xynisteri 2012 Makkas Winery Gold, Rodostafylo 2012
Sodap Stroumbeli Maratheftiko Rosé 2012 Makkas Winery Syrah 2010
The Anama Concept Anama 2010 Prophet Elias Winery Gerolemo Riesling 2012
Prophet Elias Winery Gerolemo Roze Maratheftiko 2012
Sodap Kamanterena Rhine Riesling 2012
Sodap Mountain Vines Semillon 2012
Sodap Mountain Vines, Cabernet Sauvignon-Maratheftiko 2009
Sodap Stroumbeli Chardonnay 2012
Sodap Stroumbeli Shiraz 2009
The Anama Concept Anama 2009
Vouni Panayia Winery Barba Yiannis 2009

Vouni Panayia Winery New Visual Identity

Capturing a time and a place in Panayia.

The passing of generations of winemaking in Panayia has bred life for a new generation with passion, great care and enthusiasm inspired by Andreas Kyriakides and family which have place with relentless faith in indigenous grapes cultivated exclusively in the winery’s vineyards carrying all distinctiveness of the Panayia region.

The Mouflon still plays a prominent role on the label, standing prominently, a clear reflection of mountain viticulture. Although a much younger stylized icon with the letter V as a unique element common to the newly designed labels symbolizing the new generation of Kyriakides family that play an active part nowadays in running the winery.

vouni panayia winery new identity

A newly redesign of it’s visual identity, Vouni Panayia Winery opens itself to a renewal with the launch of new labels that unveil the past, focus on the present and looks towards the future as a reflection of the foundations and vision of the family winery incorporates younger winemaking generation. All wines from Vouni Panayia Winery will incorporate new label design.

Mondial du Rosé, a natural habitat for Maratheftiko

Honor to Rosés and honor to the Mondial du Rosé competition with Cyprus Wine.

Maratheftiko Rosé captures silver at the Mondial du Rosé Competition

Recent participation of Sodap Wines in this 10th edition of the international competition Le Mondial du Rosé evokes not only the constancy of a Rosé winemaking in Cyprus but also the natural adequacy which the endemic Maratheftiko has for making splendid rosés. The question remains as to why there aren’t more wineries participating in this annual event organised by the French Union of Oenologues.

Rosé owes this achievement to the ambition and determination of winegrowers and producers to master the highly complex technical and wine-making specifics these wines require.

Indeed, a category of wines that has legitimately outgrown clichés of summer  and picture perfect vacation wines. It is thus that not only we celebrate the Silver Medal for Stroumbeli Maratheftiko Rosé but also our most sincere congratulations to the organisers for reaching such a significant milestone.

Meet me all the way in Limassol with a thirst for Cyprus

That’s our pledge: to meet you half-way today with an open appetite for a Nature of Wine made in Cyprus.

I’ll spare you the pity, envy and the pleas for help.

We are of the idea, that only the goodness, of what one has genetically to offer, is what will prevail. The culture is there, the assets and the people, what remains is a bit of coordination for a common agenda.

Over 6.000 years of winemaking on the island can’t be made wrong by a generation of leadership ill-prepared for that changing nature of modern society which has overtaken them. Here’s to a grand generalisation!

Yet, it’s all around us, and it seems already for too long, that we have been short-changing our efforts, working at odds with each other and increasing the costs for meaningful progress. This affects current branches of government and the boards of semi-public organisations hungry for that presidential decree of renewal. There is still hope , hope that the bail-out crisis is put behind us swiftly, because that’s where it belongs. We make the following words ours too:

We live this unique moment, as a time to assert our readiness to meet you halfway in creating those vital experiences for you to treasure.

Today, it’s in Limassol.  Tomorrow, let’s plan to meet you there.

Limassol Greets it’s WinemakersCyprus Wine Tasting

Pictured Clockwise: Casks at Etko Winery, Wine Country Ayios Amvrosios, Maratheftiko Red from Makkas, Nicolaides Winemaker and Xynisteri from Tsangarides Winery

OIV rules apply to the Cyprus Wine Competition

Cyprus Wine Competition adheres to the OIV rules for judging and  the process can strongly impact  judges unfamiliar with the strict judging protocol.

OIV rules apply to the Cyprus Wine Competition

Judging under OIV rules in Cyprus, work with more feel

If the judging competitions risks resembling a grammar school dream class (not the case above), achieving consensus can in some cases provoke for discussions and re-tasting wines until final note is awarded, dexterity here to be played by the judge presiding the panel.

The 2012 juding in Cyprus presided for the third consecutive year by Rowald Hepp, included testimonial of exception in the name of Tom Cannavan as participating judge can also  attests that the OIV rules can be needlessly strict, especially in the case of those categories where the set of participating wines is extremely reduced.

Although we’re less optimistic about the OIV reviewing it’s rules by the next edition of the Cyprus Wine Competition, we do count that the same high level of performance and world class judging will be performed under the OIV rules as in the past editions.

The upcoming edition of the 2013 Cyprus Wine Competition will be celebrated in Cyprus during the last week of May, from the 28th until the 31st of May, 2013 in Cyprus.

2012 Judging panel was composed of 9 judges: Miroslav Kalinic, Vasos Manoli, Denis Rudenko, Tamas Oroszlan,Maria Tzitzi, David Seijas, Jean Luc Berger, and Tom Cannavan presided by Rowald Hepp.

grape discoveries in cyprus

Befriending Chardonnay and a taste for International Grapes

The world’s most celebrated grape? Chardonnay may be among the most planted grape variety and perhaps also the friendliest grape in the world.  

From it’s natural adaptability,  it reflects trust-worthily either the terroir of where it’s grown or the art of the winemaker, it acquires willingly a certain sense of place.

“Queen” of white wine grapes, it is suited to a wide variety of soils, though it excels in soils with a high limestone content as found in Champagne, Chablis, and the Côte D`Or.  Burgundy being it’s spiritual home where some of the finest dry white wines are poised to express dry, rich, honeyed wines with marvelous elegance and balance.

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