One of my minors in college was Ancient Civilization so I studied about Roman and Greek mythologies, culture foods and college. My love affair with Greece started in middle school when I learned the alphabet and continued on through reading a number of ancient texts. But in college, I saw pictures of the most beautiful city which was Santorini. It is one of the 2 cities that I have yet to go to that I have always wanted to (the other would be Paris - my goal is within the next year I will go to both as the 3rd was Tokyo and I can check that off my list this month)! My love for being in this region has manifested itself by me being a fan of hummus and eating amazing Greek food. Last week I went to Molyvos and enjoyed it but when I received an invite to attend the Tsantali Wine Tasting and lunch at Thalassa, I knew it would be amazing. There have only been a handful of times that I have attended an event with a number of well known foodies and wine enthusiasts but I had our Food Editor with us and I decided that it would be a fun time!
Being in fashion, I look at restaurants differently, I think about places that would be amazing for a corporate dinner, Fashion Week Parties, launches and more. You want a place that transports you and when I talked with Tasso who is their Special Events Manager, I conveyed this feeling to him. The restaurant is gorgeous, has great details, exposed brick, light and a lot of space. This post will not focus on the food as we had a press lunch and I would have loved to have tried a number of things; however, I will definitely be back to share but I will say that the menu was enough to make me come back.
Tsantali Wines stems from the Tsantali family which is the third generation to continue this tradition with a diversified portfolio of wines. We enjoyed a number of wines but there were some that definitely caught my eye and the fact that many of them retail below $20 a bottle, it's an amazing buy to be honest. There were so many wines to choose from including red, white, rose, dessert wines and even an organic wine. My favorite was a Kanenas 2009 Rose I loved that it was a mix of sweet and dry tastes and I could imaging having it while eating caviar as I think it would be very complimentary. I also enjoyed Kanenas 2006 Red as well which had a taste of rosebuds and currant. Being someone that normally doesn't drink a lot of red, it was a pleasant surprise! I tried both of the Agioritikos (first regional wine in Greece) in White as well as the Rose - the Rose was my absolute favorite of anything that I drank the entire afternoon. The organic wine from the Halkidiki Vineyard was a Cabernet Sauvignon and I liked the satin like finish that it had and the spice that was in it. I felt that if I was drinking this, I would love to have it with a Kobe Burger as I think it would be an amazing pairing. In terms of the dessert wine I enjoyed the Mavrodaphne Cellar Reserve which would have been tasty with a creme brulee and the Lemnos which was thicker but would have been phenom with a honeydew and prosciutto plate. As I said there were a lot of wines but these were the ones that I enjoyed.
I loved hearing everyone's comments on the wines and learning about their culinary journey's. I also enjoyed just watching everyone interact with one another. With the hour of the tasting wrapping up, we headed upstairs to enjoy an amazing meal that would be paired with the drinks that we had tasted earlier in the day. While we ate, we had the honor of listening to Roger Dagorn, 1 of only 180 Master Sommerliers, taking us through the region and listening to what we should look for as we enjoyed the same wines with lunch as it would take on a different taste. Each course had at least 2 pairings of wine. Our first course was the Diver Sea Scallops Wrapped in Katalfi with Sheep's Milk Butter and Kalamata Balsamic Reduction (I loved this and found it so filling), this was followed by a Mediterranean Lavraki with Steamed Wild Greems (loved that one of the wines that was included was the Kanenas Red), this was followed by a third course of Grilled Lamb Chops Fingerling Potatoes and Haricots Verts which has the organic wine and finally our dessert was a Mavrodaphne Poached Pear with Mediterranean Halva that was paired with both of the dessert wines that were mentioned earlier in the post!
What an amazing meal and I agree sipping a wine alone and tasting it with food does change the way that you feel about it. I definitely enjoyed the Greek wines but I'm very excited to go back to truly experience the restaurant and to sample their Pear Martinis which I hear is phenom there!