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Vice President Athenee Importers

Monday, December 6, 2010

Holiday madness

Things have been quite busy in Athenee - land between the holidays and ironing out the details for our 2011 Road Show.

Thanksgiving is always a great time to enjoy Greek wines.  My dinner was a small one  - 5 people.  Instead of killing myself with a whole turkey, I prepared turkey rolls with a spiced pecans, mushrooms and bacon stuffing.  Total time (including prep & cooking): 2 hours.  Sure beats hours & hours waiting for a turkey to cook properly!!

At my table our first bottle was the Hatzimichalis Veriki 2009, which is a 50/50 blend of Robola & Chardonnay.  The brightness of the Chardonnay really accentuated the weight of the Robola to make it pair well with our salad & other appetizers.  For the main course we moved onto the GAIA 14-18h 2009 rose.  The berry flavors complemented the cranberry sauce nicely and while the acidity and subtle tannins paired well with the turkey.  Rose wine and Thanksgiving are a perfect match - I highly recommend everyone to serve a dry rose for dinner when you are serving dishes like salmon, turkey, roast chicken or a ham steak.

One of my colleagues in Chicago told me that instead of a turkey, he roasted a 45 pound lamb for Thanksgiving - the most amusing part about that story is that he's not Greek.  He paired the 2009 Vassiliou Ambelones with his lamb and said that it was amazing.  This wine is a blend of Savatiano & Roditis.  While both grapes alone can be used in Retsina production, blending them together is really getting the positive aspects of both grapes-Savatiano for the fruit and Roditis for the acidity.  This is a great for a party-an instant crowd pleaser.

With Thanksgiving under our belts, we have turned all of our attention onto finalizing events, dates & locations for our 2011 Road Show.  Last year our participating wineries were: Thimiopoulos Vineyards, Domaine Porto Carras, Ktima Pavlidis, GAI'A Wines, Domaine Spiropoulos, Harlaftis Estate, Domaine Vassiliou, Mercouri Estate, Gentilini Wines and Estate Argyros.  Turnout for our 3 city Road Show portfolio tasting was better than we could have imagined.  Of course none of it would have happened if it were not for Stephanie & Kayt at Teuwen One Image.

With the overwhelming success of 2010, two more wineries are joining us in 2011-UWC Samos and Estate Hatzimichalis.  This will bring the total amount of wines available to taste to upwards of 120!!!  We are very excited about this development and believe that this will only enhance the value of attending our tastings.  We will now have representation form almost every major wine producing region in Greece at one event.  Furthermore, each winery's winemaker or primary contact person will be on hand to pour their wines and answer all of your questions.

We have also finalized the venue dates & locations (event times TBA):
Monday March 7th 2011: W Boston, Boston MA
Tuesday March 8th 2011: Del Posto, NY NY
Wednesday March 9th 2011: Boka Restaurant, Chicago IL

We are working on incorporating a seminar aspect into some of the venues as well.  Once the final decision will be made we will include it on our website and will post it on Twitter (@atheneewines).  Space will be limited and these seminars will require pre-registration. Additionally, we are going to have a consumer tasting event in Chicago the night of March 9th and more information will be forthcoming on that as well.  The day event will be open to qualified trade individuals & press only. The evening event will be open to everyone - consumer & retailer alike.

So there you have it-we've been busy bees!!! Please mark the above dates on your calendar and we hope that you will be able to join us in any of our Road Show cities.  Registration will be up & running in the early part of 2011.  We will also advertise the events in each state's Beverage Journal with all relevant info.

We are looking forward to building on our success and making the 2011 events even better than this year's.  We would also like to thank those people that attended our events this year and helped make them the success that they were.

Stay tuned for more exciting developments in our world.  On behalf of myself, Giota & Chris, we wish all of you a Happy Holiday season and a healthy 2011.

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