Friday, November 5, 2010

A Drink in Port...nothing to Whine about

Marina Rubicon. Lanzarote, Canary Island---My buddy Gerry and I used to enjoy red wine at the Chart House as we caught up on the latest news in each other’s lives. So when I received his sponsorship gift, I thought that a “drink in Port” should be red wine. However, why have one glass when you can buy three bottles for the same price? Yes, you heard me right. For 7.79 Euros, I purchased three bottles of Spain’s red wine.

I am partial to red wine, especially Cab’s, mainly for its health benefits. Ha, ha, not really, I just love how it tastes and white wine tastes too much like Kool-Aid. The point is not to be drunk, but to enjoy and linger in a good wine.

This transition’s nicely to a review of what I have learned this summer and fall, about the Wines of the Mediterranean, Morocco and the Atlantic Islands (only Canary Islands so far).

The first thing, and most obvious has been the price. In Italy I was shocked that a price of a beer was around $2 per can, and that was in a grocery store. They do not even sell six packs, they sell three packs for about $6-8!  In a restaurant, one beer would cost well over the cost of an entire pizza! But Wine, Wine in Italy is amazing. I found that bottles for 2-3 Euros were actually very good. Very, Very Good. Then at the very end of our time there, other yachties introduced me to the .95 cent Euro wine and I just couldn’t believe how good it was. Unfortunately, I did not have time to get to the store and load up.

In Greece, well it was so bad that we had to ban it to cooking sauces only. So Greece needs to stick to its wonderful olive oil, gyros and spinach pies.

In Sicily we discovered the wine Nero D' Avola that is exclusive to Sicily. It was around 2-5 Euros and was a wonderful red.
In Sardinia we found the local wine Dannonau Di Sardegna. It was a closer to 8 Euros ($10). Sardinia is an Island in the Med owned by Italy so we still enjoyed a good supply of Italian wine there also.

In Spain we have discovered wines as good as Italy and as inexpensive. One wine, discovered in the Balearic Islands we nicknamed Mosquito Net Wine due to the fact it comes with the loose wire netting on the outside of the bottle. Although through the Mediterranean I have been bitten by the best of them, trust me, if there were mosquitoes this size, we’d all be in trouble. This turned out to be of my most favorites. Deep and flavorful.

In Morocco new friends from a yacht who joined us at a restaurant, had a wine that we later found in the grocery store. Comaine de Sahari Reserve and others cost between 300-700 Dirham (3-7 Euro).

And now in the Canary Islands, Spain’s wine is available again. This Canary Island of Lanzarote has vineyards and we tried a “very expensive 5 Euro” bottle of it. Agreeing that it was sweeter than the deeper reds, it reminded me of Rose, not Red. But it made the cut and has not been added to our “cooking only” shelf.

Good Wines. Always a great gift if say, a German has scuba equipment to cut line free from your propeller, or if perhaps the Scottish couple happens to have an industrial sail makers sewing machine aboard and sews the entire bottom rip of your 150 sail, or for and most of all, to carry to another boat. To sit, tell stories, listen to more and slowly sip that delicious red wine. Even if it only cost 2 Euros! ($3)

1 comment:

Crew of the Solstice said...

Nice post, Edee. Too bad you missed out on the great Portuguese reds. They're awesome too and rarely exported.