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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It's Greek to the Wine Dogs

The Wine Dogs decided to venture south, destination Mediterranean Cellars, Virginia’s own taste of Greece.

Passing between two white columns, Munchkin and Pomeroy entered the winery and were warmly greeted by Katie Papadopoulos, who started the winery with her husband, Louis, 18 years ago.

The five-year-old tasting room has the charm of a shop in the Greek countryside, with clean white walls and rich wood shelves filled with all kinds of goodies. Munchkin’s mouth was watering.

On one wall hangs a picture of Lucia Papadopoulos, Louis’s mother. Katie told us Louis is a third-generation goldsmith but has been making wine all his life, his first vintage in 1961 in his native Greece.
Against another is a portrait honoring Apollo, the house canine who followed from the gold shop. The Wine Dogs were sad to learn he passed away last year.

What started as a hobby for Louis has become a full-time vocation. He produces 13 wines, all made from grapes grown in Meediterranean's own vineyards.

Munchkin and Pomeroy found a perch by the tasting bar, and sampled the offerings – six whites, six reds, and one rose’. All of the wines were gentle and understated. Munchkin liked the honey tones and light, flirty taste of the 2005 Sweet Lucia. Pomeroy was attracted to the strong nose of the 2004 Chambourcin Special Reserve.

The 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon was one of two Virginia cabs featured in London as part of the Jamestown 400th Anniversary celebration. Two years in oak produced with legs a model would envy (and Munchkin certainly does), and a long finish that reaches in and spreads through you.

Also notable is the Rechina, Mediterranean’s version of the wine that has graced Athenian dinner tables since the 13th century B.C. One can just imagine it complimenting grilled lamb and olives with its earthy scent of pine resin and spicy finish.

Selecting a bottle of the 2004 Romance, a light blend of Chambourcin and Merlot, the Wine Dogs retired to the arbor. Under a trellis dripping with grapes, surrounded by fountains and grecian urns, they enjoyed an afternoon repast of wine and bread and cheese. The map may say Virginia, but the feel is classic Greek.

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