Akis Zambartas, a Cyprus Wine Star to shine eternally

A wine star on earth has been lost,  but we’ve gained a sparkle in the sky to eternally shine upon us.

Akis Zambartas

Akis Zambartas, Cypriot Winemaker transformed into the cornerstone of wine education in Cyprus passes away at the young age of 67 years due to illness. Marcos Zambartas and family will carry on the legacy established by this french-schooled ‘Amant du vin et de la vie‘. Bon Voyage nôtre ami Akis.

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lefteris mohianakis anama wines

Grape moves inspiring Cyprus winemaking

High altitude harvest in Cyprus, brings out it’s true nature of wine

Cyprus Grape harvest

Grapes, vines and people – generations of family led vine-keeping takes a special turn during harvest. A space in time where all uncertainties affecting nature can be put to rest and where the human mind can now focus on synchronicity of work.

It’s in the Commandaria region where it all happening integrally for Cyprus Wine, lot’s of humility for your winemakers and a readiness for reciprocate exchanges.

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.

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)

The ultimate Sommelier Challenge: above all a celebration

Update:  Congratulations to Paolo Basso, crowned new World Best Sommelier 2013 in Tokyo.

Arrived from around the world in Tokyo Tuesday, Candidates from 54 countries will compete over three days to win the title of world’s best sommelier at a competition organised by the ASI  (Association de la Sommellerie Internationale) and whose  winner of the Sommelier Competition  will be determined on Friday at the Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa in Tokyo.
vasos manol tokyo asi

Vasos Manoli, Candidate for Cyprus, expressed to AFP (Agence France Press), that the event above all, could be interpreted as a celebration – whereby one of the virtues of wine ‘has by nature the has the capacity of reconciling people’.

“It’s been six months since I stopped my work to prepare myself fully in this competition” did he admit to the microphones of the AFP.  He will be competing with world’s best at a competition that is held every 3 years and where current world champion sommelier, Gerard Basset will also be at hand for the judging.

#BestSomm2013

Update:  27/3 Vasos Manolis had passed to the quarter finals. Photo Credit:  Cyprus Sommelier Association

Update: 29/3  Top 3 Sommeliers competing in the Final in Tokyo are Canadian Veronique Rivest, Swiss Paulo Basso & Belgian Aristide Spies

World Best Sommelier Final Wines Tasted

Final wines for best sommelier challenge

Spirits:  Kirsch Massenez (France); Vana Tallinn Liqueur (Estonia); Xaica Liqueur Ibiscus (Mexico); Picon Amer France; Commandaria 2004 (Kyperounda) Cyprus; Liqueur de Tomate (la Tomato) Japan;  

Wines: Albert Moreau Aigrots 2005 Premier Cru Beaune  (France  ; Yarden Pinot Noir Galilée (Israel);  Juan Gil 2010 Monastrell Jumilla (Spain);  Sula 2011 (India)

The new World’s Best Sommelier Paolo Basso – Crowned in Tokyo Japan today

PaoloBasso world best sommelier 2013

Grand Excitement for Prowein, Good luck Vasos

As all the wine converges in Dusseldorf,

proweinIt isn’t without some regret that two years ago we set our sight onto attending the Dusseldorf Wine Exhibition, and on the eve of the official opening, we can feel the energy, even if miles away, unpacking and sorting the wines before grand opening.

It’s our understanding that after the hellish week experienced to reach a Cyprus Bailout compromise, there is nothing like renewing bonds around wine.

To Another Great Year in Wine – See you next year 2014.

Coincidentally, also embarking for a World Wine Adventure, would be Vasos Manoli, Cyprus Sommelier Association candidate to the World Sommelier Championship by ASI in Tokyo, Japan – and to whom we extend are best of wishes in the competition. Years in waiting have finally proven worth it’s while.  Best of Luck Vasos

vasos manoli world sommelier

Vasos Manoli, Cyprus Sommelier Association Candidate