NEW YORK – A private wine pairing and gourmet dining experience featuring Dougos Winery was held at Loi Estiatorio in Manhattan on March 6. The event highlighted the impressive Greek wines that enhanced the delicious Greek cuisine at Loi. Thanos Dougos, agriculturist and manager of the Dougos Winery, noted that the winery is located in Itea Larissas, the Tempi Valley, at the foot of Mount Olympus, at an altitude of 450 meters, about 1,476 feet. In 1991, the Dougos family began its journey in the world of Greek wine, setting out to develop the vineyards and produce top quality wines. Louiza Dougou, chemist – oenologist, works with her brother to manage the family business. The company’s primary concerns have always been the wish for development of wine quality as well as respect for the environment – the vineyards are organically cultivated – and the consumers’ health.
The lush, green landscape with vineyards, full of history and tradition is also the site of the winery equipped with all the latest technological machinery used for a modern vinification, always respectful of the environment. Its total coverage is 500 square meters with a 250 square meter underground cellar where the red wines patiently mature in French and American oak barrels.The vineyard cultivates Greek varieties- Xinomavro, Krassato, Stavroto, Limniona, Roditis, Assyrtiko- and French varieties- Syrah, Grenache rouge, Merlot, Cabernet sauvignon, Cabernet franc. Mr. Dougos introduced the wines, while Chef Dara Davenport introduced the foods served in each course. Chef Maria Loi was also present and welcomed everyone with her famous hospitality and her excellent dishes.
The first course, Htapodaki Marinato/Octopus Carpaccio, featured classic Greek flavors- octopus marinated in red wine with onions, bell peppers, capers, lemon, and olive oil, and was served with Dougos Sauvignon Blanc 2016. The wine is aromatic with balanced acidity and a nice aftertaste, a fine match for the tasty octopus carpaccio.
In the second course, Halloumi Psito/Grilled Halloumi, famous Cypriot cheese was presented with fig compote, lemon, and olive oil, the combination of salty, sweet, and tart was perfectly complimented by the organic wine, Dougos Meth’imon Acacia 2015, a wonderful blend of Assyrtiko and Sauvignon Blanc.
The third course, Yiouvetsi Thalassinon/Seafood Orzo featured mussels, scallops, tomato, onion, garlic, feta, and Chef Loi’s brand of orzo, and was served with the organic Dougos Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) Rapsani 2014, a blend of 40 percent Xinomavro, 40 percent Krasato, and 20 percent Stavroto varieties. The intriguing vintage was a great match with the bold flavors of the seafood orzo and the tomato sauce.
Loi Surf & Turf was the fourth course with a lamb chop, shrimp, red bliss potato, arugula, and Loi Greek yogurt, paired with the organic Dougos PDO Old Vines 2015, a blend of 65 percent Xinomavro, 25 percent Krasato, and 10 percent Stavroto. Dougos noted that there are strict rules about how you produce the Rapsani.
The fifth and final course was a delectable dessert, a flourless Sokolatopita/Chocolate Cake with Greek Fleur de Sel (Afros Alatiou) and a sour cherry reduction. The cake was paired with the organic Dougos PDO Old Vines 2015, demonstrating the wonderful versatility of the wine which is perfect, not only with savory, but sweet foods as well.
After the final course, Thanos Dougos thanked everyone in attendance and encouraged them to spread the word about Greek wines.