We turned black into white was the first headline I saw. I had just walked into this year’s annual wine exhibition of the Famagusta Area’s Wine Club in April.
«Κάναμε το Μαύρο άσπρο», the poster read. The play on words is more effective in Greek. Red grapes or red wine are described as black. “Κάναμε» literally means “We made”. The Santa Irene winery was promoting its white wine made from red grapes – an unusual practice but technically perfectly feasible because practically all grapes give white juice and the colour of the wine is the result of the amount of time the juice is left in contact with the skins. Anyway, it was interesting to taste it and its gold medal backed up my testimony to the quality.
I love this sort of exhibition. Wine is not totally constant from one year to the next and it is fun discovering what wine is particularly good at that moment in time. Apart from Santa Irene’s white wine from red grapes, I really liked Hadjitontas Shiraz 2009 (fairly robust and best for the winter months in Cyprus). Then there was a fabulous Maratheftiko on offer from Ezousa.
Wine exhibitions like these are also a great opportunity to meet up with old friends. I have got to know quite a lot of the island’s wine makers, but also I bumped into quite a number of my local friends.
Larnaca, Limassol, Paphos, Nicosia, all host events such as these. I’ve just missed one in Larnaca because it was promoted with a headline date of 30th June, but the body text read 24th June. Never mind there will be plenty more. The usual formula is for entrance to be free, but a charge to be made for an engraved wine glass to carry round with you and to keep as a souvenir. Sometimes the glass is free too. Here at Cyprus Alive we'll keep you posted on dates as they come up.
A new event that started last year is the Cyprus International Food Festival. Last year it was held in Nicosia. This year it is taking place in Limassol on the Molos Promenade. 23rd and 24th September are the dates to put into your diary. Time 4pm till late – so you miss the intense heat of the day.
Twenty chefs from a variety of countries will be demonstrating their culinary skills. There will be demonstrations on how to make cocktails, tastings from local and international wineries and breweries and cooking classes for little ones in a special area for kids.