Survey of the Ancient World at #TEXSOM

Ancient World at #TEXSOM

Ancient World at #TEXSOM: Recently I had an opportunity to taste through a great lineup of wines with Master of Wine Christy Canterbury and Master Sommelier Keith Goldston at the Texas Sommelier Conference, #TEXSOM. I want to share some of my raw and unedited notes as I think there are many great wines (and regions) that you should know about. Cypress, Israel, Italy, Georgia, Greece, Lebanon and Turkey are producing some interesting and different styles in wine and many are becoming hot on the wine scene.

A few fun facts:

• There is a legend that Noah planted the first vineyard in Turkey
• At one time, beer and wine was used as currency
• In the ancient world, you would drink beer because the water would kill you
• White wines came much later than reds
• Mixing wine with seawater was the norm
• Amphora wine vessels: Centuries ago, many good wines were marked with information about the wine like vineyards and type, replicating what would be a label on today’s wine bottle
• All large format wine bottles have biblical names
• Wine is highly taxed in Turkey, so this makes them very expensive to drink in Turkey.

Now on to the wines:

Alpha Estate Axia Malagouzia Amyndeo Macedonia Greece 2010
Yo! Honeysuckle. Round and mellow, good acidity. Vines are planted on a northwest exposure in sandy clay and limestone soil.

Gravner Breg Anfora Italy 2004
Calling all Orange wine lovers. Tannic and explosive. Blend: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Riesling Italico. Its high pH makes for a great food wine.

Vinkara Kalecik Karasi Turkey 2011
This is Turkey’s version of Pinot noir. Black currant, strawberries, medium bodied, a bit green, no oak, high acid, herbaceous, stemmy, almost carbonic flavors.

Kavaklıdere Okuzgozu-bogazkere Selection Turkey 2010
Plump mid-palate, slightly merlot like, black flavors, delicious with good acidity. Makes for an excellent food wine.

Domaine Du Castel Grand Vin Israel 2010
A seriously spectacular wine. It’s a complex, ripe, tannic beauty

Chateau Musar Lebanon 2004
This is Lebanon’s 3rd largest winery. Organic farming. First to be certified organic. Only uses concrete fermenters. Bright and beautiful with good acidity. Blind characteristics = road kill. A million different faults, funky and weird. This particular bottle is pretty clean compared to most. Rustic style. Street smart. Keith calls it as a blend between Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Bordeaux. Yup! Funky weirdness.

Dozortsev Mukuzani Maroon Label Dry Georgia NV
From what I am told, the name translates to “paint die.” Food friendly with good acidity while being tannic at the same time. Juicy wine. Moderate climate, alluvial and limestone soils.

Keo Commandaria Cyprus NV
Thick and viscous, orange in color, amazingly sweet wine.

A big thanks goes out to Keith and Christy for putting on such a great seminar while introducing new regions and wines! You guys rock…


About the Author:

Editor and co-founder of, Pamela is a sommelier and former restaurant manager and wine buyer with Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), Court of Master Sommeliers & Center for Wine Origins certification. She has contributed to or been quoted by various publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Sommelier Journal, Vegetarian Times, VIV Magazine, UC-Berkeley Astrobiology News, The Washington Post, the Associated Press, NPR and USA Today. True to her roots, she seeks varietal and appellation integrity and is always passionate about finding the next great bottle of wine.

One Comment

  1. Erin August 12, 2013 at 10:37 AM - Reply

    I am so jealous! I have to make it to Tex Som next year. Looks and sounds like you are having a great time.

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