Cypriot Wines Americans Drink more wine By Louise Cook By the glass, the bottle and the jug, Americans are downing millions of gallons of wine and the market is expected to more than double by the end of the next decade. Marvin R. Shanden, editor and publisher of Im- pact, a newsletter an wine and distilled spirits, said the wine shipments in the United States last year to- taled 430 million gallons. By 1990, Shanken said, wine shipments should total 1.1 billion gallons. “Wine is closing the gap,” he said. adding that wine accounts for u steadily grow- ing share of the aleoholic beverage market. California growers, who provide a little more than 70 percent of the wine Americans drink, are in the midst of harvesting this year’s grapes and the producers predict an excellent crop, in terms of quantity ancl quality. Booming White Shanken said Cafifornia and Ttaly are “really leacling the way in prodweing low-price, high-quality wines. The biggest boom in the wine business has conse in the area of white wine, whieh bas been hactinie other al- coholic heverages‘as a before-meal drink. In 1970. Shanken said, 50 percent ofthe winedrunk in the United States was rec 24 Percent was roses ancl 36 per. cent was white, By J877. he said, only 38 percent was red: 22 percent wis rose: and 40 percent Was white, “Tt's Tiwht. flavenrful and coled.” saiel Shanken, when asked to explain the pape arity of white wine, “And it's very sophisticated.” he added explaining that peophe think ofa white wine cocktail as an elegant drink Be Adventuresome How can yon tell what te huy? “Be adventuresame.” saicl Shanken, “Try different wine ty pes from different areas. There is ne Tease Hi ti out of the 82 te $4 price range. Don't be intimidated - hy the retailer, by your friends or by the wine itself. See what you personally enpay.” Ask questions, Where docs the wine come from 2 Ls it dry or sweet ? Does the retciler know how the wine hias been stored * (Extremes of temperature can ruina wine) Compare prices. Experiment with lesser kaneova'ei brands: the welladvertisedd Label is net necessarily he best und it may be more expensive. (Theck vintaes, Det des net avoid wawine just becuse it was mack ina particular veur. There are good wines made in bad years and bad wines made in good vears, Ler how to read a wine label. Recent changes in Kovernnent reguhitions are designed ta provide more in- formation for consumers and to make sure that the de seription label is accurate. The rules ure being phased in oraduilly. Appellation Control Here are some terns te look for The place where the wine was made. Ifa wine Libel lists a partiowlarplace - a canine. try, stete, country, ete, Atleast 73 percent af the wine has to come from that place. Tf the label indicates that the wine comes from a viticultural area - a specific grape. growing region like the Napa Valley of California or the Burgundy district of Franee at least 45 percent of the wine fiust come from that area. Asa feteral rule, dhe lnore specific the place name, the hetter the wine. - Appellation of origin - Varietal wine > A wine from a particular type of grape like zinfandel, pinot noir or cabernet. At least 75 percent of Hie veluine of a wine labelled with a varietal Hine mast come trou thir type af grape that is listed. If to or three types of grapes are listed, the percentage of each oust be included on the label. (Note: Wines made from labrisea prape warictios are escript Froa the 75- percent rule since these grapes have a very strong flavor}, ~ Estate bottled : ‘Uhis means that the winery which bottled the wine: gresy the nipes itself on land ttewned or culitroflerdl in aspecic vitioultural area. The winery reat be located in the sume area as the vinevardl where the Srupes were grown. Don't he misled by the term - “bat- Ned in our oellars.” Tt tells ven Hothing about the swine, American Thirst Americans are drinking millions of gallons of wine, by the glass the bottle and the jug and con- sumption is expected fo inerease to more than duu- ble by the end of the next decade, from just under 500 million gallons to more than LL billion. Like other wine exporting countries C yprus is trying to get a share of this lucrative market and in recent years the xovernment has invited wine writers from the United States to visit Cyprus, and, hopefully, to write good things about the local wine. The following two articles have been written b American wine writers. The first, by Louise Cook, of the Associated Press, deals with American wine drinking ina general way. The second, by Barbara Ensrad of the New York Daily News, one of the wine writers who recently visited Cyprus, gives an P American evaluation of local wines - and customs. Winemaking Had Its Roots in Cyprus By Barbara Ensrud Cyprus was not only the birthplace of Aph-- rodite'who, according to legend, rose out of the sea and was swept ashore off the south- €rn coast ona scalloped seashell, but the ori- gin of some of the oldest winemaking traditions in the world. One of the most popular white wines is in fact named Aph- rodite. I just returned from attending the annual wire festival in Limassol, the leading coastal city of Cy- prus and the centre of wine production. After a week of wining and dining in the delightful outdoor tavernas of Cyprus, 1 wonder if any meal will ever seem quite the same without the insistent wail of bouzouki in the background. As in most Mediter- fanean countries dinneris late-ish, beginning around 9 or 9.30 pam. and cont inuing until the wee hours, al- Ways to the sound of music and, more often than not, dancing. It isa lovely way to while a way the even- ing. Romantic Names Dinner begins with ineze, an assortment of tempting little dishes that are Middle Eastern in flaver « houmous, feta cheese, tahina, stuffed vine leaves, haloumi- followed hy grilled lamb, beef or pork, usually all three, washed down with the local wines that go down easily, if not al. Wilys Inemorably, Many are given TONIC, evocative names from the rich and variec! history of the island -Oth- ello {Shakespeare's play was set here), Horn tex, Amarova, Olyuipos, Coeur de Lion (after Richard the Lion-hearted who possessed the island for a yeuron his way to the Cru- sales), CYPRUS WEEKLY 4 Help Quench Growing The most famous wine of Cyprus is Commanderiz, « unique sweet wine. Rich and luscious but not cloying, it is perhaps most similar te Malmsey Madeira but lighter sinen it is not fortified with brandy. It was given its name in the 12th century by the knights of the Order of the Templars and St. John who commanded Kolossi Castle near Limas- sol, Centuries Old Commanderia and most of the other wines are made from the centuries-old local grape varieties that are not grown anywhere else. In the last decade, however, thore has been much experimenting with imported varivties from other leading wine regions like France, Spain, Itah and Australia, The arid Mediterranean climate and relent less sun bleaches aut colour in the red wines as il does in most hot countries, yet the low acidity that often affects such wines does not seem to be a problem here, due no doubt to the cooler climate of the Troodes mountains site of the best vineyards. The wines cover the rocky slopes in stone-walled terraces laboriously dug with shovel and pick. The harvested grapes are hauled down [, rom the steep slopes on donkeys with huge baskets slung across their backs, The villagers harvest the grapes themselves - men, women, children, grandmothers - every body partic- ipates. Tt is village life of another era and wery pictu- Pesey ite, Commanderia is the most strictly controlled wine of Cyprus. [tis made only in Il villages designated by law. Both white and black grapes are used to make it. They are picked at a certain degree of ripeness and then laid out on nits exposed to the sun for T ta 10 days. The sum ripers them further, concentrating the grape sugars into a rich sweelness, By the end of the harvest every visible surface is covered with drying grapes, butin the v Hage we visited the harvest hac! just begun so that only a few were laid out here and there, Excellent Dessert The grapes are pressed and fermented in each village, then sold te the wine producers i Linassal wha Cupar. ate with the growers on lone-term contracts. The wir cumpanics de all the aging, blending, fi nishing ancl bott- ling of Commeanderia. [t is aged in oak barrels that stancl year rouncl in the sun, arranged in solera-type systems like those used for the sherries of Spain, A third of the oldest casks is drainect for blending anel replaced with wine fron the next alclest tier. The wines that give Commanderia most of its character are an average of 26 years old. KEO's Comitianderia St. Jolin is one of the best. an excellent cles sert wine, very balanced and smooth, Simple, Unpretentious The wines of Cyprus are new to the American mar- ket. They have long been available in England (Cyprus was a British protectorate fromm 1878 until 1980 w hen it be- came an independent republic) and Scandinavia, princi- pally the sherries and cammanderia. They are-simple, uncomplicated wines, cleanly made, forthe most part not distinguished (except from Commanderia} but not pre- tencling to be, The potential for the imported varieties iy be quite good at some point in the future but the cur- rent wines are certainly worth ia vestigating for the price - under $3 a bottle. OF the four leading producers - Keo, Etko, Loel and Sodap - only the winesof Keo are currently available in the U.S. The first three companies are privately owned, Sod- ap is # cooperative of wine growers whe control! about 37% of the island's grape production. Later this fall Loel, Etko and Sodap will export certain of the wines ta New Yj, ork, including table wines, sherries and of cou nse, Commande: ria. Some of the labels to look for are Keo’s Aphrodite, a dry erisp white, and Othello, a dey red ? Etko's Coeur de Lion, a firm, dry rase: Loel’s Alasia, the first Cyprus wine to he made entirely of French wine varietals-Carignane, Cabernet Sauvignon and Crenanche, Sadap's Arsinoe, a soft dry white and the ambrosial muscats (from muscat alexandrian) of Etko and Sodap. All'of white wines are best served well-chilled and the reds lightly cooled, 4