Commandaria (Nama) ~ Greek Wine
Look what I found hiding at the back of the shelves of our wine cabinet, a couple of bottles of 25 years old Commandaria wines, which we bought from Cyprus 15 years ago. Commandaria is a sweet dessert wine which taste a bit like sherry.
We bought these Commandaria wines near a monastery in Cyprus. I remember having to put a makeshift skirt from a scarf to cover up my bare legs in order to be allowed to tour the monastery which housed beautiful icons and artifacts.
After the tour, we bought lots of lovely cypriot laces, embroidered tablecloths and matching napkins and of course the commandaria.
Commandaria is so popular in Cyprus. Apparently commandaria or Nama as it was originally called is drunk in bucketloads during the feast day of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, who we knew was born off the sea of Cyprus.
As early as 700 BC, the farming poet, Hesiod, described how Nama was made. First of, the red and white grapes are dried in the sun for at least a couple of weeks. The wine made from these dried grapes was stored in great earthenware jars and left to ferment until the desired potency or taste was achieved! It was previously believed that this red dessert wine had healing properties.
Modern way of fermenting the wine no longer use earthenware jars but leave the wine to mature using oak cask.
As mentioned above, the original name of the wine was Nama but after the Knights Templars took over and controlled an island in Cyprus which was called Commandaria, the popular nama was renamed Commandaria. And this happened more than 800 years ago, which makes Commandaria the oldest existing name for a particular wine.
Peter had a big glass of Commandaria over Christmas but he found it too sweet.
I had a bit and must admit I am rather partial to it (I like the taste) but in small measure.