with RED MEAT!

"out of the box winner!"

But don’t believe for a minute that one needs to be a carnivore to enjoy Dafni.




Our efforts to procure this almost extinct white variety from the island of Crete began about a year ago. Dafni produces an intriguingly unique and distinctive white wine that can perform admirably with a diversity of food pairings.

Finally, from our table to yours, we can offer! Here is the story.....

When Covid-19 was gaining traction, and hospitality workers were in full lockdown with restaurant closures, the renown British wine writer and critic Jancis Robinson MW held a writing contest at her Purple Pages website, inviting anyone in the industry to submit their “best wine and food pairing”. The response was overwhelming and the “Hospo Pairings”, as the contest became known, had over 2100 entries worldwide.

Last June when the ten winners were announced (five from the USA, and five from elsewhere), I found all extremely worthy and interesting, but most of all, the wine and food pairing from winner Elena-Diana Gheorghinete of Slovakia. 

Elena-Diana wrote about her discovery of the white varietal Dafni with a stuffed saddle of lamb while working in the Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland. That’s correct…..not a red wine, but a white wine with lamb!! Specifically, the Dafni produced from the Lyrarakis family on the island of Crete!!  It turns out the Lyrarakis family propagated the surviving vines from near extinction, and planted the variety in its Psarades Vineyard in the early 1990s.

Here is the link to all ten winning entries, but please scroll down in particular to read Elena-Diana’s “out of the box” winner!

We contacted Bart Lyrarakis at the family’s winery to inquire whether their Dafni was imported to the United States, but in particular California. “Not at this time” was the answer. And now we were challenged to remedy this problem, especially after we successfully received an air express sample bottle of the 2019 Dafni Psarades from Bart. Can you guess what we paired with it? Renée’s famous herb crusted rack of lamb!

We were sold, but now we needed to find an importer here in California who wanted the added challenge of selling this delicious and versatile, but completely unknown wine during the pandemic.
Here now, a year later, last night we sampled a bottle of the current 2020 Dafni Pasardas!!  Yes, now we have an importer who can receive in San Francisco, but the wine must be shipped from its point of entry on the east coast

Our order is in the pipeline.
 Your introductory price is just $20.95 a bottle! ETA is mid-July! 
No charges to your credit card until after we take delivery. 

More about the Dafni and specifically the Lyrarakis 2020 – farming and winemaking practices, data, and winery tasting notes, etc (click the pdf link and watch the video above).

Dafni translates to laurel (bay leaf)…..and yes, the complex aromatics of this white wine run the “fresh herbal” gamut in all the best ways; bay leaf, mint, oregano, rosemary, lemon verbena, basil, etc. Then add a slightly brining minerality and citrusy component …. The 2020 rendition is a more full-bodied, slightly richer white than the 2019, but both wines have an underlying fresh, laser-like acidity that works wonders on fatty cuts of meat….not only lamb, but pork too! But don’t believe for a minute that one needs to be a carnivore to enjoy Dafni. Last night Renée’s large prawns poached in extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic, preserved lemon, esplette and fresh oregano were a wonderful pairing with Dafni. The trick is to pair Dafni with the freshest of herbs in your cooking….

SIDE NOTE! I should also mention, Lyrarakis Winery is on our itinerary’s agenda for a group trip being planned with Nikki Rose’s Crete Culinary Sanctuaries next summer.

NOW JUST $20.95 a bottle for a NEW delicious
and refreshing wine experience!
ETA Mid-July


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"Naught boy" is very naughty again this NEW vintage! Huge fan club!

18 La Colombera Timorasso Colli Tortonesi Derthona, Piedmonte, Italy - $29.95 ($33)

19 Clelia Romano Colli di Lapio Fiano di Avellino, Campania, Italy - $23.95 ($25)
"Italy's Best White Wine -- Bargains"! - Lettie Teague, Wall Street Journal (May 20th, 2021)

19 Nanclares y Prieto "O Bocoi Vello" Albariño, Rias Baixas, Galicia, Spain - $34.95
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wood, and one used 500L French oak barrel. 450 six packs produced

19 Raul Perez Ultreia Godello, Bierzo, Galicia, Spain - $27.95 ($30)
Over delivers! 100% varietal from 20-50 year old vines. Indigenous fermentation. Matured one year
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19 Domaine de Reuilly, Reuilly Les Fossiles Blanc, Loire Valley, France - $24.95 ($28)
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18 Chateau Graville-Lacoste “Fleurs de Graville”, Graves Blanc, Bordeaux, France
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$17.95 - NOW $15.95 or 6+/$14.95


19 Clos La Coutale, Cahors, Southwest-France - $16.95 ($18)
ARRIVING NEXT WEEK! 80% Malbec & 20% Merlot! Must try this absolute GEM!

19 Herman Story "First Time Caller" Petite Sirah, Paso Robles, CA - $49.95 ($53)
Inky black out color! Massive bombardment of fruit! Air raid sirens? JD 94

19 Anna Maria Abbona Dolcetto Sorì dij But, Dogliani, Langhe, Piedmont - $19.95 ($22)
Gambero Rosso 2020 Tre Bicchieri award winner!

16 Altesino Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscana, Italy - $64.95
WA95+, WS95, JS95, JD 95, DE95, WE 92

WS 97, JS 96, WA 94

Personal Favorite! Dark and sultry. Downright voluptuous, with curvy acidity! Previous 2018 - WA 96+

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CLICK on the links above for more information and tasting notes.

WA=Wine Advocate, WE=Wine Enthusiast, WS=Wine Spectator,
JS=James Suckling, JG=John Gilman (View from the Cellar),
Vinous=Antonio Galloni, Gambero Rosso=Tre Bicchieri,
DE=Decanter N/R = Not Rated