Mavrodafni Wine

1,389
13
Joined Jul 24, 2001
I want to ask, if you are familiar in the States with Mavrodafni wine

Mavrodafni, as the greek word suggests, is a very dark. almost black and very very sweet wine.
It has a very strong fruity bouquet
Imagine that is so sweet and dark that the Greek Ortodox Curch use it for the Holly Communion.

It's a kind of Marshala but sweeter.maybe sweet as Port and thin as Marsala.

Do you know it? I made a mavrodafni based pomegranite jello desert last night and I want to post the recipe.

Thank you :)
 
274
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Joined Oct 27, 2001
I've never heard of it here, but could i use Port or Marsala as a substitute?
 
4,508
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Joined Jul 31, 2000
This wine is becoming much easier to find in the states.
It's pretty good stuff.
it is quite different from maderias or ports, although it does come across with a herbal and plummy aroma, and a kind of sweet black raisin pallete.
I have seen this dessert wine for under $10 in my state.
I would think that black brambly fruit desserts would best serve this wine
cc
PS...what I mean by these black fruit desserts would be something like a plum clafluti
 
1,389
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Joined Jul 24, 2001
Thanks cape chef

Mavrodafni is very cheap in Greece , it's about 2 $ a bottle here.
But it's difficult to work with it or our cooks here lack imagination...
 
4,508
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Joined Jul 31, 2000
Your welcome <A>
You know, To have imagination..first you need inspiration.
A chef must not underestimate the importence of what there guest are going to drink with there meal. This food and wine thing that we all discuss is so basic it's romantic.soil,sun.water and respect.
 
467
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Joined Jan 11, 2002
It's curious!

Recently I got as a present a bottle of Italian Communion wine, and it was a very good one. Since it was the first time I saw it, suppose it's not something usual and easily available here-and probably not particularly cheap. It was made by a renowned Marsala producer and was, as a matter of fact, a sort of Marsala, but clearer (the color was about the same of a Moscato), sweeter and with a lighter taste. I had it plain, as a dessert wine, and also made a Zabaione (only a four-egg one...making my "Italian Tonic" with a Communion wine would have been a sacrilege;) )which ended up delicious...only, maybe, a little too sweet.

So, a question comes to my mind:
During the Orthodox mass, does only the priest drink that wine, or also the people?
In Italy, only the priest drinks, and no doubt this is the reason why that wine is so good...here the Church always grasps the best!

Pongi
 
1,389
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Joined Jul 24, 2001
According the Ortodox dogma, Wine represents the Blood of Jesus and Bread, His Body.

During the service when it's time for the Holly Communion, the Priest asks from the people to procceed to him.

He has the Wine in a golden vessel and he gives to people with a tiny spoon. In the wine there are some pieces of bread.
You have a piece of bread soaked in wine.

Afterwards we take a piece of bread.

I was grown up with the idea that if the bread while we are eating fall off our hands we must pick -it up immediately , do oour cross and kiss it with respect.

I still do that, I cannot stand seeing bread be thrown away. We use old bread and if it's really old we burn it in the fireplace.
 
467
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Joined Jan 11, 2002
According to the Catholic dogma, wine and bread have the same meaning, but during the service people only have bread (a Host) and the priest has a sip of wine from the golden vessel before giving the Communion to the believers.

When I was a child, the Host was considered so sacred that it was forbidden us to touch it with our hands and we had to get it directly into our mouths. So, we were totally scared of dropping it, because the priest would have had to stop giving the Communion and pick up it from the floor... now, this rule has been abandoned and people take the bread directly with their hands.

In any case, the hosts (obviously not sacred) are used also for cooking, mainly for some sweets, in example the Torrone. Apart from the shape, they're identical to those used for the Communion...

Pongi
 
5,192
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Joined Jul 28, 2001
Pongi,
Here in the US,as Catholics, we take the host as the body and sip wine from the chalice as the blood. We still have the option of receiving by mouth or hand.
Our alter wine, which I'm sure is blessed and some type of specific wine, is not one which I think I would enjoy drinking.
 
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Joined Jan 31, 2002
Mavrodafni is pretty available in the states. My dad is a Greek Orthodox Priest, and many of his peers insist on using Mavrodafni for communion. (In an ironic twist Manishevitz is also a common comunal wine.) This is point of much contention, so far as my dad is concerned. Being a junior priest, it falls to him to consume the unused portion of bread and wine after the service, which sometimes can be subsantial. All that sweet, dark wine early in the morning and before he's had a meal can be unpleasant, to say the least. He's perptually trying to get churches to use a dryer, lighter wine. There is no particular reason to use a sweet wine for communion, other than many feel it makes it easier for the children of the church to cope with receiving comunion.

It is notable that wines like Mavrodafni are often liberally cut with hot water. I believe that this is in line with an ancient practice of thining wine with water dating from an age before wine producing techniques had progresed to the point that wine itself was consistantly palatable. Of course, there are scriptural reasons for the mingling of wine and water, as well.

Another interesting Eastern communion practice arises from the fact that, especially in small churches, one does not use an entire bottle of wine for the comunion. One need's only a glassful or two to fill the chalice. The rest is left in the bottle, unconsecrated. Many churches save this wine to be used at the next service... usually the following Sunday. In the Russian tradition, however, this unconsecrated wine is brought out on a little table with a loaf or two of bread (Eastern Churches use levened bread, not wafers) to be shared by the parishoners. This second service of wine and bread is its own sort of comunion -- not, understand, a sacrament -- in that the sharing of bread and wine, or any food for that mater, amongst the comunity is itself a holy practice. It is not unusual for children to partake of wine, then, either (reasonably, of course).
 
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