Christian CALLEC

About wine, gastronomy & travel


Christian CALLEC

Dear readers & followers

As some of you already might have noticed, there was no activity on my web log / site in the past two years. Life has not always been fair me, on the contrary, but the past years were very hard. Health problems, heavy financial problems because of the economic crisis, and sad private issues ending in a for me devastating divorce after 35 years with my beloved ex-wife. I am trying to struggle back but the actual financial situation is not allowing me to travel as much as I was used to. I sincerely hoped that the situation would get better in 2016 and that I would be able to go on with this web log / site, but I am afraid that will not happen anymore.

In the meantime, I am still active on social media (facebook, twitter, instagram, LinkedIn…)

I keep the website reachable for those who want to read again some old messages about my trips in my ‘glory’ time.

I thank you for your visit and wish you all the very best.

Never forget, enjoy life every day as much as you can, you never know what tomorrow will bring you.




The 6th edition of the World Bulk Wine Exhibition (WBWE) was a tremendous success. More than 250 producers from 19 countries from the Northern and Southern hemisphere and almost 6.000 professional visitors from 59 different nationalities… an increase of 30% compared to the previous edition of the biggest worldwide trade fair for bulk wines (bulk, vrac, in grosso, vino de granel…), in accordance with the increase of the exhibition space, up to 6.000 m2 this year. It is the huge amount of wine transacted and the turnover generated at the fair that make the WBWE the largest wine trade fair in the world.

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Don’t miss it! This is your chance to taste so much great Chilean wines in one place… Only for wine professionals!

Mis het niet! Dit is jullie kans om zo veel goede Chileense wijnen te proeven op een locatie… Toegang alleen voor wijnprofessionals!

Incontournable! Une occasion extraordinaire pour déguster un grand nombre de vins chiliens de bonne qualité en un seul lieu… Accès seulement pour professionnels du vin.

¡No te lo pierdas! Una gran oportunidad para degustar tantos buenos vinos chilenos en un lugar… Sólo para profesionales del vino.

Click on the link for more informations (use Google for translation)


During ProWein 2014, quite a big amount of #winelover community members gathered at the Tsantali stand for a unique tasting of 20 years of RAPSANI wine.

Luiz Alberto did his very best to get a big and representative bunch of ‘his’ #winelover community members, but more people came at the last moment than was expected.

No problem for Tsantali area marketing and export manager Christos Bitzios, there was enough wine for all of us. The room on the stand was not exactly calculated for the big affluence, but it didn’t affect our pleasure.

The whole tasting was guided and commented by our friend, colleague and fellow #winelover Ted Lelekas, Greek wine & food expert and … lover!

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My visit to the Greek area during ProWein 2014 was really educative, pleasant and fascinating. After the great tasting at the stand of Artemis Karamolegos (Santorini), my friend, fellow #winelover and specialist of Greek wines & food, Ted Lelekas, whispered gently in my ear: “Would you like to taste one of the very best Retsina wines I ever tasted?” Well, of course I couldn’t refuse, surely because if was at the other side of the path. From Santorini to … Thessaloniki.

#Retsina ?!

To be fully honest, among the more than hundred times I did have to taste retsina, there were maybe 2 or 3 moments where I really did enjoy it! What is retsina? Retsina is a typical anachronistic Greek speciality, wine flavoured with Aleppo pine resin. There are more stories about the origin of this emblematic wine. According to some people, the old Greek seemed to consider it as a necessary evil to seal the wine amphorae with a pine-resin-impregnated cloth to avoid the deteriorating influence of oxygen on the wine during transport and storage. That practice worked safely but also strongly flavoured the wine with resin smell and taste. When the Romans started to replace amphorae with barrels, there was no oenological need any more for the use of resin. However, says the story, the consumers were used to the flavour and the style had to be continued. Another story says that the Greek were so upset about the Roman conquest of Greece and their huge and wild thirst for wine, that they actually added extra resin to their wine to disgust the ‘barbarians’ from Rome and save the Greek wine store… True or not, I have no clue. Fact is that the strong harsh resin smell and taste was not really popular among the Western visitors for centuries. The modern retsina is produced by adding little pieces of Aleppo pine resin to the must during fermentation. The taste is not as strong as it has been in the past, but still many Retsina wines are not likely to please the palate of unaware Western consumers. Retsina is protected by a specific appellation regarding the traditional character of it. I still remember the awful smell and taste of some retsina wines I tasted some 30 years ago, especially the at that time omnipresent Kourtakis wines… It was said to be a good disinfectant for some ‘questionable Greek ‘taverna’ and their not always safe food… A few glasses of Ouzo and retsina could avoid an accelerated peristaltic movement in your belly and a 24 hours travellers’ disease free run to the toilet bowl. There surely was a part of truth in this…

However, there were also some ‘good’ retsina wines. What is good retsina? Well, it starts with a good basic wine! There is no secret about it. The better the wine and the lower the resin smell and taste, the better the result. Balance is the key; a good wine with a ‘touch’ of resin has its charm, especially combined with typical Greek food.

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