Vassilis Doxaras: The owner of Tannin speaks about his wine restaurant in Larissa.13-01-2016 12:13How did you come up with the idea of creating Tannin Wine Bar Restaurant?
The whole idea was based on our infinite love on wine and good food. We wanted to open a different restaurant in the city of Larissa –where we live-so as people to be able to learn about wine, to harmonically combine it with top quality dishes and in general to experience the amazing fusion these two can offer.
To some, there is the impression that wine bars are addressed to specific audience. Do you agree with that?
No, I believe this is prejudice. I just think that because wine has a long history and great culture, perhaps one begins to appreciate it at more advanced age. It is a matter of culture I guess. But here, in Tannin, we try to give the right incentives, so as to reach younger people and teach them how to enjoy a good wine and enjoy the emotions that come out of that.
Tell us a little about the etiquettes one can find in Tannin wine restaurant.
At the moment we do have 250 different labels, from Greek and foreign vineyards. You can taste various types of wines from every corner of the country, but also varieties from Spain, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, and California.
Labels from different corners of the planet… Spontaneously it comes to my mind to ask this: what is the cheapest and what the most expensive label of Tannin?
Due to the fact that our restaurant is situated in Thessaly, in the center of Greek mainland, we chose to support the local producers, who turned in offering better prices. This means that you can enjoy their bottles in very attractive prices that begin from 10 or 12 euros. However, there is a great variety of labels, for every taste and budget. There are bottles coming from personal collections, such as Chateau Lafite, Opus One from California and many more that cost over 1000 euros.
Give us a little insight of the costs. What would someone pay coming here? What is an average price per person?
I would say that an average cost for someone to eat is about 10-12 euros, meaning a main plate, a chicken fillet for example or the Tannin tenderloine, along with a glass of red or white wine. A group of four who will order four main courses and two bottles of wine will pay about 60-70 euros, which I think is affordable.
What is your experience over wine until now and what do you dream of Tannin?
Well, I started working in the field of dining in young age. Five years ago I understood how much I love wine and the pleasant feelings it brings out. So I started visiting various Greek vineyards so as to watch the whole making procedure, the harvest, the way grapes are pressed, how the red and white wine are produced, their aging. The idea of opening a wine bar begun to change into an intense wish. At that moment, me and my partners, invested on traveling in various places to gain knowledge and experience.
My vision is to teach people to drink wine, regardless their age, to teach them how to choose and combine a good wine with the right dishes, because that’s the only way to enjoy their harmonically fusion. This is what we did in Tannin. We combined specific wine labels with the appropriate food. Along with the fitting music and the elegant atmosphere, I think we made something unique in the city of Larissa, where people can come and have fun or relax.
Let me ask you something that many may be thinking as they read this interview. In order someone to visit Tannin, are there any specific knowledge he needs to have? If he is not aware of the secrets of wine, will he feel uncomfortable?
No, no way. The staff is experienced enough not to let our customers live such a feeling. They will help you choose wine and dishes, but also answer questions about our labels and their production. The space should not “frighten” you. The setup of such an area had to be beautiful, suitable to support a wine restaurant and the wine culture in general, but this shouldn’t make someone think that everything here is expensive. This is how we had to organize Tannin: adequate food, adequate wine labels, assigning staff, costumes, decoration.
The area is perfect, indeed. Is it available for parties or social events?
Yes. As you’ve probably seen, there is an attic that can accommodate up to 40 persons, ideal for private parties and events. It can also be used for business meetings, which is why we offer a projector as well. Besides the events, we also organize wine tastings, depending on the period, so that you can taste various wines from Greek vineyards. Now we try to make it wider, meaning wine tastings from foreign vineyards, perhaps from France for instance, accompanied by French music and cuisine. In that way one could experience a “trip” without leaving the city of Larissa.
Do you believe that Larissa –even through the culture of wine- could be a city life destination? A place that someone would visit for a weekend of fun and relaxation?
Indisputably. There are some regions here, such as Rapsani, Limiola, Zafiraki, where unique wines are produced, so it could be a good idea for someone to combine his travel here with a special visit in the local vineyards, except for seeing the already known sights of interest.
Let me close by saying this. Tannin offers you the opportunity to buy the labels offered, so that you can enjoy them later, at home or elsewhere. If you liked what you’ve tasted, you can buy it in a lower price.
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