Wine has always played an important role in the Greek culture. Naturally wine was invented by the Greeks…by the Greek god Dionysus in fact. There are many different Greek wines on the market these days and it can be hard to choose which one will best compliment your home-made moussaka or slow-cooked stifado. But fear not my friends, for I have put together a list of 10 Greek wines (and where to find them) for you to mull over. Happy drinking!
One of the most famous Greek wines, the unique flavour of Retsina comes from a blend of grapes masked by an infusion of pine resin, which was originally used to stop the wine from spoiling back in the days before the invention of impermeable glass bottles. Why not try a bottle of Kourtakis Retsina with your meal tonight.
A white Greek wine grape from the island of Santorini, Assyrtiko is usually planted in the arid volcanic-ash-rich-soil of the island and thus its mineral profile bodes well for blending with with the lines of Savignon blanc and Malagousia. Try the floral taste of Hatzidakis Santorini Assyrtiko.
If you are looking for a fruity wine infused with elegant aromas of pear, apple and peach, look no further than wines produced by Domaine Glinavos. Using the delicate Debina grapes located in Zitsa of Ioannina, this wine is considered to be completely unique in taste. Treat your taste buds to Domaine Glinavos Primus Zitsa 2013.
Those in search of a very light white wine with citrus flavours should try the Roditis grape variety – a rosé coloured grape that is very popular in Attica, Macedonia, Thessaly and Peloponnese where it is cultivated for the production of AOC Patra wines. Why not try Gaia Notios Moschofilero Roditis.
The Robola grapes are grown in the Cephalonian mountain vineyards yielding wines with distinctive peach and citrus aromas with hints of lemon. Have a taste of Robola of Cephalonia.
Grown mainly in the Nemea region of the Peloponnese, the Agiorgitiko rep grape variety can differ in taste depending on factors in the growing and winemaking processes. The grape is often blended into rosés and the wines are known for their high level of fruitiness but low acidity with a touch of spicy plum. Try the Gaia – Agiorgitiko 2014 with your meat-fest tonight.
If you are looking for a more mature wine, Cava Boutari could be the tipple for you. With a mix of fruity and spicy aromas, a tannic structure and moderate acidity this could be the perfect accompaniment to your moussaka (or even IN your moussaka). Have a taste of Cava Boutari 2011.
Translating as “black laurel” the mavrodaphni is a sweet red wine, the grapes of which are mainly found in the Peloponnesean regions of Achaia and Ilia as well as the Ionian Islands. Blended with the Korinthiaki grape it makes a perfect dessert wine. Pick up a bottle of Mavrodaphne Reserve 2000 – Cavino to aid your sweet tooth.
The predominant grape variety grown in Naoussa, north-west Greece is a native red called Xinomavro, (meaning “acid-black”). These rich, smooth reds are known for their superb ageing potential and their rich tannic character. The aromas combine fruits with spices and olives. Stock up with a case of Thymiopoulos Xinomavro.
Located about 30 miles north-west of Thessaloniki, the vineyards of the small town of Goumenissa are thriving with the Xynomavro and Negoska grape varieties. Blending these two creates a dry, rustic and fruit-driven flavoured wine, that will go perfectly with your dinner tonight. Try Chatzivaryti – Goumenissa 2013.
DISCLAIMER: Please note, I am not a wine expert and have put together this list through research alone. Please do leave recommendations in the comments box for others to see. And do drink responsibly. Yiamas!