I do believe we will be forced to sample some Greek wine, now often there are some really good wine locally available but how do you know what to buy. A colleague came up with this advice, just spend a little time browsing the racks and observe very clandestine which wine the locals take of the shelve, problem solved. Nobody intentionally buys bad wine. Sounds like good advice to me, we will have to try this one.

Glass of Red

Red Wine

  • Agiorghitiko (“St. George’s [grape]”) is a variety native to Nemea that grows mainly in the Peloponnese area, producing a soft, fruity red in many styles. Its sensory attributes are similar to Beaujolais Nouveau but, unlike its French counterpart, the St. George ages well for about 5 years.
  • Xinomavro (“sour black”) is the predominant grape variety in Macedonia, centered around the town of Naousa. This variety has great aging potential with a palate reminiscent of tomatoes and olives, and a rich tannic character. It is often compared to Nebbiolo.
  • Mandilaria, also known as amorgiano, is mainly cultivated on the islands of Rhodes and Crete. Wine from this grape is often very tannic and frequently blended with other grapes to soften the mouthfeel.
  • Mavrodaphne, or “black laurel”, is a variety that grows in the Peloponnese and the Ionian Islands. It is blended with the Black Corinth currant grape to produce a prized fortified dessert wine made in the Solera style.
  • Kotsifali is a variety mainly grown on Crete. It is blended with Mandilaria or Syrah to enhance its color.

Glass of White

White Wine

  • Assyrtiko is a multi-purpose variety which maintains its acidity as it ripens. It is similar in character to Riesling, and is mostly island-based, being a native variety of the island ofSantorini, whose old vines have been resistant to Phylloxera.
  • Athiri is a lower acid variety and one of the most ancient. Originally from Santorini, it is now planted in MacedoniaAttica, and Rhodes.
  • Debina is a white Greek wine grape grape primarily in the Zitsa region of Epirus. The grape’s high acidity lends itself to sparkling wine production.
  • Lagorthi is a variety mainly cultivated on high slopes (850 meters) in the Peloponnese. The grape produces a very malic and fruity wine.
  • Malagousia is a grape growing mainly in Macedonia, with a special aroma leading to elegant full bodied wines, with medium-plus acidity and exciting perfumed aromas.
  • Moschofilero is a Blanc de gris variety from the AOC region of Mantineia, in Arcadia in the Peloponnese. Its wines offer a crisp and floral character in both still and sparkling styles.
  • Robola is most grown in the mountainous vineyards of the Ionian Island of Cephalonia. It has a smokey mineral and lemony character, excellently complementing seafood.
  • Roditis (the “pink” or “rose” grape) is a grape that is very popular in Attica, Macedonia, Thessaly, and the Peloponnese. This variety produces elegant, light white wines with citrus flavors.
  • Savvatiano (the “Saturday” grape) is the predominant white grape in the region of Attica, where it displays excellent heat resistance and shows a distinct floral and fruity aroma when cold fermentation is practised.[14] When fermented without cooling, it makes retsina or rustic unresinated wines that complement Mediterranean dishes well.

Read about Ionian Wines Here

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