Wine Talk

Snooth User: bropaul

Discovering some Greek wines

Posted by bropaul, Jan 2, 2010.

On New Year's Eve I was headed, by tradition, for an early dinner with friends. We usually do Thai, but felt like doing something different. I had just happened upon a fairly new Greek place a few weeks ago and we decided to give it a try. This being New Jersey, the capital of BYO dining, I stopped at a local wine store that I knew had a large selection of Greek wine ( the proprietors are Greek). When the young man asked if I needed help I said yes and explained what I wanted. He seemed very excited that someone was interested in Greek wine. I walked out with one bottle of white and one of red. The white was by Pavlidis called "Thema" ,2007. This wine is a blend of 60% Sauvignon Blanc and 40% Assyrtiko. When we opened it, it was still quite cold and seemed somewhat one-dimensional, pleasant enough but it tasted like your basic inexpensive sauvignon blanc. As it warmed up and our appetizers arrived, it opened up and had some nice floral and fruity notes, despite being very crisp and dry. We enjoyed it. The red was also a blend called "Porfyros" by Spiropoulis, 2006. It is 50% Agiorgitico, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Cabernet Franc and 17% Merlot. It was a dark velvety wine, with hints of berries and spice. Although only 12,5 %, it tasted much more potent, possibly because of the tannins. It paired well with our main courses grilled lamb chops and a chicken and orzo/tomato baked dish. Both wines were around $16 and it was a nice adventure into a world of wines I know nothing about.


Reply by dmcker, Jan 2, 2010.

We don't talk enough about Greek wines in Snooth, I feel, so thanks for your pointers to those two. Sounds like you had a delicious time with them.

Here's one of the very few past threads on the subject:

Reply by oslowinelover, Feb 28, 2010.

Has anyone mentioned Nykteri from Santorini? I fell first for the compelling story of this 'night work' wine, and then for the aroma and taste, and can't think of a wine to compare it to.

"Nykteri - Dry White Wine
Appellation of Origin Santorini of superior quality
Since 3,500 years ago, the Nykteri is synonymous to Santorini's famous white wines. The formula to 'instant wine making' on the night of the same day that the grapes were harvested solved the problem of the variety's sensitive aroma deterioration. The Nykteri comes from the Assyrtico, Athiri and Aidani varieties. The wine making temperature does not exceed the 18oC in order to preserve even the tenderest aromas of fermentation.
The wine is matured for 3 months at least in barrels. In this way the wine's contact with barrel's wood gives the Nykteri a special finesse.
Crystal-clear, semi-yellow wine. Dominated by the aromas of jasmine, citrus fruits, flowers and pear, all these enhanced with a gentle vanilla sense. A strong body with warm personality and a long lasting taste. It is served in 11-12oC. It is perfectly accompanied with grills and poultry as well as with local Greek dishes such as tomato meatballs and fava dip."

Reply by Cathy Shore, Feb 28, 2010.

One of my friends is working as oenologist at the Gentilini Estate in Cephalonia. The wines are good - have a look at their site.
What I love most about Greek wines is their lovely indigenous grape varieties. The labels can be a bit difficult to decipher but the modern well made wines can be excellent.

Reply by oslowinelover, Feb 28, 2010.

The Robola grape looked particularly interesting. I hadn't heard of it before.

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