HomeCocktailDrinks Atlas: Greek Wine - Imbibe Journal

Drinks Atlas: Greek Wine – Imbibe Journal

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It’s laborious to consider that the Greeks have been latecomers to the trendy wine world, provided that they have been among the earliest wine drinkers in recorded historical past. In any case, the mythological Dionysus was the god of wine not just for his rambunctious partying habits, but in addition for locating viticulture. Nevertheless, the nation’s tumultuous historical past put Greece behind many different European international locations within the early institution of viticulture, DOCs, and processing strategies. “We went by way of a whole lot of phases,” says Dimitris Zafeiropoulos, international beverage director at Estiatorio Milos, a global Greek restaurant chain whose New York wine bar serves round 100 labels of Greek wine.

Earlier than and through Roman rule, wine flowed freely in Greece. However when the Ottoman Empire took management within the mid-Fifteenth century, strict Muslim legal guidelines resulted within the heavy taxation of wine exporters, abandonment of vineyards, and the general discouragement of wine manufacturing. From the 1820s by way of the Twenties, the main target continued to shift additional away from wine and largely on independence, as Greece slowly regained its land in segments. Regardless of occupation throughout World Warfare II, adopted by a civil warfare and a navy dictatorship, by 1971 Greece had established its first official classifications, adopting a two-tier system with Protected Denomination of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI).

“Contemplating the area, individuals have been rising vines as a result of it was a fantastic local weather,” says Zafeiropoulos. “Plenty of sunshine. Lovely temperatures, particularly within the islands there was diurnal swing, which is nice for acidity.” A whole bunch of grape varieties develop in Greece, and curiosity is rising in additional indigenous varietals. Assyrtiko is native to Santorini and shows sturdy construction with volcanic minerality, and will be vinified in a variety of kinds. “It doesn’t have very fragrant expressions, however it has full taste on the palate to make wines from gentle to medium, even all the way in which to full bodied,” Zafeiropoulos says.

At this time, Zafeiropoulos feels it’s an particularly superb time to unfold the phrase about Greek wine. “I felt inside me that it was time for Greek wine,” he says. “I really feel very assured and secure promoting them. We’ve all the time made nice Greek wines over the a long time, however now we’re particularly at a degree the place I see the consistency.”

Photograph by Philartphace/iStock

10 to Attempt

Ktima Biblia Chora “Areti”

Assyrtiko mostly comes from Santorini, however this model hails from mainland Greece on the foothills of Mount Pangeon. “It is a vibrant, refreshing Assyrtiko that exhibits tangerine and orange notes on the palate earlier than the zingy lemon end that makes you wish to sip repeatedly,” says Zafeiropoulos. Get pleasure from it with seafood dishes. $26.80, discovering.wine

Tselepos Blanc de Gris Moschofilero

Native to the Peloponnese area, wines comprised of Moschofilero sometimes have a lighter, citrusy physique. This private favourite of Zafeiropoulos is made by Tselepos at 2,250 ft of elevation and with prolonged pores and skin contact, leading to a formidable rose-gold coloration, a floral nostril, and notes of citrus and stone fruit. $25.99, gwine.com

Parparoussis Nemea Réserve

Athanassios Parparoussis emphasizes minimal intervention on his wines, selecting to chorus from filtration and utilizing wild, indigenous yeasts. The outcome right here is an expressive Agiorgitiko with violet and tobacco aromas, plus refined hints of cherries, mushrooms, and lingering spices on the palate. “Its polished tannins can ‘maintain’ a wide range of meats,” Zafeiropoulos says. $53.97, winechateau.com

Katsaros Valos

Acclaimed winemaker Evripidis Katsaros studied overseas in Bordeaux and Burgundy, and Zafeiropoulos says this Xinomavro shines with full flavors of crimson cherries, tomato, and black peppercorns, together with well-integrated tannins— accompaniment for crimson meat and mushroom dishes. $26.60, discovering.wine

Venetsanos Mandilaria

From one of many oldest wineries in Santorini, Venetsanos’ expression of Mandilaria, an Aegean-native grape, is gentle in coloration, however “firmly structured,” Zafeiropoulos notes, “with strawberries and fig aromas, and darkish fruit flavors and darkish chocolate.” It pairs fittingly with hearty meals like lobster pasta, pork chops, and cured meats. $44.99, astorwines.com

Ktima Gerovassiliou Malagousia

Ktima Gerovassiliou takes a contemporary method to processing Malagousia, an historical grape that has lately been revived for all kinds of wine kinds. Its taste boasts notes of wealthy, candy fruits like pear and mango on the palate, mixed with a brightening stability of lemon peel. A clear end ties it collectively. Malagousia is apt for pairing with the contemporary flavors of spice-forward cuisines, together with seafood and poultry dishes. $21, discovering.wine

Petrakopoulos Wines Basic Robola

Petrakopoulos Wines consistently experiments with grapes from its vineyards within the Cephalonia area, the biggest of the Ionian islands. Robola grapes are native to Ionia, and bear resemblance in each title and style to the Italian Ribolla Gialla selection. The grape produces a dry white wine of medium physique and notable minerality. Petrakopoulos’ tackle basic Robola ends in a fragile character. With fragrant depth and a lingering, citrusy aftertaste, the basic minerality of the varietal is current and welcomed. $35, discovering.wine

Mikra Thira Assyrtiko

Assyrtiko is ubiquitous all through Santorini, an island that performs dwelling to among the world’s oldest vineyards. Mikra Thira’s 2019 Assyrtiko embodies anticipated flavors of the grape, showcasing a vibrant yellow and inexperienced apple hue with a citrusy acidity on the palate. Natural aromas and mineral salinity complement the flavors on this dry white wine. $50, discovering.wine

Venetsanos Assyrtiko Nykteri

Nykteri is a standard type of wine manufacturing in Greece. The method is a extra concerned endeavor, wherein winemakers harvest Assyrtiko grapes throughout the coolest hours of the day. After urgent them instantly to protect freshness, they age for at the very least three months in a barrel. Venetsanos Vineyard’s Nykteri amplifies the standard tastes of Assyrtiko, whose vibrant yellow hues transcend to golden ones. A fuller physique rounds out the crisp acidity, accompanied by aromas of lime and magnolias. $56.97, winechateau.com

Parparoussis Vineyard Mavrodaphne

Mavrodaphne is a crimson wine selection native to the Peloponnese area of Greece, sometimes extremely fragrant and tannic. Though it’s widespread to see Mavrodaphne in dessert wine varieties, it’s additionally able to producing a dry crimson. Parparoussis Vineyard’s Mavrodaphne showcases an instance of such. Its 2015 classic has a deep crimson hue, with intriguing notes of chocolate, mint, and thyme on the nostril. The flavour is full and heavy, crammed with flavors of vibrant crimson fruits, cocoa, and pepper. This one is good for pairing with wealthy meats. $42.95, empirewine.com



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