The world of Greek is exploding! Sommeliers have been the biggest advocates….because these wines go so extremely well with . They go well in your kitchen, too! And…..the prices are great. Here are the top five categories you need to seek out (internet or shop):
1) Assyrtiko from Santorini: Assyrtiko is THE Greek grape variety that’s conquering the world–especially when the grape is grown and vinified on spectacular Santorini. When young, these whites have the acidity of a great Chablis, with even more body and force. When old, they morph into minerally things reminiscent of great aged white Rioja. Very-friendly; I love ‘em with various versions of roast lamb.
2) Moschofilero: This is a white-variety usually grown in the Peloponnese. It is light, graceful, flowery, a perfect picnic . Drink the youngest vintage you can. Think of it as a Greek-style dry Riesling or Muscat, perhaps the two of them combined.
3) Greek Rosés: I know not why…..but the best rosés in the world right now are coming from Greece! Soon the rich and fresh 2011s will be available….look for them. This is a killer way to start off a Greek meal, along with a table groaning with Greek appetizers. Naoussa and Nemea are the regions to look for.
4) Xinomavro: My favorite red-grape from Greece. The most famous examples come from the northern region of Naoussa. Xinomavro (ksi-NO-mahv-ro) is in the Pinot Noir/Nebbiolo kind of stylistic area: light-ish, but dynamically complex. When it ages (15 years is good!) it picks up a crazy kind of tomato jam character. A GREAT for : young is fine with fish, old is ideal for grilled meats.
5) Agiorgitiko: If your idea of a great red is more in Cabernet world than Pinot world–you should seek out Agiorgitiko (ah-your-YEE-tee-ko), particularly from the growing region of Nemea. More heft than Xinomavro, more Bordeaux-like. Good ones are gushingly fruity in youth, becoming more complex after 10 years or more of age. Young or old, Agiorgitiko is a great lamb, beef and pork.