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What wine to drink in Greece

I’m off to Greece on holiday and my knowledge and experience of Greek wine doesn’t extend far beyond assyrtiko and xinomavro.

What other grapes would you recommend (white, red and rose)?

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When I was living there 91-94, wine in most places was very usually served from the barrel by the kilo or mezzo-kilo (half kilo). The wine would usually be from the family vineyard somewhere, and what the wine actually was often remained a mystery beyond the colour. Usually perfectly good though, and often actually very good. Choice of kokkino (red) or aspro (white).

There are more “fancy” restaurants these days though where you’re more likely to get bottles available. And there seem to be more “international” grapes grown these days too. Much more choice these days.

So Xins & assyrtikos as you say yourself, and lots of Agiirtitikos (excuse spelling - I’m on a tiny mobile while fishing!) Hatzidakis wines were always a good bet and were well-regarded.

Grape-wise, Liatiko (red wine) is usually very good; best served slightly chilled IMO. Xin rose is always excellent IMO

And Retsina is different stuff these days and often very good too

Unless you’re in very high turnover tourist areas, my experience (albeit I speak reasonable Greek; or used to anyway - a bit less now sadly!) has always been that Greek folk tend to love enjoying sharing the joys of eating & drinking, have great pride in their food & wine, and will very happily talk you through ideas & choices.

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I’d drink Greek varieties only and avoid ‘international’ grapes like chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and merlot. Which varieties will depend on where you are staying. Lots of fascinating local wines on Crete, for example.

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MrNXM - where are you going to be in Greece?

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Malagousia is making a comeback. Worth looking out for. A white wine grape. Quite floral, rather attractive.

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I think such wines are always worth trying. When we were in Santorini a few years ago, we mainly ate in tavernas that sold such wine. One also catered for large tourist groups too, but we sat in the small section where the locals hung out. Much better than expensive flashy style-over-substance tourist places.

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Precisely - it depends on which bit you are going to. tell us !!

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I have very little experience of Greek wines but I’ve enjoyed a couple of moschofileros from TWS.

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@crocos @PHarvey
I’ll be in the Peloponnese, although I know there is a pretty good selection of wine from all over Greece where we’ll be staying.

Ok so it’s Mantinia and Nemea country then ? (rather than over the mountains to the north side, in Patra ?)

Mantinia’s main variety is the white Moschofilero - look for Troupis, Tselepos -

and Nemea is home to the red easy-drinking, but no less lip smacking, Agiorgitiko, but also the ubiquitous Roditis and Malagousia. Good wineries to look for…Lafazanis, Semeli, Gaia (who will also stock wines from their Santorini operation) , Palivou and Skouras.

All these places can be visited, Semeli is the most scenic - great views of the Nemea vineyard heartland. Here’s that view

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That’s incredibly helpful, thank you!

I find most agiorgitiko available in UK too international in style. No doubt bmore interesting stuff is available vin the region. Parparoussis is a bit inconsistent but definitely worth a shout.

Second moscofilero - very characterful aromatic yet light wine.

Mercouri is in the other side of the Peloponnese but I’d recommend them if you see any, esp the top wine (Cava)

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For other whites try vidiano, more floral and delicate than the fabulous assyrtiko,aenops do a great one. Also try a sun dried vinsanto desert wine, really special with a thick texture, more like a smoothie than syrup, but the fruit holds up the subtle sweetness, they’re usually sold after ten or twelve years.
For reds try agioritiko and mavrotragano, the first medium bodied with balanced red fruit burst expression, the second a bigger mineral driven wine that ages beautifully with gravel sucking tannins. Gaia estate or Papaioannou for agioritiko, Sigalas or t-Oinos for Mavrotragano.

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I don’t think you meant Assyrtiko :wink:

Agioritiko perhaps?

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Thanks will edit

Another fan of Mercouri wines (don’t seem to be available in the UK atm)

I had this last night which was very enjoyable. Not the most Greek of names, but a local Agiorgitiko.

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Bizios is also good for Agiorgitiko in Nemea