Every year on July 7th World Chocolate Day allows chocolate lovers around the world to indulge in their favourite treat without any guilt. And to celebrate we’ve rounded up the best Greek wines to pair with the chocolate of your choice.
Over the years, Valentine’s Day has become synonymous with chocolate, in the consciousness of the world. But each year, on July 7, we commemorate chocolate’s introduction to Europe in 1550.
Chocolate offers a broad range of flavors and flavor complexity, just like wine. When wine and chocolate are paired successfully, the result raises both elements to a higher level and creates a perfect duo for the tongue and mouth.
As with any pairing of food and wine, there are no set rules. Palates are subjective and experimentation is the key to discovering new loves. However, there are some tips and established norms for those who prefer shortcuts over trial and error. Let’s see some pairing suggestions below.
Dark chocolates with 70% to 100% cacao are the most intense. By definition, dark chocolate contains a minimum of 35% cocoa solids. They have a rich flavor and they call for a wine that offers full-body, robust aromas and intense flavor sketches with bold fruit. A Zinfandel wine would do the job in this case, but The Zinfandel variety is not vinified in Greece so dark chocolate lovers won’t be able to combine their favorite chocolate with an appropriate wine. Ok, I’m joking. Cabernet Sauvignon and dark chocolate usually work well together, because Cabernet Sauvignon is generally full-bodied and it needs to be matched with intense flavors, so raising the cocoa content in the chocolate is key.
As the cocoa content decreases (50% and below) we may consider a wine from Syrah or Merlot grapes.
If I had to opt for some Greek labels, those would be the Avlotopi of Tselepos Estate, an 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and the Les Rois Des Montagnes of Papargyriou Winery, an intense and concentrated 100% Syrah wine.
Even though it is referred to as white chocolate, this dessert isn’t technically true chocolate as it doesn’t include cocoa, but cocoa butter, sugar and milk solids. Its sweet flavors of cream, milk, honey, vanilla, caramel, or fruit make it quite a versatile pair with wine. Italy’s Moscato d’Asti with its subtle bubbles would make an ideal candidate. Another route, for pairing wine with white chocolate, based on Greek vinifications is Muscat, which tends to be lightly aromatic and fruity, i.e. characteristics that lift and refresh the palate. Gewürztraminer with its slight sweetness plus typical lychee fruit tends to also hold up quite well to the buttery mouthfeel and intense profile of white chocolate.
Recommended labels: Lenga, a semi sweet Gewürztraminer from Avantis Estate and Lagopati, a Muscat of Alexandria, Limnos from Chatzigeorgiou Winery.
Milk chocolate has a smaller percentage of cocoa and a higher percentage of sugar, compared with dark chocolate. This factor, plus the milk content means it’s milder, and sweeter transmitting flavors of brown sugar, cocoa, vanilla, honey, caramel, milk, cream and nuts. The ripe, red fruit and often lighter body and silky tannins of a Pinot Noir or a medium-bodied Merlot will match well with the smooth character and cocoa butter components of milk chocolate. From Greek varieties, an Agiorgitiko could also hold up quite well to the mild mouthfeel and integrated profile of milk chocolate. Also, a sparkling wine could pair well. The bright acidity and fusion of bubbles bring out the intense fruit flavors and chocolate accents particularly well.
Suggested labels: Aurelia Sparkling from Zoinos Winery and Nemea from Gofas Estate i.e. a 100% Agiorgitiko.
If you are being skeptical about the above combinations and have doubts, you should go with a classic. The rich textures, ripe fruit factors, hints of chocolate and sweet profile of sweet Mavrodaphne makes it a no-brainer for pairing with many kinds of milk and dark chocolate choices.
Summers in Greece are very hot and chocolate consumption decreases during the summer months. The 7th of July is in the heart of the Greek summer and if a chocolate bar seems an unlikely option, then… how about celebrating the day with a refreshing chocolate ice cream …
So, if you want to enjoy a scoop of your favorite ice cream alongside your glass of wine, look for a sweet, ruby-hued, semi-sparkling dessert wine with floral notes and hints of red berries.
Akakies Sparkling from Kir Yianni Estate is an easy-to-find and budget-friendly option. Add fresh raspberries or strawberries to this already delicious combination. Perfection!
So, whether you enjoy a simple chocolate bar or something more elaborate, remember that with a bit of flexibility and delicious experimentation, you are sure to find remarkable wine and chocolate pairings that achieve the balance and seamless synergy of a well-paired union.
Happy “World Chocolate Day!”
For more wonderful wine explorations, follow George on Instagram @george.winestories
Chania is known for its wonderful people, warm hospitality, and fresh produce. And if you would like to learn about the Cretan cuisine and culture, this unique food and wine tour run by a local will allow you to experience all the gastronomical delights this beautiful city has to offer on foot.
Awaken your senses as you leisurely stroll through the picturesque streets of Chania that are adorned with a fascinating history; and immerse yourself in the aromas and flavours of Cretan cuisine, as a hospitable local Cretan host guides you to spots where you can taste authentic savoury and sweet treats.
Kelly Michelakis from The Greek Odyssey, says her tours are designed for guests to “learn about the food that makes Crete so special, as you will be able to sample many Cretan delicacies and learn what the Cretan culture is all about by a local.
“Sip on a Greek coffee and enjoy every bite of the famous Cretan bougatsa, as well as enjoy a light lunch at an iconic Cretan eatery. Our guests can learn about the different cakes and biscuits on display as we browse the local bakery, sample Greece’s famous loukoumades, try local cheese that you can’t find elsewhere and view the regional and seasonal produce of the passionate traders who are so proud to share their knowledge,” says Kelly.
With two tours currently available, there is a three-hour Food Day Tour through the backstreets and little-known pockets; where guests can sample Cretan specialties, in between visiting some old traditional stores to learn about Cretan culture and heritage.
There is also a Food and Wine Night Tour that allows guests to taste Cretan delicacies as they sip on local wine and spirits. This is where you can enjoy every bite of traditional Cretan appetizer, while admiring the stunning views of the city by night.
Easter is nearly upon us once again and as with any holiday it sets new conundrums for wine pairing. It seems that no sooner has the dust of the busy Christmas and New Year period settled, we are again arranging for our Easter festivities and deciding on menus and most importantly, wine lists; just how are we going to pair these for our celebratory table?
During childhood, Christmas is easily everyone’s favorite season. And why not, there’s Santa Claus and gifts; traditional desserts, reindeer, and snowmen. But as one grows older and wiser, it dawns on every Christian that Easter is indeed the core event of the Christian experience.
The very foundation of Christianity revolves around the Holy Week (which starts on the Sunday preceding Easter). Unlike Christmas, which has become more about offering gifts than commemorating the humble incarnation of Christ, Easter still retains the very essence of the faith. After the 40-day period of Lent, which includes abstinence — from meat, fish, dairy, alcohol, and smoking — and days of fasting and prayer, Easter is celebrated with a feast.
Lent fasting ends on Holy Saturday with the Resurrection where we all gather at home to crack each other’s red-dyed egg and enjoy a dish of the hearty, viscous and sweet-smelling magiritsa, which is a Greek traditional soup whose main characteristics are the aromas of fennel, dill and the sour taste, that match respectively to a glass of wine with good acidity and rich aromas.
Personally, I would choose an Assyrtiko from the beautiful island of Santorini, which affords some of the best and most notable versions of the grape. The “Santorini” of Argyros Estate with its full body and “aggressive” acidity, will penetrate the greasiness of the dish, refreshing the mouth and balancing at the same time the lemonish character of the soup. Alternatively, the “Santorini” of Sigalas Estate or the “34” of Karamolegos Winery will fit with our magiritsa ideally.
The lunch table on Easter Sunday consists mainly of lamb or goat cooked in the oven or grilled and kokoretsi. Kokoretsi consists of lamb or goat organ meats like intestines, lungs, liver and sweetbreads. All the above dishes call for wines with a rich body, intense acidity to break down the fattiness of the meat and noticeable tannins to bind to the protein.
“Chateau Julia Agiorgitiko” from Domaine Costa Lazaridi is a rich and elegant wine. There is cassis, sour cherry, chocolate, baking spices, and cedar on the nose. The palate is straight-up fruit with a sleek balance between flavor and feel. It is a carefully crafted medium-bodied wine with a long finish. It will match perfectly with the kokoretsi dishes.
The main dish of the Easter menu meal is the lamb of course either roasted in an oven or grilled on a charcoal barbecue. Lamb meat is juicy, fatty and spicy. The wine of choice to accompany it should be exuberant and full of aromas of fruits and spices, in order to match the intensity of the meat, as well as the spicy character of the entire dish. That would be a wine with intense tannins for spiciness and good acidity to balance its greasiness. The choices of Greek labels are countless and concern the personal taste of each one. From the red varieties, I would choose Xinomavro and Syrah while from white, nothing else than Assyrtiko.
A beautiful blend of 87% Xinomavro and 13% Syrah makes a very nice lamb pairing, no matter how you have chosen to cook it. “Diaporos” of Kir Yianni Estate is a classic example of the Naousa region, which is known for reds dominated by Xinomavro. This medium-bodied wine reveals a bright red fruit bouquet alongside flinty minerality and chewy, gripping tannin structure reflecting a profile similar to Italy’s Nebbiolo-based wines. Syrah adds some spicy notes. It cuts through the fattiness of the lamb, and the result of the combination is impressive and slightly rustic, highlighting the best of both.
If there is a white wine that pairs beautifully with lamb, it’s Assyrtiko. Assyrtiko’s traditional place of origin is Santorini, but vilifications are found all over Greece. This white grape has searing acidity that cuts through the high-fat savor of lamb. It also has plenty of lemon flavors to match the lamb roast with lemon potatoes. A full-bodied Assyrtiko, like those aged in oak barrels, is the best choice. “Nykteri” from Hatzidakis winery is an oaky full-bodied, creamy version of Assyrtiko expressing more elements of lemon custard, fresh pineapple, crème brûlée, and some baking spice. A complex wine that will pair nicely with our roast lamb.
Although the Easter table includes intense dishes in terms of flavor and fat, there is always room on it for a variety of desserts, mainly syrupy ones. One of my favorite sweet Greek wines is the “Muscat of Rio Patras” of the Parparousis winery. It has aromas of apricot, bergamot, lime, orange peel, honey and elegant notes of lily and jasmine. Concentrated and complex, in the mouth, but without tiring as it has enough acidity that gives it balance and elegance. It will fit ideally with cheese platters but also with sweets that contain syrup or are based on pastry, cream and fruits.
I leave you with my best wishes for a HAPPY EASTER HOLIDAY.
For more wonderful wine explorations, follow George on Instagram @george.winestories
As Great Lent is in full swing in Greece, discover which Greek wines pair well with lent-friendly food and dishes!
The fast of the Great Lent, along with the weekly fast of Wednesday and Friday, is the oldest and only fast in the Greek Orthodox church, which have an Ecumenical dimension, that is, they were ratified by the Rules of the Ecumenical Council.
The fast of Great Lent in Greece begins on Shrove Monday and ends on Holy Saturday. It lasts 48 days! Traditional fasting is observed as follows:
Generally, foods allowed are vegetables, legumes, potatoes, pasta, nuts, olives, fruits, honey and in general foods that do not contain animal or fish products with the exception of mollusks and shellfish due to the fact that they do not contain any blood.
Prohibited foods: meat, fish, dairy products, oil, alcohol. Exceptionally, oil and wine are allowed on Saturdays and Sundays, except for Holy Saturday, which is the only Saturday of the year in which oil and wine are prohibited.
Although the allowed food categories seem limited, in reality, they include a vast number of ingredients that are either cultivated or gathered from the Greek countryside offering an abundance of choices to prepare a fasting dish.
My general philosophy on fasting is not one of strict abidance to its rules so, some rule-bending will most certainly be tolerated if not encouraged throughout my propositions. Therefore, I will assume that oil is fully allowed during Lent, which is actually true in part and we will see which varieties of wine match the above categories of food.
Vegetables simmered in tomato
Greek specialties can be found in several internationally known dishes such as Mousaka and Souvlaki, but also in some suitable for fasting, like the Briam (Greek version of ratatouille). Red wine provides those dishes with the perfect complement to their stewed, cooked character which offers more complexity than when paired with the average green vegetable; and sometimes, with the addition of cheese (fasting rule breaker!), it’s possible to consider fairly powerful wines with low acidity (the tomatoes providing plenty of overall acidity) and a slightly stewed aroma, which complements the essential character of the dish itself. Here, the wines of the Peloponnese region are in their element and specifically Agiorgitiko either in its light red version or in the rosé vinification.
Cooking legumes and matching them with wine
Legumes are a food rich in proteins and carbohydrates, with pretty low-fat content. Beans, lentils and chickpeas certainly are the most common legumes used in Greek recipes. Beans are usually intended for the cold evenings of Lent. If we choose to cook them in tomato sauce then a Xinomavro rosé will fit it great. Otherwise, if we opt to cook them in lemon broth, the soft and discreet character of Muscat of Alexandria promises us balance with our plate.
Do you eat lentils? Many of us do not anymore. I love lentils, particularly if they are well cooked with plenty of herbs, with their mellow flavors and gentle spicing. In that case, we would opt for a wine to match the aromatic character with that of our plate. A Retsina (Assyrtiko) pairs well in this case, with its crisp acidity, rich mouth, fine resinous cues and a sense of herbs.
Finally, the underrated chickpeas, cooked with onion and lemon, offer a rich flavor, which combines the brilliance of onion with the acidity of lemon. An aromatic Messlagousia or a blend of Malagousia and Assyrtiko would maximize enjoyment.
French Fries and Bubbly…
Suppose we all liked French fries, despite the fact that it is increasingly considered junk food. Fresh potatoes don’t stand out for their flavor or taste! But when fried, their crispy sensation paired with the flavor of cooking oil and the taste of fried starch transform this otherwise uninteresting tuber into, probably, the most popular side dish in the Western World. What’s more, some if not all children believe they could live by eating only fries and ice cream or chocolate. So, which wines could best accompany that “unhealthy” temptation?
Surprisingly, the answer to this would be sparkling wine. A dry (Brut), lightly sparkling wine with citrus, mineral, and bread notes is the perfect complement to fries. The acidity and bubbles are the perfect balance to their saltiness and crunchiness. The acidity of the wine balances the oil’s fatty texture and the bubbles wash away its greasy sensation. The simplicity of sparkling wine and the saltiness of the French fries balance perfectly without one overpowering the other. My recommendation, in this case, would be a sparkling wine from Moschofilero or Assyrtiko.
Eating spinach? Spanakorizo and wine
A classic Greek food that is always present on the Lenten table is spinach cooked with rice. It is cooked either with lemon (white) or with tomato sauce (red). I personally consider spinach rice, apart from being a super healthy and nutritious food, to be extremely tasty and interesting, as long as the right balance among its ingredients is kept during its cooking. In the case of the lemon-white version, I would choose a wine of a white variety with generous aromatic richness to match the greenery of the food and the acidity of the lemon. A Malagousia or a Vidiano from Crete would be ideal matches for our fragrant spinach-rice plate. If we choose to cook it in tomato sauce, a rose wine from Limniona could be our match.
Fava … a classic dish during Lent
Fava is one of the most popular appetizers of Mediterranean cuisine and it usually accompanies seafood dishes or fish. Santorini claims the tastiest, most aromatic as well as the most expensive fava variety in Greece. Fava is usually served with finely chopped dry onion, parsley and plenty of oil. Alternatively, you can add sun-dried tomato or capers. For Fava Santorini, we would choose an Assyrtiko, from guess where? But from its birthplace of Santorini, of course. This way we would match the special taste of fava beans and the oiliness of olive oil with the intense acidity and mild aromatic character of the wine. Alternatively, a less expensive Savatiano from an attic vineyard would fit nicely with our dish.
Food and wine pairing with squid and octopus.
The lengthy period of Lent (48 days) makes it almost impossible to confine our food consumption, to legumes and vegetables solely. For a change and for the opportunity to consume some much-needed animal protein, we can turn to seafood recipes with mollusks namely squid or octopus. Apart from the classic fried squid, we can cook them stuffed with finely chopped onion rice, tomato and herbs offering us a perfect opportunity for a glass or more of rosé from Agiorgitiko grapes.
Octopus enables a wider range of recipes. Grilled, boiled in vinegar sauce, with rice, with short pasta and even stew.
So, which wines would best pair with the delicate taste of octopus? A wine with depth, strong flavor and plenty of acidity that “would cut through” the overwhelming taste of the octopus would be the option. If you prefer whites, then a Savvatiano from Attica or a Moschofilero from Peloponnese would be two remarkable choices because they are strong in flavor while retaining a long finish on the palette. Should you opt for the stew, then a red Limniona from Thessaly or even a dry Mavrodaphne from the Peloponnese or Kefalonia will give you a unique combination.
Sweets and Desserts
During Lent or other fasting periods, we can still enjoy some excellent Greek desserts and sweets such as Halvas, Melomakarona (mostly during the Christmas period), Loukoumades, Pasteli (sesame and honey candy) and a range of cakes or biscuits that do not contain eggs or dairy in their recipes. From all the above we will dwell on Loukoumades.
Loukoumades are goldish puffs of fried dough that are bathed in sweet honey syrup and sprinkled with cinnamon and grated walnuts. They are a simple treat but pack much flavor (and calories) which is enhanced by the spice and nuts. If you have chosen to completely give up meat during the Lenten season, walnuts would be a good supplement of protein for you.
So, we have a few simple ingredients for a little tricky to prepare dessert, but it will reward us both in taste and energy. We would match Loukoumades with a sweet wine. A sweet Moschato (Muscat of Lemnos, Muscat of Rio Patras, Muscat of Samos) would accompany our dessert wonderfully.
Fasting during Lent is for many of us an opportunity for spiritual catharsis and for others an occasion to eliminate animal protein from their diet for detoxification.
For modern Greeks, Lenten fast has been part of our popular tradition since our childhood and it has been engraved in us.
Fasting for almost 50 days requires substantial discipline, patience and determination to complete. It puts to the test one’s body but above all their mind and for the more religious of us, the strength of our soul.
Considering food recipes for fasting during Lent, let alone matching them properly with a bottle of wine, seems like a waste of time and energy to many contemporary people. I was once told by someone, not long ago, that scrutinizing my options for my meals while fasting was as meaningless as contemplating how many herbs and spices one should add to boiling water to make it tasty. Luckily for me or rather as an Epiphany, I had come across some old famous Italian proverbs the previous night. One of them cited: “Hunger is the best sauce for any dish”. Although my friend didn’t agree with that quote, he didn’t have much to say to respond to it.
To conclude, Lent and it’s fast could be seen not just as a relic from a religious tradition but as a testament to one’s ability to bring out creativity and ingenuity in order to make the best out of limited resources to satisfy not just the need to eat but also to enjoy his food. And no gastronomic pleasure is ever complete without a glass of the appropriate wine!
Καλή Σαρακοστή – Have a Holy and Blessed Lent!
For more wonderful wine explorations, follow George on Instagram @george.winestories
In light of the devastating events currently occurring in Ukraine, Mèlisses in Andros has decided to donate 100 percent of proceeds from their pop-up dinner gathering on Saturday, May 28th, 2022 to support the #CookForUkraine movement, created to support the current humanitarian crisis faced in Ukraine.
Since this movement’s inception, hundreds of people from different backgrounds including top chefs, award-winning food writers, restaurant owners and home cooks have cooked and shared Ukrainian dishes at restaurants, gatherings and over the internet and through doing so are raising awareness and funds. Donations are being directed to UNICEF UK’s Ukraine appeal in support of families in Ukraine who have been displaced by the Russian invasion.
“Our team at Mèlisses is eager to join forces by becoming ambassadors and hosting a gathering in support of Ukraine from which 100% of proceeds will be donated to this movement,” announced the team.
Mèlisses has created a series of dinners that will highlight Andros and its producers and reflect seasonally available ingredients.
These gatherings take place in unique settings around this beautiful and diverse island, whether in the neoclassical home of a shipowner, on a sandy seaside beach, or in a secluded olive grove. The location of each dinner will not be disclosed until one day before the event.
The dinners will be hosted in collaboration with local and international personalities – artists, chefs, hosts and creatives, brought together to support a variety of charitable organisations.
“Our aim is to bring guests together over a shared meal to experience the true essence of Andros and to help support causes that are close to our hearts,” says the team.
More information and how to book can be found here.
All wines get a holiday and February 16th is International Syrah Day, when wine enthusiasts worldwide celebrate Syrah, a red wine also named Shiraz- as it’s more commonly known in Australia.
The grapes are known for their deep red colour and small size. They can be round but have also been referred to as egg-shaped. Syrah has a short ripening period. When grown in the Old World it tends to be spicier, less fruit-forward, earthier, and more tannic. In New World, where it is also known as Shiraz, it tends to be “larger”, “bolder” and “jammier”, with less spice.
Syrah managed to spread to the Greek vineyard, in a relatively short time, producing wines of very high quality. This is no coincidence for producers, as Syrah is considered to thrive in the warm climatic conditions of Greece.
Greek Syrah is very close to the style of its New World counterpart, displaying a high alcoholic degree, prolonged extraction, dense structure, strong tannins, moderate acidity and sweets, and ripe aromas of black fruits and spices. It has the potential to age for many years and is often mixed with other international and local varieties; and gives very qualitative wines.
Below we will review five Greek labels that represent a range of styles and prices to suit every taste and budget.
Collection Courtesy of Avantis Estate Mytikas Evia
A scarce Syrah, as the production does not exceed 1,000 bottles per year. The yield per hectare ranges from 300 -350 kilos. It’s a soft, graceful wine that offers a bouquet and palate marked by dark cherry, plum, dark chocolate, and a smidge of espresso. The acidity is balanced with the delicious fruit and the tannins are intact, leaving ample room for each to develop and flourish in an elegant finish. If there was a pedestal, surely one place would belong to the Collection. It is certainly up for the challenge of grilled roasted meat, hunt stewed red and hard yellow aged cheese.
Oenotria Land Courtesy of Domaine Costa Lazaridi Kapandriti – Athens
This wine is dominated by Syrah (90%) with Agiorgitiko adding background notes. The small area yield (approximately 250kg per acre) gives enormous condensation to all levels of the wine. Intense and complex aromas of cherry, plum, vanilla, fig and chocolate. It has a rich flavor with balanced acidity and silky tannins while its finish is a very long intersession with notes of vanilla. It’s sure to add charm to a dinner, especially when paired with a beef fillet as well as with red-grilled meats.
The Naked King Courtesy of Pieria Eratini Winery Kolindros – Pieria
Looking for a rich Syrah wine but you can’t afford to wait for it to evolve over the years? Then check out this classic, well-made wine from Pieria in Northern Greece. A blend of 85% Syrah and 15% of the rare local variety Kolindrino. The name Naked King may be very original, but the wine is not characterized by nakedness as it wears armor of condensation and exuberance. The Naked King brings to our glass intense aromas of dried fruits, fresh framboise, cassis and cranberry while sweet spices and notes of the barrel complete its complex and charming palette. Mouth saturating, very well structured and balanced. Made for rich dishes of red meat. It’s also sure to impress with foie gras.
Emphasis Courtesy of Pavlidis Estate Kokinogeia – Drama
If you are looking for a solid, typical expression of Syrah variety, Emphasis is a perfect pick. It offers a bouquet and a palate of black fruits leather, thyme, black pepper, chocolate, and vanilla. High acidity, velvety tannins, long, spicy aftertaste. You’ll also appreciate that it’s easy to find and a sure shot with red fatty meats with spicy sauces or roasted lamb. So … Emphasis on Syrah!
Nostos Manousakis Winery Vatolakkos – Chania
Nostos is a theme used in Ancient Greek literature that refers to an epic hero returning home by the sea. The return isn’t just about returning home physically but also about retaining the very virtues and qualities that characterized him before he went away. In this particular case, we have a strong and robust Syrah from the beautiful island of Crete. Its bold tannins are a good asset for long-term aging. It has an oriented personality of red and black fruits with black pepper notes. A rich must try Greek Syrah. Give it a go with grilled meats or meats with tomato-based sauces and a variety of sausages.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. By the way, what’s your favourite Greek Syrah wine?
Feel free to share some of your own great wine picks …
For more wonderful wine explorations, follow George on Instagram @george.winestories
Valentine’s Day is a day to express love, a time to bring to the surface one’s romantic character, to forgive mistakes and write off bitter instances, and the perfect time to open a great bottle of wine! Just like love, wine can be complex, sweet, bold and refreshing. Selecting the “one” bottle out of many for the occasion is no easy task.
I have put together a list based on the name of the label, the story behind it, its trademark and finally the matching with a decadent chocolate dessert. Let’s look them through together …
“Don’t judge a book by its cover” they say or “a wine by its label” I would add! Except when it makes perfect sense to do just that — such as on Valentine’s Day. The wine itself must, of course, be good or the value of the label will be lost. But the right wine name can help brighten the mood even before the first sip.
Romeo and Juliet, courtesy of Constantin Gofas Estate, is a red wine whose name seems tailor-made for the occasion and its taste matches it even more. In the role of Romeo, is the robust Cabernet Sauvignon, while Juliet is performed by the velvety Agiorgitiko. The final blend is 70%-30%, with Cabernet being the dominant variety. This is a complex full-bodied wine, from which we will taste plenty of juicy red fruits with an elegant touch of sweet spices, black pepper and notes of cocoa and vanilla. It will rise up to the challenge of accompanying a charcuterie platter or a steak dinner.
Many winemakers are dedicated to producing outstanding wines. For a number of them, the love of their lives – their wives – have played the role of support and inspiration for their enterprise of winemaking. Julia Lazaridi is one of them! The winery of Costa Lazaridi in Drama has been producing some of the best and most emblematic Greek wines for decades. Chateau Julia are some of them! Chateau Julia is a series of four wines named after the lady of the Costa Lazaridi Estate, the wife of Kostas Lazaridis, Ioulia (Julia). The series includes wines with a distinct personality, each of which has a different story of taste to tell.
I would opt for Chateau Julia Chardonnay for Valentine’s Day, because Chardonnay seems to make people relax and savor the good life. Moreover, enjoying it under the right lighting, the wine can create a mirage of suspending gems in one’s glass. Chateau Julia Chardonnay is an exceptional white wine, with an impressive structure, for every occasion! It doesn’t mature in a barrel, thus highlighting the aromas and flavors of the variety. In a glass of Chateau Julia Chardonnay, one will come across Freshness, Volume, Substance … Enjoyment… an excellent opportunity to express his or her warmest feelings to someone he/she loves. Excellent with salads, small fish, pasta, poultry and yellow cheeses.
Lady Frosyne courtesy of Glinavos Estate Bubbles sets the stage for any celebration. Why not toast with your loved one with a pink bubbly called Lady Frosyne. Eyfrosyni Vasileiou (lady Frosyne) was born in Ioannina in 1773.
Her intensely erotic and turbulent life has inspired operas, plays, historical novels, popular readings, poems, folk chants, films and television series. I find that the image on the label is minimal and emotional at the same time. The content of the bottle is equally interesting as it is a blend of local varieties, the white Debina and the red Bekari. The first bubbles bring strawberry and cherry aromas to the nose, followed by sweet spices and citrus fruit jam. Its taste is rich in red fruits while the intense acidity balances with the sweetness of the fruit and grants it elegance. It is ideally combined with pasta and plates served with sweet and sour sauce. If we choose to combine it with dessert, this should be light and based on cream and fruits like a fruit tart (not chocolate).
Saint Valentine may be a myth, a story made by people for people, but the chocolate that flows a long way that day for his sake is absolutely true. There are perhaps no other combinations of flavors and tastes that can spark a more erotic atmosphere than that of rich chocolate with an appropriate wine, which speaks straight to your senses and creates an irresistible, romantic mood regardless of the season. Even more so, on Valentine’s Day.
Contrary to popular belief, wine and chocolate are a tough combination to match. Even the best-balanced wine will taste like vinegar if you drink it after eating a sweet piece of chocolate or a dessert based on chocolate. In a later article, I intend to address the ideal matching of various types of chocolate with wine.
A chocolate-based dessert may usually contain chocolate or cocoa, nuts, butter, cookies or cake, caramel, praline, etc. So, we are dealing with an exuberant dessert. Equally exuberant is the wine that we will propose. Matching equally well with most chocolate desserts, the rich and complex character of sweet Mavrodaphne best pairs with the aromas of nuts, sweet spices, dried fruits and caramel. Mavrodaphne Reserve of Parparousis Estate has a full body due to its high alcohol content and with its fine tannins, it manages to balance its sweetness. It also possesses a spicy character but it is quite smooth at the same time. Elegant & balanced, with depth and exuberance, Mavrodaphne is destined to make the perfect match for the dessert we will choose to sweeten this special day with our beloved one.
A caveat: A sweet Mavrodaphne can be massive and powerful at first sip, so, it is advisable to decant it about an hour or two before dinner and preferably pair it with a rich dessert.
I hope you enjoyed this list of wines to drink on Valentine’s Day, no matter what your plans are! If you end up grabbing any of these bottles for the occasion, please, let me know in the comments below.
For more wonderful wine explorations, follow George on Instagram @george.winestories
The Christmas season is over, and January brings us to the heart of winter. What’s the antidote to a cold winter’s night? A warm bowl of soup suitably paired with a glass of Greek wine, of course!
When considering accompanying soups with wine, we often end up rejecting the idea, mainly due to the watery texture of a soup. The answer is to stop treating the issue with such skepticism and realise that a glass of wine along with our soup course will help us maximize enjoyment during our winter dinners.
So, when opting for a wine to serve with our soup, we should consider the consistency and main flavours we are putting before our mouth cavity. The density of the soup is often more important than the type of protein in it when picking the right wine.
Therefore, let’s serve wine with our most popular soups and keep in mind a few simple rules of combination.
The main ingredient of meat soup is usually beef. In this case, the greasy texture of the meat dominates the aromas of fresh tomatoes and the rest of the included vegetables. Here a red wine with soft tannins should qualify as a choice. A fresh Agiorgitiko or a Merlot would ideally accompany our soup. Personally, I would go for a blend of 60% Agiorgitiko and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon from the “Barafakas” Estate in Nemea. The name of the label is “Xilia Xronia” which means “A Thousand Years.” It is a wine with an emphasis on red fresh fruits and sweet spices such as cinnamon. A really tasty wine. It will match wonderfully with a meat soup.
Fish soups, where seafood aromas emerge above those of vegetables, need medium-bodied, crisp white wines with good acidities, such as Assyrtiko, Sauvignon Blanc, or Moschofilero, to match the flavours of the soup. My recommendation, in this case, would be “Techni Alipias” from “Wine Art” Estate in Drama. A blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Assyrtiko. Sauvignon Blanc adds fruity aromas and acidity while the less aromatic Assyrtiko adds body, structure, complexity and ageing potential to the blend. In terms of taste (and sales) this is the most successful blend of white varieties in Greece. Excellent wine for this kind of soup.
The soup to fix all winter ailments, while delicious and comforting to the stomach at the same time, chicken soup or chicken noodle soup, calls for aromatic, textured whites with delicious natural acidity like Grüner Veltliner or Verdelho. From the domestic varieties, we would choose a Moschofilero. One of the top and most timeless expressions of the variety is the “Mantineia” of Tselepos Estate. A Moschofilero of high aromatic intensity where aromas of citrus fruits, as well as flowers, predominate. Its intense acidity “fuels” it with freshness and “nerve”. An ideal choice to accompany chicken soup.
As hearty fall and winter vegetables come into season, this is a classic winter soup, and my go-to pairing here is rosé wines. I love the “Lexis Gris Sur Lie Rose” from Zacharias Winery for its tart fruit, earthy tones and bright acidity. It’s refreshing and plays off the earthy tones in the soup.
Mushroom soup is the very definition of comfort food and comes in a couple of different versions. If we decide to get closer to the tinned classic ‘cream of mushroom’ soup, it’s better to stick to the creamy character of the dish and go for an oaked Chardonnay. “Roes Chardonnay” from Oinotropai Winery is quite rich on the palate, with medium to full body, crisp acidity, buttery sense, and impressive fruit aromas.
It will fit perfectly with our creamy soup. Darker soups that put woody, earthy forest mushrooms at the forefront of our tongue, are best complemented by Pinot Noirs and other dark red wines that are oak-aged and have subtle, earthy tones. Pinot Noir of Dio Filoi (Two Friends) Estate fills our glasses with bright red colour. It has aromas of nuts, dried fruits with spice notes and a velvet full mouth with a long, intense aftertaste. A complete expression of the Pinot Noir variety that will ideally match the aromas of our soup.
Winter is the peak season for pumpkin soup. The combination of its earthy and often sweet flavors makes this soup unique and tricky to pair with a glass of wine. Depending on the flavour profile (sweet, spicy, or both, paired or not with dense cream, garnish, etc.) some wines will do better than others. In general terms, the trick is to try to either compliment or contrast the flavours of that dish. So, think “dry” or “creamy” on the palate when it comes to wine. Here’s the place and time for an oaked chardonnay, a dry riesling, or a full-bodied Viognier. And Viognier by Domaine Gerovassiliou is perhaps the best expression of the French variety in Greece. Elegant and at the same time exuberant, it enchants anyone who tastes it! This wine features a deep lemon colour and complex aromas of apricot, butter, peach, chamomile, vanilla, brioche, bergamot, hazelnut, oak, tobacco, and white flowers. Rich mouth with full-body, discreet acidity, and intense oily sensation. Ideal wine for our dish.
Beef or Rabbit Stew
Finally, an iconic Greek winter dish. There are few meals more warming and savory than a hot bowl of beef stew. We could combine it with a bottle of Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon, which would wonderfully pair with it. Because stew is one of my favourite dishes, I would bypass the ground rules and recommend the “Black Daphne”, a dry Mavrodaphne of Papargyriou Estate. It has a complex bouquet of sour cherry, blackberry, and plum, accompanied by cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, and pepper. Afterward, it carries on the palate, with unimpaired intensity and complexity. Rich body, well-rounded, moderate tannins, and balanced acidity.
The deep, mellow flavours of the stew will meld with the soft richness of the wine, and both will improve the meal’s overall taste. Their combination reminds me of a reunion with old friends.
So, there you have it – everything you need to know about pairing wine with soups. While I’ve done my best to be as comprehensive as possible, I know that you all have your own preferences and ideas when it comes to such matches. As such, I’d love to hear all about your ideas in the comments below!
For more wonderful wine explorations, follow George on Instagram @george.winestories
December is the month of the year in which we count down the days. Why is that? Because it’s the month of Christmas celebrations of course, which peaks on New Year’s Eve in anticipation of the turn of the year.
Christmas in Greece, for the most part, equates with family reunions, exchanging presents and wishes, catching up (especially in urban areas) or even introducing for the first time new members to the rest of the family, such as newborn babies! All this jolly reunion culminates around the Christmas and New Year’s Day table.
Planning the Christmas table usually starts about a week to ten days beforehand. The number of guests will determine the size of the turkey to be picked out, as well as the quantities and variety of ingredients for the appetizers, side plates, desserts and beverages. The main characteristic of planning is abundance. Here, wasted food and the carbon footprint of the Christmas feast are never a consideration. Running out of anything that is served on the table equates to embarrassment for the host.
So let’s take a look at a Christmas menu and Greek wine list that features traditional festive season recipes.
Usually, at the Christmas table, the meat of choice in Greece for the past few decades has been turkey. If the turkey is to be considered the queen of the Christmas table then of course wine should be the king. That is why the choice of wine is not to be treated lightly. Great care should be taken so that the wine chosen would not overrun the turkey’s taste, nor its flavor neutralized by it and that of the turkey’s filling. Each turkey matches a different wine, depending on the way we will prepare it and the filling we will use.
The classic grilled turkey can easily stand next to a fruity and light wine from the Nemean variety of Agiorgitiko or rosé of Agiorgitiko. If you are a friend of white wines then a barrel-fermented chardonnay will match wonderfully with the roasted turkey and will reward your taste glands.
An Agiorgitiko wine with a strong aroma of red fruits, nuts, and sweet spices is the Driopi Classic of Tselepos Estate. A very tasty wine!
If a rosé wine would be our choice to accompany our roasted turkey, this could not be anything other than the Vissinokipos of The Palyvos Estate. “Vissinokipos” translates to the garden of sour cherries and this is clearly depicted in the intense aromas of sour cherry, cherry, and strawberry. It fills the mouth with a nice sense of acidity and tannins which lasts.
For lovers of white wines, the Chardonnay of Gerovassiliou Estate will reward them generously. With the dominant aromas of cedar and butter as well as those of citrus peel, peach, pineapple, melon and white flowers filling the background, the Chardonnay of Gerovassiliou Estate poses as an excellent choice of white wine for special occasions.
If our turkey’s filling consists of dry fruits and chestnuts, then white and rosé wine should probably be excluded from our choices and we should then opt for a “soft” but at the same time rich red wine. The first that comes to mind is Merlot from Nikolou Winery. A very expressive and charming wine that offers aromas of red fruits, a discreet presence of its barrel and a sense of plenitude in the mouth.
Finally, if the turkey’s filling features minced meat inside, then we should definitely combine our bird with red wine. We would stick to the Peloponnese and specifically in Nemea; to try a very special wine from the local variety of Agiorgitiko. The “Old Vines from Papaioannou Estate” is a wine with a rich structure, it’s plentiful in aromas and taste but at the same time remains very elegant.
Alternatively, if we choose to skip over the traditional turkey for a beef fillet, then a good and safe choice would be the wines from the French variety Syrah with the characteristic aromas of sweet spices and red fruits. Greece has a variety of quality Syrah wines. An ideal wine for this occasion is the “Holy Time” of the Avantis Estate. A blend of 92% Syrah and 8% Viognier, based on the philosophy of the famous Rhone wines. It has a complex aromatic bouquet while in the mouth it is full and elegant. It would be everything you need for the Christmas fillet.
For the New Year’s table, there are more meat options for the main course. Greek tradition favours pork, which ideally matches with a rich Agiorgitiko or Cabernet Sauvignon or a dry Mavrodaphne. In the latter case, we would prefer the dry Mavrodaphne of Parparousis Estate under the label of “TAOS”. It features a unique aroma of herbs and sweet fruits that is imprinted permanently on the nose, while its excellent taste makes it a superb wine.
For those who will opt for the wild version of pork, namely wild boar, then they should look for an intense wine to accompany it with an aged Xinomavro from the area of Naoussa and more specifically, “Diaporos” of the Kir Yianni Estate. A Blend of 87% Xinomavro and 13% Syrah. A rich wine with an excellent structure where red fruits dominate while 13% Syrah offers it a spicy character.
A sweet epilogue…
Sweetness in life arises from various sources. Often so, from things that we cannot touch or even explain. A good thought, a smile, an intimate smell, a pair of eyes and a hug take us to another sweet dimension.
During the holidays, the need and the mood for sweetness become even greater and is expressed through emotions or through flavours and tastes. Setting aside the emotional aspect of sweetness, during the Christmas holidays there will usually be quite a few different kinds of desserts that will satisfy our taste receptors. Nevertheless, the classical stars of Christmas desserts in Greece and of all Greek communities that keep up with their national traditions are “melomakarona” and “kourabiedes”.
Μelomakarona are biscuits soaked in honey syrup which gives them a distinct chestnut brown colour, sprinkled with walnut crumbs and their taste resembles that of a cookie soaked in thin honey.
Kourabiedes on the other hand are a kind of butter biscuits with a more crunchy, crumbly texture on the tongue which is sprinkled with icing sugar all over.
Both melomakarona and kourabiedes appear in a modest look but if successfully prepared, they feature a more sweet taste than meets the eye.
A good combination with melomakarona would be a sweet Malagouzia and specifically the “Sweet Wishes” from the Pieria Erateini Estate, with aromas of dried fruits and honey. Kourabiedes would require a more elegant sweet wine. Samos Moschato gives away such elegant expressions and we should go for the Samos “Nectar” of the Samos Cooperative.
On New Year’s Eve the Vasilopita cake, a plain traditional cake on steroids of butter, dominates the options for a dessert, leading to a semi-sweet semi-sparkling label. The “Akakies Sparkling Rose” of Kir Yianni Estate with aromas of butter, caramel and cherry will be beautifully combined with the Vasilopita.
Finally, one of the most important Greek sweet wines was awarded multiple times with worldwide recognition and acceptance. The Vinsanto 12 y.o. of Argyros Estate with an impressive look of a dark bronze hue with considerable complexity in its aromas and flavour. The aromas that stand out are those of dried plum and raisins, chocolate, coffee and roasted nuts. It has a rich velvety texture that remains persistent all over the mouth. Its acidity impresses the taster and balances the intensity of the sweetness. It is an elegant, complex and lovely wine. It will match with syrupy sweets, chocolates or chocolate tart, nuts, or even a cigar on New Year’s Eve. Those who desire a more holistic experience, ought to combine it with a plate of intense cheeses.
I hope your holiday table is full of special flavours, love, warmth and memorable wines!
For more wonderful wine explorations, follow George on Instagram @george.winestories
Cabernet Franc Day, celebrated on December 4th each year, is an international wine day dedicated to this particular variety. Cabernet Franc is one of the major black grape varieties grown worldwide and finds itself within the top three (black) grape varieties used in wine production.
Cabernet Franc grapes are mainly grown to be blended with the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in a Bordeaux style and can also be vinified alone.
It’s usually in the shadow of the iconic Cabernet Sauvignon, while many tend to liken it to Sauvignon’s feminine side. It makes a bright pale red wine that contributes finesse and lends a spicy aroma that blends with more robust grapes.
Cabernet Franc is believed to have been cultivated originally in the Libournais region of southwest France sometime during the 17th Century, although recent research shows Spain as the country of origin; and in particular the Pais Vasco region near the border of France.
Cabernet Franc is cultivated in Greece too and is found in single varietal vinifications and blends. Below we check out four prime Greek labels. Two single variety and two blends.
Opus IB | Domaine Hatzimichalis
The ethereal character of Cabernet Franc is clearly reflected in this rare bottling by Hatzimichalis Estate winery in the Valley of Atalanti in central Greece. Many consider the 2004 vintage as the top Greek red label ever released.
Whoever is lucky enough to get his lips on a glass containing this label should make sure to accompany it with a prominent recipe of red meat in order to enjoy a unique gastronomic experience.
Cava Amethystos | Domaine Costa Lazaridi
A robust wine, dense and hedonic that can be enjoyed fresh at the current vintage of release but will reward those who decide to age it, with very special moments of pleasure. An authentic, high-level expression of Cabernet Franc.
A special wine for special moments. It would pair well with a plate of slow-cooked game accompanied with a wine sauce.
Synoro | Domaine Skouras
Synoro means Border and its name comes from the bordering estates that are also depicted on the label. A blend of 40% Cabernet Franc, 40% Merlot, 20% Agiorgitiko.
A rich and at the same time elegant wine whose complex character seeks the complexity of slow cooking. Try it with wild boar cooked along with hot spices in the pot.
Magic Mountain | Nico Lazaridi Winery
An emblematic label of this Greek vineyard. It was one of the first if not the first premium label to be released in Greece in the late 1980s. A blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Cabernet Franc.
The Magic Mountain from Nico Lazaridi is proof of the fact that classics are forever and favourites are for sometimes.
Pairs very well with slow-braised veal or a porterhouse steak.
Happy International Cabernet Franc Day to all you wine lovers out there!
Tsipouro, a clear distilled alcohol – 40-50%! – is made from grapes (the pulp, leaves and skins) and has been around since ancient times. Warning: it’s not for the faint-hearted.
Indeed, in the olden days, tsipouro was diluted in water and consumed by hardy labourers, enjoyed as a sort of poor-mans wine. Essentially a pomace brandy, the spirit has become increasingly popular over the last three decades in Greece (it was commercially unavailable until 1990), and in more recent years the country’s trendy mixologists have gained global award-winning reputations for cocktail concoctions based on the drink.
How Tsipouro is Enjoyed
Traditionally, and we’re talking callous handed farm lords at the village kafeneion here, tsipouro is drunk in small glasses and never alone, neither in terms of company nor in terms of other consumables. Because of its suddenly hitting potency, it is normally accompanied by at least two meze dishes. In modern times creative and entrepreneurial new generation Greeks have tapped into the tapas concept and have generated an entire drink-dining industry around this factor nationwide, with Volos as a centre point. True tsipouro aficionados in the know to go to Volos, under Mt. Pelion and at the shores of Pagasetic Gulf, where there are by now over 600 places honouring the drink. Head there to savour the largest and most palate-pampering variety of tsipouro brands in combination with near-gourmet mini dishes on the side (see some must-visit suggestions below). Another important tip for how to enjoy tsipouro comes in several forms of one-word advice: Slowly. Wisely. Happily.
History of Tsipouro
Paradoxically, we can thank the monks at the reclusive religious peninsula of Mt Athos for the tsipouro recipe. Since the 14th Century, the large community of monks on the holy peninsula mastered the then-secret art of making this purified spirit by first fermenting and then distilling the grapes to create the imbibable result. The drink was minimally enjoyed during special events such as major religious holidays.
Tsipouro-Making in Greece
The season for producing tsipouro is between October and December, and it can be a wonderful travel experience to visit producers and sample their freshly made fuel after observing the production process.
The Cretans are big fans of tsipouro, which unlike the rest of Greece they call raki or tsikoudia, and will gladly offer several glasses of it to even absolute strangers in their inherently hospitable way. Apart from Volos and Crete, other well-known tsipouro-making/drinking regions are Thessaly and Epirus.
Where to Drink Tsipouro in Athens
Metaxa 2 (Andrea Metaxa 2, Exarcheia) In the heart of Exarcheia, this cooperative-café is ideal for vegan/vegetarian tsipouro-lovers wishing to eat ethical yet yummy meze dishes.
To Tsipouradiko tou Apostoli (Tron 43, Ano Petralona) A broad selection of tasty meze dishes like fried calamari and several tsipouro brands to try at this Petralona classic.
I Thessali (Melinikou 2, Votanikos) Tsipouro from the region of Karditsa in Thessaly, live music, many meze dishes and a youthful crowd who appreciate the reasonable prices.
I Avli (Ag. Dimitriou Square 12, Psyrri) An out of the way spot that was a near-secret until it became a trendy hideout. Here you can enjoy your tsipouro with fried meatballs and chips.
On the same street in Psyrri you will find one of the oldest tsipouradika in Athens. Set in a neoclassical building it also features a charming garden; perfect place to enjoy a few drinks and meze with friends in both winter and summer.
Two Tsipouro Cocktails to Make This Christmas!
Pink Tsipouro Fizz
5 ml bitter almond syrup
5 ml lime juice
pink grapefruit soda
Mix first three ingredients, add ice then top with soda and serve with strawberry slices.
10 fresh mint leaves
fresh lime or lemon juice
2 tsp brown sugar
1 shot tsipouro
In a tall glass bash the mint with a small pestle or the handle of a wooden spoon, adding the sugar and lime juice while continuing to break the leaves and extracting their oils. Add crushed ice and pour in the tsipouro. Mix well while topping up with soda.
Just as we dress seasonally, reflecting changes in the weather, we choose seasonal destinations for our vacations. The weather also determines our eating habits; as certain recipes are ideal for summer and others are better cooked in winter. And so, it also makes sense to choose our wine dependent on the season.
Although in simple terms ‘seasonal wine’ seems to focus on colour, with refreshing whites and rosés of spring/summer being exchanged for warmer reds in autumn/ winter; colour is in fact not the most significant factor when drinking seasonally. The texture and weight of the wine are what really counts; with crisp, fresh whites and light, fruitier reds headlining the warm summer months and the heavier whites and reds taking centre stage during the cold winter.
This brings us down to November, and towards the end of fall before winter begins. What better way to get you through the dreary cold months than a night in with some great food and delicious wine to match?
My own preferences during the cooler days are full-bodied reds, with tannins and higher alcohol levels, and full-bodied, oaked whites. Here I list five Greek wines that I prefer in winter and also recommend some food options that pair well with each bottle.
-Merlot is usually fleshy and sweet. In the case of Kokkinomylos we find condensation, structure and the ability to evolve what few Greek merlots can give.
-The fruits of the forest predominate in a ripe version, the tannins are very soft, and its acidity gives freshness. The elements of the barrel give it aromatic complexity and a sense of vanilla, chocolate and sweet spices in the aftertaste.
Pairs well with: Braised beef, hare, or wild boar stew. Also a good choice with yellow-aged cheeses.
-A Cabernet Sauvignon could not be missing from this list. With an acre yield of fewer than 500 kilos per acre, one thought comes to mind: Condensation.
-The 24-month maturation in the barrel gives aromas of butter, spices, chocolate, caramel that in combination with the aromas of red fruits, eucalyptus, lavender and green pepper create a complex set of aromas and flavours that are characterised by intensity and exuberance.
Pairs well with: Roast pork or wild boar, as well as braised meat dishes.
-This is probably the first Greek chardonnay wine that matured in oak barrels somewhere in the early 1990s. Although its name refers to smoke due to the long stay in a barrel, the elements of oak are very distinctive.
-It has a rich flavor and creamy texture and in the mouth, there are constantly alternating flavors of tropical fruits, herbs, honey with discreet notes of vanilla.
Pairs well with: Fish, pasta in white sauces, as well as roast chicken.
-A Santorini wine could not be missing from the list. Tradition says that Nykteri is the wine that the sun does not see, as the harvest becomes night. In this case, the overripe grapes rest for 12 months in oak barrels creating a complex whole with a perfect structure.
-Sweet lemon, orange peel, dried peach, grapefruit, vanilla, toast, butter, and vanilla. The sharp acidity balances with the intense oiliness and all this in a background of sea air and intense minerality. An impressive wine that expresses a unique terroir.
Pairs well with: Lamb or goat in the oven, as well as with a thick piece of fish on the grill.