Monday, August 19, 2013

It's All Greek to Me

Back in the early '90's (okay I am dating myself) I spent a week in Greece.  It was a spur of the moment trip to go visit a friend who had bugged me for years to visit her on the island her family was from.  Little did I know then that I would be marrying a person half Greek.  Yes, my mother-in-law is off the boat from Athens.

A week in Greece took me to two islands, Chios and Santorini.  I got the best tan I ever had and drank a lot of Heineken. I even got asked to go for a late night bite of beef stew with a guy from Zimbabwe (no I didn't go).

Wine wasn't even in my vocabulary then and I guess it might have been a good thing.  Fast forward to 2008 when I got asked (by the same friend I visited in Greece) to pour Greek wine for her church fundraiser.  In the past years that I have been pouring wine at this fundraiser (and drinking it too) I have seen a huge improvement in the quality of wine coming from Greece.

Last week I had the opportunity to take part in Wine Studio's Greek Wine Tasting.  I was quite blown away on the quality and think Greek wines have come a long way. They held up quite well on day 2 too.

We began with the 2012 Domaine Skouras Moschofilero, Peloponnese region.  This wine was fermented in stainless steel with no malolactic fermentation.

When I first opened it and took a sip two distinct things popped out at me.

  • a strong honeysuckle aroma followed 
  • a strong white pepper finish.
As the wine opened floral notes along with rosewater and some passion fruit appears.  Nice acidity and a little minerality has a nice fresh feeling on your palate as the wine finishes with hints of orange zest and white pepper. SRP $18

Next up was 2011 Domaine Sigalas Assyrtiko-Athiri, Santorini - This wine reminded me of a Riesling due to the petrol notes.  Nice quince scents with some red apple.  The palate was lemony with hints of petrol and a peppery finish. SRP $18

We then moved onto the Red a 2009 Alpha Estate Xinomavro, Hedgehog Vineyard, Amyndeon.  Amyndeon is located in the Macedonia region of Greece. This wine did spend one year in oak and that would explain the woody notes I found on the nose.  Nice black fruit aromas, standing out was boysenberry and clove with wood scents.  The palate had nice acidity and tannins, red and black fruit and a short black pepper finish.

My favorite for the evening was the Moschofilero.  My Greek husband wasn't around but did get to taste the next day and his favorite was the Xinomavro.
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