My introduction to Greek wines began a few years ago with red wine made from the Agiorgitiko grape (also known as St.George), and it was “love from first sip”. From that time, I have tried to explore more about Greek wines whenever and wherever I can. It’s no wonder that I was excited to taste the new wines from Greece that recently arrived on our shelves.
Among the new Greek arrivals, is the 2011 Papantonis Meden Agan Agiorgitiko ($14.99). This wine has beautiful dark ruby red color with deep aromas of black cherries and blackberry jam; it immediately intrigues and invites you to try it. On the palate it is a full-bodied wine with Bing cherry and black plum flavors supported by firm but ripe tannins coming from one year of aging in French oak, which creates a velvety and long lasting finish. It’s a very restrained style of wine with just 13% abv., but nevertheless perfectly suitable for summer grilling and would go well with a cheese plate.
Another great new red wine from Greece comes from the Sithonia peninsula in Halkidiki and is made from an ancient Greek grape variety, Limnio – 2011 Porto Carras Limnio ($14.99). It’s a delicate wine that needs a bit of time and air to fully open up and blossom with aromas of red cherries and spicy hints of pepper. It has distinctive flavors of macerated cherries and plum skins with very soft tannins, and overall a bright juicy finish. A great match for lighter foods.
With summer days getting hotter and hotter, more people find themselves drinking white wine, including myself. If you find that to be your case as well, Greece has plenty of refreshing white wines to offer that are perfect for cooling down. One of them is the 2013 Avantis Estate Malagousia ($12.99). The incredible aromas of roses, exotic fruits, lemon and orange blossoms in this wine are charming and mesmerizing. Its rich palate is full of yellow fruit and melon, with a silky and medium body with moderate acidity. To be honest, this wine is absolutely captivating and unforgettable. I would vote it my #1 summer white wine for its floral characteristics and friendly fruitiness.
Last but not least is the 2013 Bosinakis Moschofilero ($14.99). This wine has an unusual color to it. Although it is not a Rosé wine, because of a longer skin contact and the grape’s natural pink/purple color, it has very light grey/pink hue, which I find interesting and attractive. Moschofilero is somewhat similar to Pinot Gris, but with greater aromatics, which include white roses, peach and – my favorite part – apple and cherry blossoms! Just like Malagousia, Moschofilero is dry, but has higher acidity and minerality, that makes it delicious with salads, scallops and goat cheese.
Summer is time for adventures and fun. So I hope you feel adventurous and willing to try something new and maybe discover your new favorite wine, just like I have.
P.S. Oh! Did you notice that each of the wines above is $15 and under?!
Lilia M., Beltramo’s Wine Consultant