About Greek Wine

About Greek Wine
Greece, as you might imagine, is one of the oldest wine-producing nations on Earth. There are records that point to the first wines being produced there more than 6000 years ago. Natives took their vines to neighboring lands to introduce viticulture (especially in Italy) and Greek wine itself was thought of in high regard in ancient times. Today, after a long period of good but unexciting wines, Greek wines are regaining attention in many circles.

Greece is currently ranked as number fifteen in terms of total production worldwide. Vineyards are planted in several regions, both inland and on several islands. Naoussa in the Macedonia region in the far north is an important wine area, as is Thessaly in Central Greece. As far as the islands, Dafnes on the isle of Crete and Patras on the island of Peloponnese are highly rated wine districts.

While generations grew up on Roditis, a medium-sweet rosé, today's Greek wines are much more refined and complex. The Assyrtiko is among the best white varieties, producing wines similar to Riesling, while for red, Agiorgitiko is a prized entity. Wines made from Agiorgitiko have ripe berry fruit, medium-weight tannins and moderate acidity. On its own, it is an excellent red to drink young; it also makes for notable rosés and is sometimes blended with Cabernet Sauvignon.

Quality has improved over the past few decades; media attention has also increased. The wines are fairly priced with many coming in under $20. The days of simple Greek wines made for export to Greek restaurants seems a thing of the past.

Top Picks for Greece

Chateau Porto Carras 2010 Red Blend P.D.O. Meliton Slopes
92 points
$26
Garnet black color. Mature aromas of cherry coulis, dried herbs, tobacco, and marinated mushrooms with a velvety, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a graceful, compelling, medium-long fine oak, nutmeg, and aniseed finish with well-integrated, medium tannins and moderate oak flavor. A drink-it-now Greek red that offers a silky-smooth texture, refined flavors, and big-time pairing potential.
Assyrtiko 2018  P.G.I. Halkidiki
89 points
$23
Pale pale khaki color. Aromas of candied lemon, parker rolls, baked peach, and toasted almonds with a silky, vibrant, dryish light body and a graceful, appealing, medium-length citrus zest, fresh herbs, and sea spray finish. A fresh, food-friendly Assyrtiko with a hint of salinity; an ultra-refreshing summer wine.
LimNeon 2017  Limnio
88 points
$22
Deep purple color. Earthy aromas of baked blackberry, fresh parsley, spice cabinet, fertile earth, and orange zest with a lightly tannic, vibrant, dry medium-to-full body and a tingling, medium-length black pepper and cured meats finish with moderate oak flavor. A spicy Greek red with table-friendly tannins and a great herbaceous pop; distinctive and fun.
Sofos 2016 Red Blend Korinthos
88 points
$12.99
Best Buy
Black violet color. Aromas and flavors of baked apple pie, candied walnut, spiced plums, and black tea with a slightly chewy, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a medium-length finish with elements of mulberry with firm tannins and a suggestion of oak flavor. A food-friendly Greek wine with grippy tannins.
88 points $12.99 Best Buy