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
2015 Greek White Corinth
Bright golden straw color. Fruity, floral aromas and flavors of spiced peaches, lychee, and potpourri with a silky, tangy, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and an even, captivating, medium-length dried apricot and lemon finish with no oak. A tangy, lightly floral Greek white that will be good with seafood.
88 points $12.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
2014 Greek Red Corinth
Violet color. Fruity, spicy aromas and flavors of raisin-cherry compote, coconut flakes, toffee, and hint of apple cider vinegar with a lightly tannic, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a silky, delightful, medium-length whole nuts, pomegranate, and earth finish with dusty, firm tannins and moderate oak. A firm, dry Greek red wine that will shine at the table.
85 points $12.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab