Almost everyone knows Chardonnay, Moscato d’ Asti or Pinot Grigio even if they do not drink wine fanatically. Because of the crisis that Greek wine is experiencing due to Covid lockdown, I think I have a duty to present you the Greek grape varieties for beginners, which will make everyone drink wine, and in fact Greek wine! The rationale behind my selection is based on the fact that we are talking about varieties that give, mainly, round and easy-drinking wines. To put it simply, for you who aren’t familiar with terms like tannins and acidity, I will suggest wines that are not sour, astringent, bitter and "odd". So, if you belong to this category listen carefully! On the other hand, if you are the only one who drinks wine among your friends and you want to make them follow you, get paper and a pencil!
She is undoubtedly the queen of the category since almost everyone likes her, those who know her and those who don’t! It is always the easy way out when we have in front of us someone who wants a dry white wine but doesn’t know exactly how he wants it to be or cannot describe it. Malagouzia as a passe-partout unlocks every palate and ALWAYS, everyone likes her! And how not to like her since she has intense aromas of peach, lime, white flowers and tropical fruits. The medium acidity does not bother, on the contrary, it gives freshness and balances with the oily texture. Malagouzia for the win!
Leave Moscato d’Asti aside and get some Muscat of Spina! Muscat from the village of Spina in Chania is responsible for the most aromatic, floral wines of Crete. It is the wine that pulls you by the nose as soon as it reaches the glass. The rich aromas of rose, jasmine, lemon, peach, melon and green strawberry can win over even the most demanding. Of course, it can be drunk solo as an aperitif but it goes perfectly with sushi, which I know very well that is one of your favorites!
If you like Pinot Grigio then you will love Kydonitsa. Why? Because it has delicate aromas of white flowers, pear and quince, low alcohol and subtle acidity. It is light and the truth is that it is difficult to stop in one glass. So, for you who prefer light, elegant, white wines, Kydonitsa will become your favorite!
In the tastings that I host with wine lovers from abroad, Agiorgitiko is always a hit because it seems like Merlot to them, since it has aromas of plum, cherry, cinnamon and chocolate. Its velvety tannins and its balanced acidity have ranked it among the most beloved red Greek grape varieties. Contributing to this, it has been for decades, the Greek wine that accompanies Sunday family lunches. The variety has many faces and can make from pale rosé to rich red wines. For those of you who do not like tannins and bitterness, try the fresh versions of Agiorgitiko that do not have oak aging and are reminiscent of Beaujolais (aha).
If you like rich red wines but do not like tannins and high acidity then Liatiko is for you. Intense aromas of ripe red fruits and sweet spices flood the glass. The alcohol is a bit high so if you try it in the summer, chill it slightly. It got its name from the month of July (Iouliatiko) which was the month of its harvest in Crete, where it originates. In recent years, more and more versions are released with little or no oak that are very fine and juicy.
For some it is the Pinot Noir of Greece as it combines rich red fruit, crisp acidity and soft tannins. With a taste reminiscent of wild strawberries, raspberries, tea and herbs will not leave anyone unmoved. In addition, it is the ultimate red wine to accompany fish! Yes, you read that right! A medium tuna fillet will be amazing with a glass of Limniona. In addition, except impressive and fruity red wines, it makes some delicate strawberry flavored rosés, too.