Just about every Monday at 9PM EST, I participate in a virtual wine chat called #winestudio. This interactive and engaging online experience is focused on wine education and put on by the good folks at Protocol Wine Studio. We recently spent a few weeks covering Greek wines -- a region that can be a daunting and intimidating experience even for well-seasoned wine consumers. With grape names like Assyrtiko and Xinomavro, the average consumer is likely to pass over these wines and seek out a label they are more familiar with – at least something they can readily pronounce. Having said that, the limited selections I have come across at local shops have been priced just under the $20 sweet-spot for consumers and offer relatively good quality-price ratio. Once you get into these wines and start enjoying them, the grape names will roll off the tongue (with a little practice).
Pouring a Splash of Moschofilero
Greece is steeped in viticultural history which goes back well over 4000 years. The region also boasts over 300 indigenous grape varieties. Of the myriad of grape varieties, a handful have broken into the competitive US market and are generally well liked by consumers who give them a try. Below are three selections accompanied by my tasting notes and a picture I snapped of each bottle. All of these wines were pleasing and well-made – as I’m sure you can ascertain by the reviews I have left. Whether you find these particular wines or not, I encourage you to check your local wine shop for reasonably priced Greek wines – you may find a new favorite. You know my old saying, “Variety, so they say, is the spice of life; so keep an open mind and an open palate and enjoy the experience.” Drink well my friends!
Domaine Skouras 2012 Moschofilero
1) Domaine Skouras 2012 Moschofilero [Peloponnese] (SRP $18): This wine shows appealing aromas of citrus zest, honeysuckle, and white flowers with a pleasant underlying minerality. The palate mirrors the wine's aromas with bright fruit that’s balanced by zippy palate-cleansing acidity. Overall, this wine is fresh and lively with a food-friendly nature that’s perfect for summertime/anytime sipping. (Other info: ABV 12.5%, stainless, no ML). Click here to find this wine.
Domaine Sigalas 2011 Assyrtiko-Athiri
2) Domaine Sigalas 2011 Assyrtiko-Athiri (SRP $18): This is a pleasing white wine from the Greek island of Santorini. It boasts subtle aromas of orange blossom, bright yellow fruits, petrol tones, and a slight hint of salinity with a muted mineral edge. The palate mirrors the wine's aromas with a lovely backbone of acidity, fresh fruit flavors, and a short-to-medium length mineral-laced finish. Overall, this interesting wine, which is both delightful and refreshing, gets bonus points for having an appealing supple texture. (Other info: ABV 13.9%, 75% Assyrtiko, 25% Athiri). Click here to find this wine.
Alpha Estate 2009 Hedgehog Vineyard Xinomavro
3) Alpha Estate 2009 Hedgehog Vineyard Xinomavro [zee-NO-mav-ro] (SRP $24): This deep-colored wine exhibits aromas and flavors of dark-purple stone fruit and black cherries alongside brown spice, woodsy tones, subtle hints of graphite, and notes of vanilla and black pepper. The wine fills the mouth but is not overly weighty on the palate. Its ripe fruit flavors are balanced by good acidity with a round texture and mildly grippy tannins that persist through to a medium-long finish. This is an overall pleasant and moderately complex wine that can easily saddle up to the full and rich flavors of grilled red meats. (Other info: ABV 13.5%, aged 12 months in French oak then 12 months in bottle, Amyndeon region, cork enclosure). Click here to find this wine.
Try Mussels with the Moschofilero!
Have a question about this post? Feel free to drop me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. Stay tuned ...more to come. Happy Sipping, my friends! Disclosure: These wines were provided for review. Thoughts are my own.
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