It’s no secret. Greece has some of the best wines that you can try on this Earth. Bold claim? Maybe. But it’s backed up by top quality wine products.
Greece. The little Mediterranean paradise.
This article will look at some of the best wine that Greece has to offer. We will explore the products, and what you need to look for when selecting a wine to drink or gift.
The Greek Wine: Places of Note
There are lots of places in Greece that make wine.
The following regions and places are where some of the most popular wine grapes and therefore flavors originate.
Of course, there are more. But these regions and subregions are some of the most renowned wine hubs in Greece.
Peloponnese. This region is Greece South. It is a part of the Greek mainland.
Floral, citrus, soft. This is a highly floral wine, and it really comes through in the taste.
Light or medium. Mainly light-bodied. White wine.
Low Tannin Levels: Low tannin levels make for a wine with a smooth taste. They will have less of a kick than wines with high tannin levels.
Goes with Anything: The good thing about lighter-bodied wine is that they are easier on the taste buds.
That means you may find that this particular wine goes nicely with just about any meal at the table. Or, as a pre-dinner drink.
The Not so Good
Some people prefer a softer and weaker-tasting wine.
It’s not that the flavor isn’t there, it can just be a bit hit-and-miss over the variety of the wine that is put into the world.
There is also a lower alcohol content than other varieties and fewer tannins too.
If you are looking for a lighter, floral-style wine, then you have found it. It has a memorable taste and a lower zing.
These all make it perfect for a lighter wine drink, prefacing a heavier body with a meal. It is a starter wine with top marks.
The Nemea region of Greece. This is also in the Peloponnese region, which is famous for great wine.
So it’s no surprise that two have made our list.
A very heavy, medium-sized, red grape with higher levels of acidity than others in our guide.
The Taste and The Aroma
The main taste that you will find with the agiorgitiki wine is the berry taste.
Cherries, raspberries, blackberries, mulberries even sometimes strawberries. There are other flavors as well mainly herb, grass, and earthy.
This is a heavy-bodied red wine. There are lighter varieties as well with fewer tannins and lower alcohol content.
This particular wine has high tannin levels.
With the tastes already on the table, this just adds to the initial wow factor as you sip. There is also a resonating taste upon swallowing.
Uniqueness: We’ve yet to find a wine like this one.
Though it bears similarities to other Greek wines that we’ve discussed, it has its own take on every single pronounced flavor that represents itself in the bottle.
The Not so Good
Harder to Source: The agiorgitiko grape is used in a lot of different wines.
Sp, a pure Nemea agiorgitiko can be a bit harder to find, but not impossible. Of course, the best play to try it is the region itself.
A really delicious wine that stands on its own merits. It is from a great region and the whole process up until it reaches your mouth makes for a top-tier Greek wine.
Naoussa, a village on the Greek islands – Cyclades. It is known for its sunny weather.
Red grapes, or dark purple. They grow in a typically warm climate close together.
The Taste and The Aroma
The main tastes to note of the xinomavro variety are the berries and spices.
This is a very rich taste and aroma. You will get waves of raspberries, cherries, tobacco, and anise.
Medium to full-bodied. Red wine.
Very high tannin levels mean that this wine is full of flavor and heavier than other wines on the list.
Strong: A strong wine such as this yields around a 15% alcohol level.
Even if that is not suited to regular consumption, there is something nice about having a beautiful tasting, strong wine in the wings.
The Not So Good
Strong: We are coming back to the strength here. A really high tannin level is not to everyone’s taste.
The strength may play a factor in people avoiding this particular wine.
An impressive, strong, strikingly flavored wine from a beautiful region. One of the best red Greek wines that you will try.
Santorini. This is one of the Greek islands with a great reputation for its wine and food.
A green grape that grows in large clusters. It is probably best known because of its overwhelming and impressive mineral content.
The grapes of the Santorini region have a high mineral content because of the volcanic soil on the island.
The Taste and The Aroma
The main two flavors that you will notice in the assyrtiko wine are the apple and the citrus.
It has floral overtones and earthy undertones. The citrus definitely comes through too.
White wine with a medium to heavy body, bottle dependent.
Medium to high tannin levels. But, this is still quite an acidic and tangy wine.
Lots of Flavors
There is no denying the flavor content of this particular regional wine. It has an impressively big scope, encompassing the floral with the herbal and even the citrus too.
All the adored flavors that make separate wines stand out, come together to create a really individual beverage.
The Not So Good
We say unpredictable because of the volcanic issues around the island.
The soil is constantly changing from season to season in terms of mineral content and actual ability to produce viable goods.
As such, the wine (and grape) can also be affected in this way.
A good batch one year might be completely contrasting compared to the following year, where the mineral content may have completely shifted.
Assyrtiko, on a good year, is an exceptional wine. It has a real uniqueness to the flavor owing to the uniqueness of the island.
Thessaly. Thessaly is a region on the Greek mainland.
The grape is a dark purple with tones of red. It is a small grape, and it grows in big clusters that are quite close together.
The Taste and The Aroma
Rich and earthy. This is also a highly floral wine, and you can really get a sense of just how floral it is by the smell of the bottle.
There is also a herbal element, most noticeable is the basil that comes through subtly in the taste but stronger in the smell. Other prominent flavors include cherries and berries.
Medium-bodied. Red wine.
Medium tannin levels. This means the wine overall is not overpowering, but still has a strong taste and a tang.
Modern: This is a relatively newer wine that was created and sourced in the early 2000s.
Prior to this, the grape was largely overlooked and used to liven up other grapes in other wines. It’s nice to see a new contender with high regard.
The Not so Good
Limited Compatibility Wine: This wine really suits meat, but that’s about it. You could try it with other dishes, but it wouldn’t resonate in the same way.
A fruity, berry wine with hints of herb as well. Overall, the medium body and medium tannins make for a very satisfying wine experience, and the flavors blend smoothly.
Greek Wine Buyer’s Guide
Wine Flavor and Taste
The biggest consideration when buying any bottle of wine, is how will it taste? Maybe, you’ve got a favorite bottle that’s been with you for years.
Perhaps, you’re wanting to try something new. Whatever the reason, you can usually find a taste description on the label or from reviews.
This brings us on to different wines having different tastes. The taste of a wine depends on the grape it came from and what happens to it afterward.
It is worth mentioning that wine grapes are different from the grapes you get from the market.
For example, an older wine that has been left to sit can sometimes have a stronger and richer taste.
The Popular Flavors
Cabernet Sauvignon is a traditional red wine taste. It is defined by its richness. It can be fruity with a kick.
Cabernet is a strong wine, with a higher alcohol content than other grapes.
It has strong tannins as well. Cabernet Sauvignon goes hand in hand with red meat, such as beef, and strong cheese.
Like a Cabernet, Zinfandel is also full-bodied, but can sometimes be medium-bodied too. It has a very fruity disposition.
Though it has less of a kick and the tannins are not as strong. The alcohol levels are also lower.
This is a great wine for any kind of meat, but especially chicken and beef.
Pinot Noir can be recognized by its floral and fruity tones.
Unlike the Cabernet and the zinfandel, pinot noir is light-bodied with lower tannins. It is also dry. It really suits pork and soft cheese.
Chardonnay has fruit flavors, some of which are citrus and some of which are softer. For example, lemon and pear.
You may also get hints of vanilla and nuttiness. It is a dry wine that can be either full or medium-bodied. It goes well with fish and chicken, and softer cheeses.
The Sauvignon Blanc variety is mainly citrus flavored. It can also have more earthy elements to it, such as mint.
It can be medium or light-bodied and is typically dry. Sauvignon blanc pairs well with chicken and fish and cheese with a nut-based taste.
Pinot Gris is a subtle wine. You can expect citrus and pear flavors and a light body.
It is a wine for informal dinner parties and a starter wine as opposed to its fuller-bodied counterparts.
Pinot goes nicely with lighter food such as a salad or some types of fish and chicken dishes.
What we mean by wine purpose is what is the reason behind this wine purchase. Are you using the wine for a dinner party to pair with certain Greek foods?
Are you just having a quiet night in? Are you hosting? Are you going to drink the wine straight away, or is it going to sit in the cellar for a while?
Different wines go well with different types of food. Red, white, sparkling – they all have a home somewhere.
Of course, everyone has a preference for what they like over other types.
But, there’s no getting around the fact that some wine just tastes better with some food.
For example, there is something unique about the complement between a sauvignon red and a nice steak.
In more formal situations, such as an important dinner party, you might think about pairing different wines with each course.
The right wine can really bring a meal together and give it an extra wow factor.
Be Savvy About Price Tags
We are going to dispute the common conception that expensive wine is better.
Because, and trust us here, this just isn’t always the case. Sure, there are great wines that come with a huge price tag.
And, that price tag reflects a certain level of high quality that you won’t find in a $10 bottle from any old liquor store.
But there are also pleasant-tasting, perfectly satisfactory bottles of wines that don’t cost a paycheck.
What we’re saying is, be wary of being seduced by a high figure on an impressive-looking bottle. It won’t always translate into high-quality wine.
You may hit the jackpot, but rather than taking a gamble and losing, do your research first. Why is it so expensive?
It is always a good question to start with. Followed by: When was it made? And: How many bottles exist?
Be Savvy Of Change
It’s a great wine tragedy that quality and taste are not consistent across the yearly batches. Say, you buy a wine, for example.
It’s amazing. It has a great taste, it pairs well with your favorite meal, it ticks all of your wine receptors. So, you buy yourself a case.
Then it’s there whenever you fancy a bottle, you’ve saved some money, and you have a supply of your favorite wine.
There are lots of perks of buying a whole case of your preferred bottle. The year changes and your case is running low. Is it time to order a new case? The answer is no.
Don’t order a new case until you have at the very least tried a few bottles of the new year’s grape. There are many factors that can dictate how the wine turns out.
What you liked last year, may not live up to the same expectation the year after. But, if you are armed with this knowledge as you now are, you won’t get caught out.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Is The Best Greek Region For Wine?
It’s hard to pick the best region for wine in Greece.
However, the region of Peloponnese consistently grows and produces some of the best wine vineyards in the world.
What Is The Most Expensive Wine?
The most expensive bottle of wine, to date, sold for over half a million dollars.
The exact figure was $558,000. It was a simple Cheval Blanc, made in 1947. It was a limited edition, never to be made again.
The top five wines selected for our list are just a snippet of what the region has to offer.
These five won this year, but who knows what the world of Greek wine has yet to offer us. We look forward to finding out.