I've just come back from a short trip to Athens. Now the Greeks are not especially recognised for their wine and so it was with some trepidation that I thought I would try some of their local Reds to see how they were doing. Choosing one to try from labels that look like spiders have crawled all over them was hard but I did recognise Cabernet Sauvignon on a couple and being a creature of habit headed straight for what I like.

I am delighted to report that they were not bad at all. Like the french they tend to be nationalistic about their choices so it was impossible to get anything other than Greek wine but I am glad that the standard has improved way beyond my previous visit nearly 20 years ago. The reds were robust, fruity and very similar to South America in taste and style. Apparently there are over 300 indigenous grape varieties in Greece of which about 60 are used today.

My advice would be to give them a go, if you can find any. My local branch of Oddbins does have one or two so if you are fed up with the usual suspects then impress your friends with something different. The best selection I have found is through mail order at Yamas Wines


If you want to see more of my thoughts on Wine then take a look at http://tinyurl.com/5s5hey

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Steve you are correct the Greek wines have improved drastically over the past 20 years. There is a reason back in the 60's greek wines were here in the states but were cheap bulk production wines because they were basically under government rule. However in the 1990s the EU influxed Greece with money particularly the wine regions and many of these vineyards were broken up into smaller vineyards and family owned in boutique production and have created some excellent wines in all regions their reds are great, thier whites are superior and thier dessert wines are just plain fabulous! I know I am a distributor here in Texas and have taken on distributing the Greek wines into the standard market and people are loving them. They have won awards around the world and people are starting to take serious notice for excellent value wines. Thanks for your discussion!
Hi Frank

I am glad to hear someone is pushing them in the US. i've a had a few queries from your country folk asking where to get them in the US. Maybe you can help?

Steve
Steve well I am a Texas Wholesaler and currently distributing them in Texas. If they are in Texas I can help. Hmmm country folk...well Im not Greek actually Italian...ha!

Frank
I am actually pouring at a Greek wine and cheese tasting benefit November 16. Hopefully I will have time to taste all the wines.
Superb and enjoy. I've just responded to someone in California who is struggling to source them in the US. Maybe you could offer a suggestion? (Margie Tosch)

Steve
I have to admit I haven't even tried a Greek wine! I am guessing I won't find them on the shelf at my local Safeway either. Sounds like they might be worth checking out, although between the economy and the exchange rate I have no idea when! What kind of price range were you finding for them in the US? How did it compare to when in Greece?
Hi Margie

No idea what price they would be in the US. In London they range between £5 and £15 ($10 to $30??). They do use some of the noble grapes so it woudl be worth doing a blind comparison of Cab Sauv's if you can. The mark up for the UK is about £1-£5 a bottle but that is mainly tax and duty.

Good luck with finding some in the US.

Steve

PS> I'd vote for Obama if I could, he is really going down well with the Brits!
I'll let you all know after the pouring. The wines I was told we being supplied by a distributor.
We have a few of Vatistas Greek wines on our restaurant wine list. To me his grape varietals make wines like those from the Rhone region of France. I liken Petroulianos to Roussane-Marsanne and Kidonitsa to the flavor profile of Viognier. I like them both. We also have their Cabernet Sauvigon blended with the indigenous Greek varietal, Aghiorgitiko. Compared to the Retsina we drank as young honeymooners some 30 plus years ago, they HAVE come a long way! We obtained wines through Wonderful Ethnic. http://www.wonderfulethnic.com/

Linda Fondulas
www.HemingwaysRestaurant.com

Steve, I am glad to see that you had a good experience with the Greek wine.  In not knowing what to expect I discovered that I appreciated the wines more after learned about the region and they wine growing techniques.

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