We gathered in a cozy cottage at Dorland Mountain Arts Colony earlier this year with five Greek wines to try. Each of us was assigned a food pairing for the evening. We began with 2012 Pavlidis Thema, a blend of Assyrtiko and Sauvignon Blanc. You can find out more here at All About Greek Wine. This Assyrtiko was citrusy on the nose and nice and crisp on the palate. I enjoyed the balance, mouthfeel and its finish. I brought along an alder wood smoked Puget Sound salmon and it paired magnificently with this wine as did steamed artichoke hearts and grilled chicken breast. It sells for $15.
Our next wine was from the Santorini region, 2011 Domaine Sigalas Assyrtiko. The Wine Advocate calls Sigalas “one of Greece’s finest white wine producers.” This wine had a soft nose but exploded on the palate. It was very vibrant with notes of citrus and paired beautifully with everything. Carol brought seasoned steamed artichoke hearts in olive oil and it was a great match. So was Laura’s moussaka and Hilarie’s grilled chicken. Assyrtiko is a unique varietal. I can’t think of anything to compare it to. What a wonderful summer wine for $18.
We progressed to a white blend, the 2010 Ovilos Estate Biblia Chora, 50% Assyrtiko and 50% Sauvignon Blanc. Hilarie prepared a grilled chicken breast with herbed zucchini stuffing to pair with it. The first thing that struck me was the deep yellow color. I picked up kiwi and pineapple on the nose and lots of tropical fruit on the palate. The is an excellent blend that paired well not only with the chicken but also with boubarai, Greek meatballs in a milk and egg sauce. It sells for $20.
We finished with a pair of reds, first the 2010 Urano Xinomavro from Thimiopolous Winery in Naoussa. Xinomavro translates to “acid black.” It’s a deep red color with lots of berries on the nose. Very dry, I found it a bit rough around the edges, but definitely drinkable. Karsten prepared Sykomaitha, spiced fig cakes that paired nicely with this wine. it was also nice with moussaka and meatballs. The wine was originally called Gi Kai Uranos, Greek for earth and sky. I found it online for $35.
We ended our evening with the 2007 Boutari Grande Reserve Naoussa. Boutari only gives the Grande Reserve designation to wines that have spent at least two years in bottle. Brick in color, this wine presented plum and dark fruit on the nose. I found it tart and tannic, but the same wine poured through a Wine Soirée aerator softened it considerably. I found it paired well with Karsten’s fig cakes as well as moussaka and boubarai. It sells for about $22.
Our favorite wine of the night was the third wine we tasted, the Assyrtiko/Sauvignon Blanc blend from Ovilos. Our thanks to New Wines of Greece for providing our bottles.