When wine is mentioned the region that most commonly pops into mind is France. Historically speaking, however, ancient Greece deserves to be acknowledged as one of the earliest civilisations to cultivate the vine.
The peoples of the Mediterranean began to emerge from barbarism when they learned to cultivate the olive and the vine.
– Thucydides, Greek Historian
- Clarity: Clear
- Intensity: Medium
- Colour: Ruby
- Condition: Clean
- Intensity: Medium
- Development: Developing
- Sweetness: Dry
- Acidity: Medium-
- Tannin: High
- Alcohol: Medium+
- Body: Medium+
- Flavor Intensity: Medium+
- Finish: Medium+
- Quality: Good
- Readiness/Cellaring: Can drink now, potential to cellar
- Identity: Greece / Naoussa / Xinomavro
- Price: High-priced ($30)
- Long, thick tears
- Flecks of garnet around the rim
- Yeasty aromas, bready, raisin toast, baby milk powder/formula
- Flavours of cherries, dark chocolates, stewed prunes, raspberries
- Acid hit on front palate, then fades away
- Tannins then cause mouth to feel dry very quickly
- Interesting nose and texture, possibly due to unfiltered bottling
- Match with braised cuts of meat and dishes with heave sauces/glazes
Greece’s influence on wine is obvious from the visage of Dionysus for the Court of Master Sommeliers.
Evidently, the ancient Greeks understood the value of moderation, as it was common practice to dilute wine with water before drinking.
The consequences of intoxication is richly narrated within Greek legend, with stories of heroes and villains going mad in an intoxicated rage.
Most famous of all is Heracles (aka Hercules), who killed his wife and six sons (some versions say he was driven mad by Hera, the jealous wife of Zeus), and could only atone through performing the 12 Labours. Thankfully, today we can just choose to drink less.
As for the wine itself, I found it presented a very unusual mix of aromas and textures to wrap my senses around. This was the first time i used such a term as “baby milk powder/formula” as a descriptor, for example, yet personally I found it to be most fitting.
Certain champagne wines are left to age on lees for long periods, and this usually imparts a bready, brioche-like character to the final product. In my mind, this could be one explanation for this particular element being present in a still red wine, which does not normally share any common points with sparkling white wines.
Its current economic climate notwithstanding, Greece is definitely an region to keep en eye on for interesting wines.
Read more: Developing A Healthy Lifestyle Around Wine