Greek Wines to Enjoy with Holiday Meals

FILE - The Grand Tasting was held at the City Winery in New York. (Photo: TNH/Costas Bej)

Greek wines are a great addition to any celebration. As the holidays approach, here are a few Greek wines to enjoy- Agiorgitiko, Assyrtiko, Savatiano, Mavrodaphne, Moschofilero, Muscat of Samos, and Xinomavro. In May of this year, a Grand Tasting of wines from Greece was held in New York City with 39 wineries participating.

Among those in attendance at the event, Ioanna Tsilili, who represented Theopetra Estate and Tsilli’s Distillery, pointed out that this was their fourth consecutive year at the event. “Today, Greek wine lovers taste wine from Meteora, White and Red and do not hide their admiration for the efforts made by winegrowers and winemakers in Greece.”

Fotini Kolaki, who represented the Winery of Monemvasia, said that they promoted the wines Kydonitissa, Agiorgitiko, Mavroudi, Malvasia, Debina, Vlachiko, and Bekari.

Zacharias Morphogenis, who represented Fantis Foods, one of the oldest importing companies, spoke to The National Herald, noting that “We met a lot of oenologists and professionals who were able to taste the fine Greek wines in an excellent place. We are among the first companies to not only promote Greek wines but also have managed to put Greek products on the shelf and teach the American consumer about their quality.”

Leonidas Hatzimichalis, who is assistant manager of Domaine Hatzimichalis, said, “It was a very nice event and more people came from what we expected. This is a world that has knowledge of wine. They tried our wines and wanted to learn more about the varieties and the peculiarities of each variety. Their interest was great and I believe will enable all Greek producers to promote quality Greek wines in America.”

Asked about the newer varieties, he noted that “Domaine Hatzimichalis continues to innovate every year. We have Assyrtico, the white that is in the middle, a rosé that we produced from our experimental vines and the well-known wines.”

Agiorgitiko from Nemea is a full-bodied red that goes well with all types of roasted meats. Assyrtiko is a white wine produced all over Greece, but perhaps best known from Santorini where it originates. It pairs well with olives and stewed vegetable dishes.

Savatiano from Central Greece is another white wine that pairs well with lighter meals like grilled fish and vegetables.

Mavrodaphne, the sweet red wine, is one of the most popular wines of Greece. It pairs well with chocolate, nuts, and cheeses. Try it with the classic pies of the season, like apple or pecan, and vanilla ice cream.

Moschofilero from the Peloponnese is a dry, white wine that goes well with a variety of foods from spicy dishes to your typical grilled chicken and Greek salad.

Muscat of Samos is a dessert wine to try available in a variety of styles from dry to sweet with the aromatic, floral notes of the Muscat grape. It pairs well, fittingly for Thanksgiving, with pumpkin pie.