NEW YORK – The Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce (HACC) presented ‘The Amphora: Two Sides of Wine’ on April 24 via Zoom. The event included a presentation on the history of wine with Museum of Cycladic Art archaeologist Metaxia Routsi and a tasting of excellent amphora wines available today. Moderator for the event Athenee Importers and Distributors Vice President Andrea Englisis was joined by Sommelier Michael Madrigale for the tasting and discussion with winemakers Nikos Karatzas of Oenops and Sakis Nikolaidis of Anatolikos Vineyards.
Amphorae have been used to ferment and age wine for thousands of years. For thousands of years, they also served the wine community well. Part of HACC’s wine tasting series, the event transported attendees back to the roots of winemaking to explore wines made in amphorae.
Amphora wines are unique and represent an emerging category of wines that offer a distinctive experience. In this class, participants ventured to Greece's northernmost wine regions of Drama and Thrace. Rich in wine history, these regions offer unique interpretations of amphora winemaking. Attendees had the opportunity to taste and learn about the different grape varieties available. A list of the wines for the tasting was emailed before the event. The wines could be purchased at Grand Wines & Liquors 30-05 31st Street, Astoria, NY.
In her presentation, Museum of Cycladic Art archaeologist Metaxia Routsi explored the history of wine from prehistoric crushes of the 2nd millennium BC to the luxurious gatherings of classical antiquity. The wine, as god Dionysus' gift, established the famous symposiums and led to high quality works of art to serve the process of common drinking. The presentation highlighted a different perspective on ancient Greek history as it traced the routes of viticulture during the millennia and showcased the importance of wine from ritual activities to the greatest medium of socialization.
The tasting began with Oenops wines, RAWDitis ($30.99) and XinomavRAW ($30.99), introduced by winemaker Nikos Karatzas. The tasting continued with Anatolikos Vineyards’ Natural Red ($54.99), Natural Orange ($54.99), and Pollios Oinos ($59.99) introduced by winemaker Sakis Nikolaidis. Englisis and Madrigale offered their insights into the wines and answered questions from the participants of the class throughout the event.
The video of the event is available on the HACC website: https://www.hellenicamerican.cc.