I have been on holiday in Greece for the past ten 10 days. Obviously, I still have to study for my WSET level 3 examination and I have been doing so but, each week, we are also supposed to taste and write tasting notes about them. The problem has been that the past two weeks have been about classic French wine areas and it’s quite hard to find the required Grands Crus on a holiday island.
Does it matter? Well, I checked with my tutors and they were quite understanding. I decided I would do what I could here ( and thank to De Blanck in Nydri ( see link below) I still managed some to write some of the required notes) but otherwise would adapt and adopt the motto “In Greece do like the Greek”.
Winemaking in Greece and its islands is a very ancient tradition and there are a lot of interesting local grape varieties as well as more international ones. Despite all this, Greek wines are still quite underrated. I m not going to pretend being able to confidently write about the main varieties, you can find all the information you need on these on allaboutgreekwine.com
If you happen to visit Lefkada and want to do some Greek wine tasting, I do highly recommend you visit De Blanck Wine and Champagne Bar in Nydri. They have a great selection of Greek and International wines and I was able to write some practice exam notes on a Chablis when I visited.
If you are in a more remote part of the country, you ll still be able to find wines from Mediterra in most supermarkets. They tend to be labelled as varietals and if I can judge by their Syrah , they do exactly what they say on the tin.
You are also bound to come across Retsina in most restaurants. Do give it a try. This is the only wine I know where some other “juice” is added to the grape juice. Here is an article on Retsina I tweeted about last week. (I m @reinedesgouters by the way) And if you happen to be in Zante, go and pay a visit to the lovely family of Solomos winery . They welcomed me very warmly last year and they even do organic wines!
Wherever you are heading off to on holiday next, remember to try the local wines, they are part of the culture. I could not fully enjoy a holiday abroad without holiday wines.