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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Greek Wine Review: The Best Tasting Wines You Are Not Drinking!

A few weeks ago I was invited to Los Angeles for a Greek Wine tasting event. I never had the opportunity to try Greek wines before and was intrigued. Here is one of the oldest wine producing countries and yet I have never had a glass of Greek wine in my life.

What better place to try my first Greek wines than right here in California, home of Napa Valley and several other well known wine producing areas. How would the Greek wines compare with the California varieties?
Let's start with my favorite whites. All three of the above are from the Domaine Porto Carras, the largest organic vineyard in Greece. From left to right, the 2012 Melissanthi and the 2012 Assyrtiko are both minerally and refreshing. The 2013 Malagouzia was more fruity with a light melon finish. These were some of the cleanest, smoothest white wines I have ever experienced. I was very much surprised to find that all three are under $20 a bottle.
Next up are my favorite red wines. Starting once again from left to right, the Chateau Porto Carras was made up of a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Limnio. The Magnus Baccata is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. This has a fruity yet spicy taste with a hint of chocolate at the end. The Limnio is made entirely from the Limnio grape and had a lovely fruit and cinnamon taste. This proved to be my favorite and I will go into some of its history below.
This was my favorite of all the wines there. I love history and hearing the stories behind wines but this one was the most intriguing. This varietal was not only Plato's favorite but is mentioned by Aristotle in the Odyssey. I loved this varietal so much as well that I had to find where I could buy it in Orange County.
Here is the bottle of Limnio I purchased. The only place that carries it in Orange County is my favorite place to purchase wines or any alcohol for that matter, Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa.

All of these wines reminded me of our California varietals and as well they should. The region where Greece and California produce wines is nearly identical in latitudes and climates. Greek wines are beginning to take a foothold in restaurants and local wine shops across the country. Look to see if your local wine shop carries Greek wine and prepare yourself for a treat and quite possibly a new favorite or two.

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