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Friday 23 March 2012

Wine Weekly: It's All Greek To Me

The sun came out this week. Okay, so it was just for a day, but I started to remember what it felt like to actually court the possibility of getting a tan, and it made me feel all lusty for some good old-fashioned holiday weather. Alas, we have a few months to wait before I can justify jetting off somewhere lovely.

But I'm always harping on about exploring the wine-world, so if you can't quite make it to the exotic places this weekend then why not bring them to you by exploring the wines of a perfect sunny place: Greece.

Greek wines are coming on leaps and bounds at the moment, but imitations of classic French varieties they ain't, so you have to be brave enough to leave your comfort zone and try them for what they are: indigenous grape varieties that are suited to the maritime climate, and produce original but delightful wines.

Here are a few of my favourites:

Moraitis Sillogi from The Wine Society, £9.95 per bottle

This really is like summer in a glass: fresh, light, deliciously floral and perfect for drinking on its own while sitting out in the garden. It's lightness really is key: you can enjoy this without feeling too hazy in the sun.

Domaine Skouras are one of the leading Greek wine producers and really do excel themselves here. Grown quite high up inland, this also retains a light freshness and juicy fruitiness that makes it perfect for summer fare: cold cut meats or light tomatoey dishes match particularly well from my experience.

Hatzidakis Santorini, 2010, £12.70 per bottle from Tanners

It's always really tough to match white wines with the acidity and tang of tomato dishes, but this is perfect: dry, fresh and with mouth-watering acidity and a gorgeous minerality.

Domaine Lyrarakis, £10.50 per bottle from Berry Brothers

This is a blend of native grapes and a hint of the Rhone-friendly Syrah, so it produces a peppery, delicious wine with a silky texture and fine berry fruits. Perfect with grilled lamb.

Samos Anthemis, £6.75 per half from The Wine Society

I have recommended this before but I can't stress how beautiful it is: sticky sweet and very moreish, this is perfect with heavy desserts (I had it with my Christmas pudding this year) but also suits a cheeseboard very well: this is stilton's bestie, and I can't believe the good value here.

Have you delved into the world of Greek wine yet? Tell us about the most original bottle of wine you've ever tried in the comments, or on our Twitter and Facebook pages!

Image from Wolfgang Staudt's photostream under the Creative Commons License

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