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James Martin

Greek Wine - For a Change

By June 18, 2012

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You know what's depressing about coming back to the US from Europe? It's looking at those long lines of wines, hundreds and maybe thousands of bottles neatly arranged on shelves for nearly as far as the eye can see. Prices start at "too much" and go way above "way too much." The reds are mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and the whites over-oaked Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blank made to taste like Chardonnay.

Maybe it's just me, but every once in a while I like to try to break free of the masses and their rabid pursuit of "the best" or "the most popular" to taste a different, native variety of grape. I give a wine extra points if the wine transports me back to the place from which it came.

I found one of those last night--a Kyklos Moschofilero Voyatzis 2011 that we purchased at Whole Foods. Moschofilero is a grape with a gray skin from the AOC region of Mantinia in the Peloponnese of Greece that makes a dry blanc de gris with floral notes on the nose and mountain herbs on the tongue, just like the dry and fragrant hills of Greece.

Considering a Greece flung into an economic tailspin, it seems to me odd but very nice that we're seeing some fine Greek wines suddenly appear on the scene. While they're not cheap, they're no more expensive than a mediocre "chard" found on those endless shelves. So, hurray!

If you really want to see what this wine renaissance is all about, perhaps you should rent a car and drive around mainland Greece. There are Greek Wine Roads you know! See our article on Greek Wine Tourism.

"What's this, he's sending us deep into the recession?" I hear you say. Well, perhaps you should get some advice from our Greece expert deTraci Regula: Greece's Financial Crisis - How Will it Affect Your Travel Plans?

After all, all you have to fear is fear itself, and over-oaked Chardonnay for $32 a bottle...

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