New Wines of Greece: Exploring Crete’s Native Varietals

By Marisa D'Vari

Quick! Think of one of the oldest wine regions in the world! Many of you might say Burgundy or Bordeaux, yet the wines of Crete are over 4000 years old. The Roman Empire treasured these wines for good reason: wines of Crete offer incredible variety and styles to suit any type of cuisine. What’s more, they (today, at least) are affordable, so you need not be a King to afford them.

At today’s tasting with wine communicator Joe Roberts a select group experienced a unique tasting of three white wines, two reds, and one sweet dessert wine from native varietals. The key take-away points are that the whites overall are quite mineral with excellent acidity and fruit that runs a range of spectrums from nuances of peach flavors to the floral notes of the Crete take of a Muscat. The reds were characterized by an enticing milk chocolate/cherry character and good concentration of fruit. And the sweet wines, typically made from grapes dried in the sun, were an incredible (and affordable) experience that could ‘end’ any meal, yet could also be paired with foie gras at the start.

Alexandra Manousakis, pictured above, grew up in Washington DC yet her family produces wine on the island. She makes a fabulous Rhone blend (syrah, grenache, mouvedre) that is very new world, the result of a consultant that advised her father twenty years ago.

Fabulous tasting with some very good “new” ‘old world’ wines!

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