Economic crisis notwithstanding, Greece is turning out some surprisingly good wines. And New Yorkers are paying attention.
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When we started seeing funny names like Assyrtiko and Agiorgitiko popping up on the wine lists at restaurants like Daniel, Le Bernardin, and the 21 Club in the past year, we started asking questions… and learned that some of the hot wines of the moment are Greek. What’s more, this month New York will see its first event specifically designed around the exploration of Greek wines. For Celebrate Greek Wines, from June 8 through June 22, 100 restaurants will offer wine flights and prix fixe menus with Greek wine pairings to showcase the layers, flavors, and complexities of the Greek grape. To give you a running start, here’s a primer.
Though the unique terroir of Greece is home to more than 300 varietals, there are four you should keep on your radar:
Assyrtiko: A vibrant, refreshing white, sometimes referred to as “Chablis on steroids.”
Moschofilero: A white grown at high altitudes, exhibiting fresh, floral notes that make for a sort of hybrid between Albariño and Pinot Grigio.
Agiorgitiko: A red, characterized by its soft tannins and rich layers of dark fruit, spices, and cocoa.
Xinomavro: A complex red with notes of acidic, intense red fruits. Has aging potential like that of Barolos and Barbarescos.