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Two top quality Greek white wines

Northside Staff

Tasters: Dave Pohl, ed., Dana Malley, Kelley O’Neill, Christopher Coronel, Jason Wentworth, Mike Yowhan

Despite the fact that Greece has an ancient winemaking tradition dating back to the 7th century B.C., it is surely the case that Greek wines are virtually unknown to most American wine drinkers. Many are familiar with that resin-flavored wine Retsina, sometimes served to add an “authentic” touch to a Greek style meal, but for most, the regions and myriad grape varieties of Greece are uncharted territory.

The staff at Northside Wines & Spirits recently decided to take a closer look at Greek white wines by blind tasting a selection of 13 wines priced under $20 per bottle. While several regions were represented, most of the top wines came from the Peloponnese, the large peninsula of southern Greece now separated from the mainland by the Corinth Canal. According to Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson in The World Atlas of Wine, 6th ed., the Peloponnese is the Greek wine region “that has seen more energy and activity than any other part of Greece in recent years.”

Two wines tied for first place in the tasting, both from the Peloponnese. The Tselepos 2008 Moschofilero, priced at $19.99 per bottle, is produced from Moschofilero grapes grown on the high, cool Mantinia plateau located in the central part of the region. Moschofilero is, in fact, a pink skinned variety, and this wine has an attractive coppery hue, likely the result of the juice being kept in contact with the skins for a brief time after crushing. It is a delightfully crisp and aromatic, medium-bodied wine, packed with lemon-lime fruit that turns peppery on the very long finish.

The Gaia 2009 Notios, $13.99 a bottle, is also made from Moschofilero, in this case blended with Roditis, also a pink skinned grape. This citrusy, tangy wine is also very aromatic, slightly peppery, and finishes clean as a whistle. It is an ideal wine for warmer weather. Either of these wines will make a great accompaniment to a broad range of Mediterranean dishes as well as pork or chicken spiedies hot off the grill.

If you would like the full tasting list along with the rankings, please email us your name, phone number, city, and zip code to

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