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Gorgeous Greek white wine

Northside Staff
Tasters: Dave Pohl, ed., Dana Malley, and Jason Wentworth

With the heat of summer upon us, many wine drinkers look to crisp, refreshing, un-oaked white wines to provide refreshment for the season’s lighter mealtime fare. For some, that means turning to the tried and true Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. But for those feeling a bit more adventurous, there’s a whole world of unique and perhaps unfamiliar territory to explore.

One country whose wines are not well known to even most seasoned wine aficionados is Greece, home to an assortment of grape varieties that, at their best, provide a unique tasting experience for those of us craving something new. Many of the best Greek wines are white, and offer a dry, vivacious quality that’s perfect for summer.

The staff at Northside Wine & Spirits recently blind tasted a group of eleven dry Greek white wines, with no fewer than 8 grape varieties represented. The varieties in the tasting included Assyrtiko, a grape indigenous to the island of Santorini. It is a grape that maintains its acidity even when very ripe, making it an ideal candidate for the production of refreshing, summery wines. Also represented was the pink-skinned Moschofilero, an aromatic variety that also offers up good acidity.

The staff’s favorite wine of the tasting was the Skouras 2011 Moscofilero (the “h” isn’t apparently mandatory) priced $15.99 per bottle. Skouras, a relative newcomer to the Greek wine scene, was founded in 1986 by George Skouras, a Dijon-trained oenologist.The winery is located in the Peloponnese, the southern Greek peninsula that Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson call the Greek wine region “that has seen more energy and activity than any other part of Greece in recent years” (The World Atlas of Wine, 6th ed.).

Interestingly, in a previous Northside tasting of Greek whites conducted several years ago, the top wine was also a Moschofilero from the Peloponnese. The Skouras 2011 is a delightful wine featuring a distinctive lemon/lime aroma. Its citrusy flavor turns slightly orangey and gingery in the wine’s long, mouth-watering finish. An ideal summer wine, it’s just the thing for seafood of all types, roasted peppers, grilled artichokes, or a nice, tangy goat cheese!

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