My big fat Greek reds: Ye gods! Whatever your taste, the hearty wines of Greece are the stuff of legend
With diverse vineyards full of surprising flavours, Greek wines are as entertaining and extreme as the bedroom antics of the Olympian gods. It remains my favourite wine-producing nation and it’s all driven by homegrown talent.
And as the weather here at home cools it’s the reds of Greece that always warm my heart. If plush mellow reds like Rioja are your thing, crack a bottle of Agiorgitiko and pour it with charry roast lamb infused with rosemary.
Bizios Nemea Agiorgitiko 2011 (14%) is a treat for £25 from wimbledonwinecellar.com – a liquorice depth charge of a wine with a velvet fuse. If Bordeaux is more your thing, try Domaine Mercouri Estate Red 2015 (13%) for £17.80 from theatreofwine.com – an elegant age-worthy blend of Refosco and Mavrodaphne.
My current top Greek red grape is Xinomavro. Often compared with Italian Barolo for its robust body and flavour, it also ages brilliantly. Decant my pick from M&S below and sip it with a hearty stew. For fans of lighter reds such as Pinot Noir, try Manolesakis Estate, Exis Red 2014 (12%) from strictlywine.co.uk for £11.27, a delicious blend of Xinomavro with Limnio.
For sheer value, I haven’t tasted better than Tetramythos 2016 Black of Kalavryta (12.5%) which is £8.50 from The Wine Society. But if it’s the heartiest of all you want, check out Mavrotragano from Santorini or Tinos.
Hatzidakis Mavrotragano 2015 (14.5%) was made by the late great Hari Hatzidakis with the help of Apostolos Thymiopoulos– think black chocolate meets black diamond. The Wine Society has it for £26 – a fitting red to raise to the legends of Greece.
First Published on Mail Online