Food and Wine: Matching Greek Wines

The pairing of food and wine, is one of the most complicated but essential routines of a sommelier. The success of selection is usually a crucial factor for enjoying a meal. The point is the right connection of food and wine a procedure that demands insight and talent.

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There are certain well-known rules and combinations that are considered classics and which we have all somehow become familiar with. Red wine goes with red meat, fish with white wine, caviar and champagne and such clichés. However, what is the case for traditional dishes of regular Greek cuisine. Like all “national” cuisines, Greek cuisine finds the appropriate matches in a national variety of wines. There is no such thing as a Greek dish that cannot find its ally in a Greek label. Do you need proof?

Beyond clichés: Fried fish love the ability of Retsina made from Savvatiano grapes, to balance the acidity and kill the salt. On the other hand, oily fish made on charcoal, such as sea bream or sargos coexist ideally with the greasiness and body of an aged Santorini. A Kakavia soup (boiled fish) with all its spices “stick” together with a rose Naoussa.

Red wine rules!: Legumes, like lentils and white bean soup ease ideally with a fresh Agiorgitiko or a Goumenissa, and fresh beans cooked in olive oil and sweet spices, can be finely combined with the vegetable aromas of Xinomavro. Chicken cooked in fresh tomato and small preys like rabbits and small birds find harmony with a slightly aged Kotsifali. Red meats cooked in tomato sauce love AOC Nemea.

Graviera cheese and Moschato…that's all i have to say, try it!

When we grill our meat and especially beef, we choose a full bodied Limnio from northern Greece, with lots of tannins. Grilled pork and lamb will seek their balance through the fine tannins of Agiorgitiko.

A platter of spicy yellow cheese like Graviera and Kasseri “ask” for aromatic whites like Moschato. Smoked cheese of Vermio or Arachova, balance with an aged Moschofilero.For white cheese such as Manouri and Anthotyro, a Roditis from high altitude vines would be advised, whereas Feta cheese lookes for the acidity of a fresh Santorini.

Tsipouro made with aniseed and Avgotaraho from Messolonghi…once again, no explanation necessary, an outright perfection!
Marinated small fish like anchovy and fried seafood like calamari and shrimps “shout” for their Ouzo. The same goes for octopus especially when its marinated in vinegar.

Of course the Greek Vineyard has its proposals for accompanying desserts. It is essential to match a syrupy milk pie with a sweet Samos of long ageing. This in fact goes for all sweet pies. On the other hand syrupy cherry or vyssino love a Vinsanto or a Mavrodafni.

We encourage you to go ahead and try your own “Greek” wine ande experiment with different matches; do please inform us of the results though, you never know you may have something very valuable to share!

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