A Blend Of Grapes From Greece And Sonoma County Winemaking
When I was a youngster, our Greek neighbors called all us kids over to their house to do something that sounded like would get us in a lot of trouble with our parents. So we immediately raced over there, of course.
They wanted to use us to stomp grapes for wine they were making. All we knew, of course, was that we got to jump up and down in a large barrel full of grapes. It was messy and it was great fun.
So several years later, when I was an adult and went to the Greek Islands, I was anxious to try Greek wines. I was on jaw-dropping Santorini and it was recommended to try the local Retsina.
Well let me say that it was terrible. So bad that I never tried it again and pretty much forgot about Greek wines.
That’s because I have been introduced to Georgo’s Wine, a wine that starts in Greece and winds up in California. Winery owner Georgos Zanganas brings in grapes from Greece and blends them in Sonoma County. And the result is – skeptical as I was about them initially – surprisingly good.
I especially enjoyed the Pinot Noir called Mykonos – the wines are named for popular Greek Islands – which was kind of light but had good flavor with no aftertaste or “bite.” It was the harsh bite that caused me to so quickly reject that Retsina.
I also tried the Ios (named after the wildest party place in Greece, if not of all of Europe), a dry Rose that was quite tasty and smooth. It was hardly as lively as the Island, which is what you want in a Rose, of course.
The Santorini is a light Sauvignon Blanc, not unlike the light wines of Switzerland I enjoy so much.
There are two others, the Corfu (a SuperCab blend) and the Ithaca SuperCab. Corfo the island, by the way, is home of the legendary nightly toga parties at the Pink Palace.
The price points are low- to mid-range for such small batches, $25-30.
Greek wines are lower in alcohol than most other wines (this is surprising because the way the Greeks party and drink shots and other booze you would think it would be twice as potent) and also claims to be healthier because of lower sulfites. The grapes are also seedless, something called NON-GMO.
The website – georgoswine.com – contains a search locator so you can try them for yourself. Among other places, they are sold at Whole Foods.
As the Greeks say, “Yasou!” That means to your health. And, I must say that – after all these years – I’m happy to give a cheer to Greek wines.