Posted on Leave a comment

Assyrtiko Beyond Santorini

Thanks to the popularity and familiarity of Santorini, Assyrtiko has become the most requested white wine coming from Greece. Lately, the demand has been constantly on the rise for Assyrtiko from Santorini that the pricing has been comparable to white Burgundy. The vibrant aromas and refreshing citrus flavors make Assyrtiko easy to fall in love with. As it makes its way onto many prestigious wine lists across the globe, it’s availability is becoming more and more limited. But thanks to a handful of progressive and forward thinking winemakers, such as the Mylonas family in Attiki and the Alexakis family in Crete, they have been planting and cultivating Assyrtiko to bring us an exceptional alternative to this wonderful grape from Santorini.

You can still experience vibrant aromas, citrus flavors, precise structure, and a clean finish in both of these selections. The only difference I find in Assyrtikos from outside of Santorini, is that they are not as ‘minerally’, which in my opinion is still just as good. And what makes these Assyrtikos even better, is that they are usually half the price of the selections from Santorini.

Test these wines for yourself and see how amazing they truly are.

Posted on Leave a comment

Greek Rosè Wine

It’s October and harvest across Greece is at its full swing. Most small to medium size wineries harvest by hand and many folks work or volunteer at friends’ vineyards.

Summer is slowly fading. Now, during the night, we cover ourselves with a light weight blanket. When day time comes, the sun is shinning and people still enjoy a swim at the sea. Autumn is the best time to drink rosè wine. In the last few years, Greece has seen a rise in rosè wine production and sales, shaking away the taboo that rosè is a girly wine choice! Greek rosè showcases a broad selection of wonderful wines that vary in style and character, from all corners for the country. So, for example, we have the light, crisp refreshing roses made from Xinomavro variety from the northern vineyards of Naoussa and Amyntaio. We have excellent rose wines from Thessaly and Central Greece -more aromatic, floral notes, medium bodied made from Limniona and Muscat grapes. Further south, the colour becomes deeper and more pronounced red fruits character: Agiorgitiko from Nemea makes sensational rosè wines: good body, balanced acidity and gorgeous colours depending on the vineyard location and altitude. Aegean islands vinify their rosè wines from Mantilaria and Mavrotragano varieties found on the islands.

Rosè wines match beautifully an array of Greek summer dishes: vegetarian ladera -green beans, gemista, okra, tomato salad, Greek cheese boards, fried kalamari, and chicken. They are enjoyed lightly chilled, outdoors and with good company. Wine is meant to be shared. So remember: if you want to feel a little bit more summer, have a glass of a Greek rosè wine.

I am Ourania Margomenou, aka Margo. I was born in Athens, Greece. My family and I have lived in many countries around the globe. I completed my BSc in Hospitality Administration at Boston University.

There, in this wonderful city, I fulfilled my practical requirement for my degree at the two most prestigious hotels of the city: namely The Ritz-Carlton and The Four Seasons Hotel. READ FULL BIO >

Posted on Leave a comment

Greek Wines for the Fall

As we are approaching some cooler weather ahead, it’s not just all about Pumkin Spice Lattes and flannels. One of my favorite things is moving away from the summertime wines and bringing in the perfect autumn wines from Greece. We are talking about wines with a touch more body, wines that have a touch of spice notes, and wines that pair with the delicious seasonal dishes I’m sure you’re all dying to cook in the kitchen.

Mylonas “Naked Truth” Savatiano
Just because summer is over means you need to stop drinking white wine. In fact, there are so many textured and nuanced whites that are perfect for the season.

I love the Naked Truth Savatiano from Mylonas winery as it packs so much flavor into one bottle. They leave the wine on the skins for 20 days, which adds a bit of tannins and depth to the wine. The ancient Savatiano variety has been planted in Greece for over 3000 years and is versatile enough to go with everything.

Try drinking this with butternut squash soup, or roasted chicken!

Sigalas MM
While I’ll say this is a wine to have all year long, I think right now may be the perfect time. One of the few rare reds to be made on Santorini, the Sigalas Mm is a blend of two grapes: Mavrotragano and Mandilaria. Once nearly extinct, the Mavrotragano variety is now famous for producing reds with acidity, complexity, and depth of flavor. Try this with braised meats, roasted artichokes, or duck breast.

Johnny Livanos, Sales Manager for Diamond Wine Importers, is a 3rd Generation Greek American and expert on all things Greek. Coming from a multi-generational New York restaurant family, Johnny joined the Diamond Wine Importer team after having years in the restaurant business selling Greek wine. Running Greek restaurants, such as Molyvos and Ousia in NYC, as well as Zaytinya in Washington, DC, Johnny gained a tremendous knowledge and passion for sharing the joys of Greek wine with the world. This led Johnny to also launch his own gin brand, called Stray Dog Wild Gin, which is distilled in Northern Greece with a medley of wild Greek botanicals.