When we think of Greece, we think of sparkling blue waters and sun drenched beaches. But when we think of sparkling wine, we never think of Greece, until recently. I felt the timing was appropriate to write a piece about the new movement in sparkling wines in Greece as we approach the end of the year. By default we gravitate to Champagne and Prosecco as the standard options for quality, but in the last ten years, Greece has been producing bubbles that will match up with any production.
Typically, sparkling wines can be produced from both white and red grapes. When using red grapes for the production of sparkling wines, the skins are removed prior to fermentation. Greece has so many versatile and diverse indigeneous grapes, that they can produce refreshing and crisp sparkling wines. Greece’s transformation into producing high quality sparkling wines are a result of skillful and progressive winemakers such as Stelios Boutaris of Kir Yianni Estates and Yiannis Tselepos of Domaine Tselepos to name a few. Stelios is using his estate grown red grape, Xinomavro to produce an amazing rosè sparkler called Akakies and Yiannis is using his estate grown white grape, Moschofilero to produce his refreshing sparkler called Amalia. Both exceptional examples of well crafted and produced sparkling wines.
Finally, sparkling wines have made their way to the table to pair with foods and not just be offered as a selection for toasting. The structure of sparkling wines and the cuisine of many Greek dishes that incorporate olive oil, lemon, herbs, and spices make an amazing pairing.
I highly recommend trying a few and your palate will thank you. Stin Ygeia Sas!
On a sparkling wine bottle if you see the terms:
– Blanc de Blanc – the wine was produced from 100% white grapes
– Blanc de Noir – the wine was produced with both white and red grapes