Greece is the Word!
On my first ever holiday in Greece in 1984 I discovered a few things: that it was bloody hot there, that people actually swam with no clothes on, that Santorini was possibly the most beautiful island in the world, that Greek coffee was terrible but the yoghurt was amazing, and that they made a strange wine called Retsina. I wasn’t into wine at the time but, weirdly, sitting at a beach-side taverna looking out at the crystal blue waters it didn’t taste too bad to my uneducated taste buds.
My opinion of Greek wine was framed by those early experiences for years to come until one day – years later – while I was working for the wine merchants Oddbins, a consignment of Greek wine arrived at the shop and I suddenly realised there was far more to Greece than just Retsina. It was a difficult job deciphering the labels as they were written in the Greek alphabet and some of the grape varieties – such as Roditis, Robola and Sideritis – sounded akin to nasty illnesses, but there was something fascinating and new about these emerging Greek wines with tongue-twisting names but with a tastebud-tingling fresh appeal.
These days Greece ticks all the right boxes when it comes to wine lover destinations. It has a dazzling array of its very own grape varieties, exciting wine regions to explore and an eclectic range of wines that offer good value for money. I’ve always wondered why a country that’s been making wine for 6,500 years and has all the natural ingredients in order to make fantastic wine should be so relatively unknown in the UK.
So, to this end, and it has to be said a yearning for some summer sun vibes, my next wine tasting event on 12 August is devoted to showcasing the best Greece has to offer in 2021.