It’s not everyday that you see a Greek wine kicking around, which is odd given that Greece was the source of many of Europe’s vines. Greece is a fascinating wine growing country because, similar to Italy, it has maintained a healthy and very large array of indigenous grapes. While most of the world has ripped out indigenous vines in favour of the famous varieties from France (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, etc.), Greece has 100’s of local varieties still planted.
Today’s wine – the Monemvassia Winery Laconia Red Dry Table Wine – is made on the Peloponnesian Peninsula near Sparta (which today is somewhat of a sleepy little town). The grapes here are Mavraky and Agiogitiko. Heard of them? Me neither. There is a bit of Cabernet Sauvignon mixed in to the blend, but you wouldn’t know that from tasting this wine, which I might add is both fruity and elegant.
I would call this wine aromatically pretty. Many modern wines are fairly straightforward and singular in their smells – you know, chocolate, some berries. This is much more delicate with earth, spices, light red fruits, and a kind of floral quality. However, when you drink this it has quite a bit of fruit in it, which means that those of you who like fruitier wines will love this, just as those of you who like earthier wines will love this. I tasted cranberry, strawberry and some earth undertones – and at 12.5% alcohol you can drink more and feel less (something I appreciate these days). This will go with a wide variety of foods, but any sort of stew will work wonderfully.
One last note: I know the prices have been a little high lately, but I assure you these are good values and worth the extra couple of bucks. I will be pushing the price down in future articles, but this was so intriguing that I had to write it up.
$32 at Kitsilano Wine Cellars
*Shea Coulson is the author of Justgrapeswine.com, a Vancouver based wine blog focusing on wine and beer reviews, education, and wine industry trends and developments.
Last modified: March 5, 2010