New York Times pays tribute to Greek red wines

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New York Times pays tribute to Greek red winesA NYT review of red wines from some of Greece’s top producers found them to be surprisingly pleasant and bring a good combination of tannins, energy, and balance

More Americans – including wine critics – are beginning to discover what Greek-Americans have long known, that wines from Greece are among the world’s best but hard to find and criminally underrated, even by wine store owners, who don’t go out of their way to feature them, thenationalherald.com reports.

That’s beginning to change, helped along now big-time by a New York Times review of red wines from some of Greece’s top producers that a panel found to be surprisingly pleasant and bring a good combination of tannins, energy, and balance.

Led by the Times’ wine critic Eric Asimov and including Florence Fabricant, a fellow food and wine critic for the newspaper, Yumilka Ortiz, a sommelier at Marea on Central Park South, and Phil Johnson, a partner and sommelier at Gloria in Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan, the group of tasters sampled 20 wines.

That’s a difficult group to please but they mostly were, apart from rejecting those the panelists said failed to combine the right characteristics of being juicy, fresh and structured, with earthy floral, herbal and fruit flavors in balance, “resulting in wines with tension and energy.”

Overall, it was an advertisement for the best of the Greek reds with Asimov noting that the top Greek producers know the world wine trade well, can discern trends, and see a greater understanding and appreciation around the world of wines that express local cultures and traditions. Yumilka called the favorites in the tasting “an honest display of Greece today.”

It’s mainly because the Greek grape varieties they savored produced the right amount of tannins, the drying astringent biomolecule that comes from the skins of grapes but also from seeds, stems, and from wood in new barrels.

“Greek reds – made from unfamiliar grapes like xinomavro and agiorgitiko, mavrotragano, limnia, and mandilaria – can be thoroughly delicious. Most fit squarely among the world’s mainstream reds, with local signatures that might take the form of earthiness here, an exotic floral or fruit aroma there, and in quite a few of those, firm tannins,” pointed Asimov, with Johnson saying the tannins produced a lively acidity which gave the wines freshness and lift.

So while most Americans may be better acquainted to Greek white wines because seafood is a favorite at many Greek-American restaurants, the best of the reds showed themselves to be world-class with those from other countries who market better.

With the word-of-mouth spreading, it may not be long before Greek wines are more available in wine stores, package stores, supermarkets, and other places allowed to sell them because, argued Asimov, it was disappointing to travel to a place in a Greek neighborhood, to find one only, to open it and find it had oxidized from sitting on the shelf too long.

“The word has been spreading, and these unusual, delicious bottles have become more widely available. Relative to their overall high quality, they are great values. This will continue to be true only so long as they remain largely unknown,” he concluded ironically.

Read more at thenationalherald.com

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinationsGreek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: Elisavetch

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