Friday Sips

Join Us for Friday Sips!

Gone Greek!
August 10 from 3:30-6:30 PM
Toss out your preconceived notions about wines from Greece. Come and see the real excitement of what a new generation is doing with their yummy reds and whites...Read below. Educate and then luxuriate yourself with the following 4 wines.

$14.99 BTL./$179.88 CASE

Bryan sarcastically loves that lately there seems to be this underlying excitement from the wine trendoids and fashionistas these days when it comes to Greek wines. Looking back through the Cellar Door Hot Sheet archives, we first started working with this country's wines and recognizing their quality and the revolution that was being presented by young vintners 10 years ago and have continued the support ever since. Special thanks goes to "Famous" Dino Ariston for helping us to initially open our eyes and minds way back in the day and now to see it all come to fruition.
Greece is no longer just all about resinous retsina; in fact, there is a thriving wine industry that is being led by a young generation who has studied in France, Italy, America and Australia. They are then returning home to make wines that are distinct to what their terroir and native grape varietals have to offer.
This particular red selection is one of the first Greek offerings that we ever featured. We first presented it in 2002 with the 1999 vintage, but now it's even more thrilling to show you the current vintage which is even more enlightening. Made with 100% Agiorghitiko (more commonly called Saint George) from the appellation of Nemea in the northeastern portion of Peleponnese, not far from the Corinth canal which separates it from mainland Greece, the 2010 is full-flavored, hearty and rather individual with blackberry, wild spice, seabreeze and an undercurrent of red earth which comes from dense clay soils. Soulful, luscious, palate-coating and an joyful match with just about any lamb dish. Drink through 2016.

$16.99 BTL./$203.88 CASE

The history of the vine is ancient in Greece yet it is still a relative newcomer to the modern wine world. Over the past decade we have been experiencing scrumptious wines from the vastly different growing areas of this birthplace of civilization. The most impressive thing about the forward thinking viticulturists who are just beginning to scratch the surface of the unique characteristics of each region's terroir, is that they are focusing on what is special about Greek wine and not trying to produce "global wine" with no sense of place. From the island of Crete, this wine made with the Vidiano grape has quite a bit in common with the likes of a dry Malvasia or dry Muscat. Obscenely aromatic, and made sans the use of intrusive oak, the fruit of the grape shines well with Crete's limestone/chalk soils. Blitzing-dry with honeysuckle, acacia and anise along with subtle hints of peach-pit and lemon interact with focused, vivid minerality. Being from a marine-driven environment, it's obvious what this will pair with. Try it with spicy grilled prawns dressed with lime and olive oil.

$17.99 BTL./$215.88 CASE

Considered by many experts to be the greatest white grape in Greece, Assyrtiko is a versatile vehicle that adapts well to different soil types and known for having depth, vibrancy and a strong sense of minerality. The island of Santorini claims both the origin and best expressions of Assyrtiko.

Sigales is known as an Assyrtiko specialist, making one of the best, however in this wine, it is blended with one of Greese's most ancient grapes. Athiri provides intense notes of aromatic citrus and stone fruits and a roundness which balances out the searing aspects of the Assyrtiko. Santorini's volcanic soils are home to very ancient vines with some reaching 150 years. Combining both the grapes and the terroir, the result is a delectable, intellectual and athletic white wine of fine character and persistence. Agilely perfumed with floral notes and a silky finish along with intensity, briskness and a hell of a lot of character, the euphoric nature of this white wine may cause one to want to break plates, which we are not endorsing ;-). So to not have your significant other wanting to kill you for breaking the good china, serve it with calamari, braised or grilled fish or a simple mélange of roasted vegetables.

$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Yiannis Boutaris is one of the most important figures in the Greek wine industry. Having worked for the large Boutari estate and heading up their vineyard management and winemaking, this guy was way ahead of his time with his accomplishments in the 80s. Eager to scale back and work on an artisan level at his own estate, Yiannis departed Boutari with a plethora of experience which he has seemingly shared with an entire winemaking nation.

Located in the Naoussa region of Macedonia and made from 100% of the native Xinomavro grape, this hearty red wine has some aspects that one might find if Nebbiolo were grown in a warm climate. It's human nature to want to compare, but let's face it, this wine is fully its own beast and possesses amazing character and can age nicely, too. Full-flavored, complex and jacked with truffle, coffee, black olive and high-toned red fruits, it is robust, structured and mouth-filling and not a cocktail kind of red wine, instead it cries out for protein. Have it with a roasted leg of lamb slathered in fresh herbs. Drink through 2020.