May 24, 2013 at 3:38 PM ET
When it comes to light and refreshing summer wines, the white wines of Greece remain below the radar but are well worth considering. Although Greek wine prices have edged up in the last few years, making them not quite the bargains they once were, it’s still possible to find some very good values.
One of them is the 2011 Moschofilero from Leonidas Nasiakos in the Mantinia appellation on the Peloponnese peninsula in southern Greece. Nasiakos is a small winery that produces only moschofilero. That’s the region’s main variety and, interestingly, happens to be one of the rare red grapes used to make a white wine.
As you might have concluded by now, one of the things that might hinder the marketing of Greek wines to Americans is the largely unfamiliar (and unpronounceable) names of the wines and the regions they come from. Moschofilero from Mantinia? But what makes Greek wines so interesting is that they are unique. Most of the grapes are indigenous and give us the chance to experience truly authentic wines. You won’t find much Greek chardonnay or merlot.
As for the Nasiakos moschofilero, Wine-Searcher lists the average price at $15, though I paid about $13 at a discount store in New York. This charming wine is marked by white peach and floral notes with a good deal of lemon and orange and a zingy acidity. It’s made without oak and has a restrained alcohol level of just 12 percent, making it a natural for warm-weather sipping.
This is wine for simple, fresh foods, the kind you find at small restaurants, of “tavernas,” all over Greece – wood fire-grilled small whole fish, squid or octopus; shrimp or chicken kebabs that are best with a light, delicious wash-down wine. For this kind of fare, I can’t think of a better match. (Imported by Stellar Importing Company, Astoria, N.Y.)