White wines from Greece are super hot in the sommelier community right now, and for good reason: the combo of food-friendly acidity, unique character and great value make them a no-brainer for a wine list.
And those are the exact reasons you should consider these wines for home too.
But it’s understandable you’re cautious. You’re never going to see familiar grapes, like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, on a bottle of Greek white wine so really you have no basis of comparison. And while you may not see actual Greek letters on the label, the names of the grapes may still seem, well, Greek to you.
But trust us and take a shot. You won’t be disappointed. So here’s the lowdown on three of Greece’s most exciting indigenous grapes for your summer wine shopping list:
Assyrtiko (ahs SEER tee koh)
Most commonly associated with the island of Santorini, this white grape typically makes medium-bodied wines with notes of citrus, tropical fruit, and sea salt. It’s basically a cross between chablis and sancerre. Some versions are meant to age, but if you’re thinking summer drinking and pairing with grilled seafood, you’ll want to pick up the freshest vintage.
Try: Domaine Sigalas Assyrtiko 2015 (Santorini, Greece) $17
This pink-skinned grape, with historical roots in the mountainous Peloponnese, has grown in Greece for over 2,000 years. Though it gets used in blends or rosés, roditis can stand on its one as a light to medium-bodied white wine with high acidity, much like a pinot grigio (in the best sort of way). Translation: extreme drinkability, especially as the temperatures climb.
Try: Kir-Yianni Petra 2014 (Macedonia, Greece) $10
Planted throughout Greece, this pink-skinned grape makes aromatic, spicy light-bodied dry white wine. If you’re a fan of muscadet, you’ll want to check this out. Because it’s generally low in alcohol, it’s super food-friendly and works well with spicier dishes.
Try: Troupis Moschofilero 2014 (Mantinia, Greece) $12
Have you tried any Greek whites that you love? Let us know!