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Greek Wine and Liquer Guide

Remember the World Trade Center? Well before it got attacked there was a very prestigious restaurant called the Top of the World with one of the best wine cellars in the USA. The sommelier wrote an article which I read exposing some of the BS of wine pretentiousness. Wine is a BIG BUCKS, phony baloney business with a lot of stuff to wade through so don't be impressed by the hype. Most Greeks don't know about red wine glasses and greek winethey don't care because traditionally they made their own barrel wine fresh and it was not full of additives and adulterants and sulphur so it didn't need to breathe. They don't care what the proper wine is to drink with fish or meat since they mostly drink retsina. Now these Greek wine bottlers.. I don't know what they do to get their wine up to export grade. But I can guess and whatever it is it aint enough! Metaxa Brandy is another story and if you like it you are in luck in Greece! Greeks don't drink their wine out of fluted glasses either unless you go to a fancy place and order imported wine or "really good" Greek bottled wine.

Thriving Greek tavernas have locally produced barrel wine that is served by weight, i.e., by the kilo or portion there of. The glasses you drink the wine from are short little things, less than a cup.

Left is an example. See those glass containers? from left to right : 1 Kilo of wine (ena kilo), 1/2 kilo (miso kilo), 1/4 kilo (tetarto kilo), typical wine glass (poteeraki).
The wine serving containers may often be made of copper too.

greek wineGreece, unlike the USA, with its Food Tobacco and Alcohol Revenue Agents, allows wine production on a more human scale by smaller vintners, grape growers or individuals. In other bureaucratic areas they are far worse. If you go to Nemea in the Peloponnese you will be in one of Greece's wine producing areas and can even purchase wine from road side stands in 1 liter ex-soda bottles (left). I did and was glad later back in Athens!

But don't store anything too long in plastic bottles, even water, in the sun!!This is possible in many areas of Greece including the islands such as Santorini, Lesvos, Paros or Crete.If you like you can dilute the wine with soda water. The ancients diluted their wine with plain water and honey. Diluting your wine might sound like heresy. It would be in an American restaurant, with a bottle of Merceau, but you're in Greece. They dilute ouzo as well and its a good idea.

In a good Greek taverna or koutoukaki , with good barrel wine you are only two steps away from the vineyard. Of course you don't have to dilute the wine. Its strong though.

The clearer and more golden the wine, the better. A rumor among my sources is that wine with impurities is what gives you a hang over. I thought it was too good to be true and I was right.

Greek Wine, Beer, Liqueurs Page A | Page BPage C | Page D