Greek wine and food go hand in hand. In fact, Greeks rarely drink wine without having some food to accompany it. Since ancient times, Greece has been producing wine. Greece has the longest uninterrupted period of wine cultivation and production in the world.
A wine list can be overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking for, so we’ve put together a helpful guide to do all the hard work for you.
Here’s what you should know about pairing Greek wine with food:
If you love white wine, you’ll find that it pairs really well with Greek food. There are different varietals, such as chardonnay, moschofilero, and retsina. In general, white Greek wines go well with baked feta cheese, Greek olives, and zucchini in stewed tomatoes. Retsina is a popular white wine that has a resin taste. It’s an acquired taste, but pairs well with lobster and other delicate fish, spanakopita, and light vegetable dishes.
Here’s more information about how the specific white wines taste, as well as foods they pair well with:
Greek Chardonnay is an elegant wine. It has hints of oaks, honey, and vanilla and pairs best with dishes such as grilled calamari, oysters, fatty cheeses, and pasta with cream sauces.
Another white wine is Moschofilero. The aromatic white wine grapes used to make this wine are grown in the Peloponnese and have existed since ancient times. Moschofilero is a dry white wine that pairs wonderfully with Greek salad, grilled chicken on skewers, and spicy dishes.
Greek red wines include moschomavro, xinomavro, and krassato and stavroto. In general, red wines pair well with hearty meats, such as steak, pork, and lamb. They also go well with other foods, such as olives and fresh fruit. Here’s more information about the specific Greek red wines:
Moschomavro wine grapes are grown in a small area of Macedonia and some parts of Thessaly. Moschomavro wine is dry with a fruity, especially blackberry, flavor. The name Moschomavro means “the fragrant black,” and is a deep, red color. This wine is paired well with olives, Greek cheeses, and breads.
Xinomavro grapes are grown mainly in northern Greece, but especially in Macedonia. This wine has a firm tannic structure and acidity, which makes it best paired with meats. Lamb is the most obvious choice to be paired with Xinomavro, but it is also a great compliment to meat stew, coq au vin, and sausages. It’s also known to pair well with wine-flavored cheeses, cheddar, and even wild mushroom risotto.
Krassto and Savroto
Krassato and stavroto are grown at the southern slopes of Mount Olympus. This wine has notes of spice and fruit and goes well with moussaka, which is a potato or eggplant dish that usually contains ground meat. Other rich meat dishes and grilled lamb also go well with these wines.
Other Greek Wines and Pairings to Consider
Dishes that contain tomatoes or tomato sauce are often served best with a red wine. Heavier meat dishes pair best with deep red wines. When it comes to Greek cheeses and wine, you have a few options. Kaseri is a popular Greek table cheese. This cheese is mildly sweet and is versatile when it comes to being paired with wine, but you can’t go wrong with a Cretan red. Feta cheese is a slightly acidic cheese and is best paired with a wine that also has some acidity to it such as Roditis. When enjoying hummus with veggies, a light red wine with mild tannins such as Tempranillo is perfect.
When it comes to Greek wine and food, they are best enjoyed together. Greek wine is becoming more well-known and available outside of Greece, so exploring some of these pairings will be fun and easy for most everyone!