Much of the fun of being a “Wine Explorer” lies in the hunt for different grape varieties from various regions. So when I hear someone say, “They don’t make good wines in —- ” my BS detector swings into action. I’ve heard that twice this year about Greece, from friends who were complaining that their Mediterranean cruises would take them to the cradle of Western civilization. They’ve obviously forgotten their Edith Hamilton, and that Dionysus was a Greek god for goodness sake. Hello-oo!
I’m especially enamored of the wines of Santorini, a small island in the Aegean Sea, where vines grow on volcanic soils, trained into baskets to protect the grapes from the withering Mediterranean sun. Santorini is our fanciful image of Greece, with its white-washed buildings and blue-tiled roofs. These wines add food – grilled fish, octopus – to our imaginary picture.
Anyway, my personal budget does not allow me to cruise the Mediterranean this year and try to save the Greek economy with my tourist dollars, but I can do my little part by trying some Greek wines. And there are some darn good ones. Here’s my writeup in this week’s Washington Post Food section, including some wine recommendations.