Although the warm sunny summer of several wine regions in Greece is ideal for the production of ripe, healthy and very concentrated grapes, many winemakers are producing a much more wide-ranging portfolio in order to complement a large variety of dishes. These include anything from light to remarkably dense and complex styles. The fresh, forward and easily enjoyable reds, regardless of grape variety, go well with cold cuts, pizza and hamburgers, tuna steak, octopus stew or even a light beef curry. They are lovely barbeque wines, especially in hot weather, when they can even be chilled.
Full-bodied, rich and oaky Nemea is superb with roast beef or lamb, meatballs, steaks with barbeque sauce, beef teriyaki skews or rich cheeses. Xinomavro wines have a firm tannic structure and crisp acidity that call for fat meats, full of protein, epitomised by lamb. Beyond this classic match, Xinomavro complements any kind of meat stew, grilled beefsteaks, sausages, game, roasted lamb, coq au vin or even wild mushroom risotto with Parmesan flakes, wine-flavoured cheeses, aged gouda or cheddar. However, both Nemea and Xinomavro have a great potential to develop in bottle and, at maturity, they are elegant and complex, enveloping a wonderful depth of aromas and textures. On these occasions, when old bottles are about to be consumed, the opposite approach must be practised: the food must be selected after the wine, in order for the former to respect the noble character of the latter. Try roasted game, going easy on the seasonings.
The very Mediterranean-style blend of Kotsifali and Mandilaria found in Crete, with its spicy herbal intensity, marries well with lamb, pizza, chilli con carne and other spicy meat dishes, steak tartar, sausages, chorizo sausage, mousaka or Niçoise salad.
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