by Markus Stolz

sparkling wines

byMarkus Stolz
September 7, 2010, 7 Comments

It might not be as well known as it deserves to be, but Greece produces some excellent quality sparkling wines in a wide range of styles. From pale green-lemon to moderately pale gold and from onionskin to deep pink, fully sparkling or petillant, dry to medium or medium-sweet, they all display delightful characteristics. Although sparkling wines are supposed to be wines for celebrations and can be extremely enjoyable on their own, they all pair exceedingly well with a wide variety of foods.

Epirus is one of the few Greek regions that, together with Rhodes and Amyndeo, can claim a tradition in sparkling wines. The dominant grape in Epirus is Debina, with an elegant structure that brings out the best in appetizers and light green salads. Its bright acidity can refresh and enlighten the palate and cut through the fat in dishes such as quiche lorraine, vegetables tempura or zucchini and tomato fritters. The sweeter, demi-sec versions can be a delicious marriage to exotic spicy Asian dishes, using coconut, curry or mango sauces.

The racy Xinomavro of Amyndeon rosé sparklings is perfect with brie, prosciutto and other cold cuts, smoked salmon, raspberries and cranberry torte. Chocolate and other fruit-based desserts are excellent when the wine displays a certain sweetness.

The dry Athiri-based sparkling wines from Rhodes, together with the sparkling Moschofileros from the Peloponnese, with their floral nose and crispy acidity, can be an ideal match to seafood, oysters, salty olives, Parmesan cheese, feta, chevre and other white cheeses.

Finally, some medium rosés from the Athiri-Mandilaria blend, with its fine mousse and persistent crisp finish, can be an absolute success with crab, tomato bruschetta, tempura shrimp or salads with vinaigrette.

Make sure to read their superb introduction to why Greek wines pair naturally well with food here.

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  1. elloinosSeptember 7, 2010, 7:58 pm

    Boris, most certainly is. The sparkling wines from Greece are literally unknown abroad, but deserve more recognition.

  2. Christina KroSeptember 7, 2010, 8:02 pm

    As always Markus your articles and comments are superb. Please thank Mr. Lazarakis for his contributions, they are most valuable for any wine enthousiast!

  3. elloinosSeptember 7, 2010, 8:15 pm

    Christina, I am really honoured that Konstantinos is adding his voice to elloinos – what a great educator he is. I will most certainly give the well deserved feedback. The more readers interact in the comment section, the better the chances he will continue for a little longer ;)

  4. Thomas PellechiaSeptember 8, 2010, 3:58 pm

    Greek sparkling wines–now that’s a category in which I have no experience. Wish I could find some in the U.S.

  5. Yiannis PapadakisSeptember 8, 2010, 4:25 pm

    I would like to add that certain Greek sparkling wines are not only interesting, but ageworthy too. If you want an example, please try the 10 years old brut from Cair of Rhodes.

  6. Kostas KatsoulierisSeptember 8, 2010, 8:31 pm

    I second Yiannis’s comment on the Cair Reserve…very nice. I also have a fondness for Cavino’s semi sparkling white. It puts a lot of standard Proseccos to shame…