Given Greece’s relative small size as a country, it is no small feat that it boasts such a wide variety of wines. It is literally impossible for the connoisseur to become bored, as there are so many aromatic profiles to choose from.
One of the best and perhaps also most surprising categories to experience this diversity are Greece’s sweet wines. It is here that the top tier winemakers deliver quality on steroids. Greek Muscat, Mavrodaphne, and Santorini’s unique VinSanto all have a rich history and are widely known, if only by name. They are relatively easy to find within Greece, even most supermarkets often offer a handful of choices.
Yet there are many more fascinating sweet wines available, made from varieties like Agiorgitiko, Liatiko, Vradiano, Gewurztraminer, Malagousia, Malvasia and others. Compared to many other sweet wines from around the world, the Greek versions are never as rich. They do have concentrated aromas and taste, but retain acidity. One simply does not find the cloying, sticky character that can make sweet wines hard to enjoy. On the contrary, their “built in” light-footedness makes them an ideal food partner. Importantly, the food choices are in no way limited to desserts. A variety of Asian dishes, but also poultry, game, roasted meat and of course selected cheeses can be surprisingly well paired.
In terms of quality/price, the finest Greek sweet wines are one of the great bargains that exist today. Sweet wines are sadly not very fashionable in today’s wine world. Until demand and prices rise, I will happily continue indulging myself with the wonderful diversity of Greece’s liquid sweet spot.