The summer months are hot in Greece, over the last few days temperatures have risen to 35 to 40 ˚C, or 95 to 105 ˚F. This is the perfect time to invite friends over and enjoy a relaxed BBQ. What wines will stand up to both, heat and the food?
Think a little bit outside the box, while keeping things simple at the same time. Instead of hunting for the best red wine to pair with the meat dishes, look for the overall enjoyment factor. Focus on wines that offer refreshing acidity, are not too heavy, and keep the alcohol level at bay. In other words, find wines that are fun to sip even before you sit down to eat the food.
Don’t worry about the colour either – white and rosé wines are perfectly acceptable. Do worry about the vintage – young wines work better, they are fresher and are more accessible.
My personal favourite selection consists of the following three wines:
White: Try an Assyrtiko – don’t limit yourself only to the ones coming from Santorini, try different expressions of this variety and see what works best for your palate.
Rosé: Go for a Xinomavro, I find that pink wines from this variety work particularly well, they are crisp and delightful to drink when it is hot outside. They are a good match for the food as well.
Red: Unoaked Agiorgitiko offers a surprisingly high level of freshness and explosive fruit. Don’t feel bad at all about serving it chilled; your guests will be thankful for it.
Keep all wines in a bucket with ice cubes and don’t forget to add new ice every hour or so. All these wines will also pair really well with many salads and starters. Try them out for yourself and enjoy the food and company!