by Markus Stolz

Top
value favourites

byMarkus Stolz
August 3, 2010, 5 Comments

Most wine drinkers love to find good value wines that deliver just this little bit extra in terms of overall quality and excitement. When it comes to great value wines that are widely available, I find myself buying the same wines again and again. I define “value” as anything up to € 8,00 shelf price, and “widely available” as wines that I can easily find in supermarkets. Most of the following wines should also be available abroad, € 8,00 translates roughly into $10.00, although I am sure that prices will be higher in the US due to shipment costs and the lovely three-tier-system.

As we are in the middle of the summer, I limit myself to whites and rosés, although I also enjoy slightly cooled and unoaked Agiorgitikos. The following five wines are my personal preferences that fall into the above category. I am well aware that there are many more sound value wines around, but these are the ones that I drink happily on a daily basis. Please share your personal favourites in the comment section below – I am interested in learning about them!

All wines are available at the indicated prices at AB supermarkets in Athens, the odd prices are due to the increased VAT rate of 23% that was officially introduced on July 1st:

Whites:

Palivou Anemos white 2009 (Rodotis) 13% alc. € 6,67
The colour is a pale straw; this has lovely aromas of melon and mango. The fruitiness continues on the palate with yellow plums and exotic white fruits. It has a fairly dense structure with refreshing acidity. A modern styled wine, perfect with seafood – a real summer charmer.

Gaia Notios white 2009 (Moschofilero/Roditis) 12% alc. € 6,94
Very pale silver colour, melon and fresh flowers dominate the nose. It is medium bodied on the palate, with a refreshing acidity that seems to work wonders. The fruit really comes to live; this is a vibrant wine, harmonious without being pretentious, a food wine par excellence (for an unusual pairing with this, click here).

Sokos Malagousia 2009 12.5% alc. € 7,54
Light lemon colour, the dominating aromas are peaches and apricots, coupled with a nice spiciness. It is dense and broad on the palate with a buttery texture and a matching acidity. The wine really shines on the mid-palate; the finish is also very satisfying and quite long. It has got to be one of the best value Malagousias around.

Tselepos Mantineia 2009 (Moschofilero) 12% alc. € 8,01
This has a clear and bright silver colour. The nose is very aromatic, spicy and floral with apricot lingering in the background, also some bread dough. On the palate it is medium bodied with a great freshness and lots of citrus notes, the spiciness comes through and adds another dimension. It is very well balanced and has a solid and long finish that catapults the citrus notes right back. This is a great effort, and a cut above the others.

Rosés:

Skouras Rosé (Roditis/Agiorgitiko) 12% alc. € 5,35
Medium deep piggy pink coloured with a watery rim. Very open nose of honey-melon and raspberries, also some floral components. It is crisp on the palate with some density and weight. As with all Skouras wines, this is quite elegant in style. The finish is solid, the ripe fruits always present. Very delicious indeed and a great value wine.

As for other rosés, Greece has some very exciting offerings – unfortunately I find these to be overpriced. When I look at the shelves, the majority of rosé wines are priced nowadays between € 8 and € 12. I am sorry, but despite the quality on offer, I am having a hard time to justify these price tags. They are simply not competitive.

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  1. Yiannis PapadakisAugust 4, 2010, 7:08 pm

    Let me start from the end, i.e. your comment on Greek rose wines. Well I fully agree, and although there are exceptions (a few of which are mentioned in the above article), I find this comment applying to all three colours of wines made in Greece, especially red (for which as you say, summer is not the ideal season to talk about). The most annoying thing to me is that there does not seem to exist a link between quality and price. Many great wines are underpriced -think of Santorini and the best wines from Naoussa, Goumenissa, Rapsani etc.- while others are inexplicably expensive -think of wines made from international varieties, in a heavy, overoaked, blockbuster style that do anything but reflect their place of origin and taste like poor imitations of New World wines (don’t misunderstand me: I am not against New World wines in general).
    Now back to the main article: with a danger of slightly violating the €8 threshold I would recommend Semeli Moschofilero, Skouras Moschofilero, Skouras White and Sigalas Assyrtiko-Athiri. By the way, and regarding the AB supermarket chain that you mention, did you take a look at the prices of the wines this chain imports, just for comparison?

  2. Vladimir KhanukaevAugust 4, 2010, 7:27 pm

    I consider the best wine “Magiko Vouno” by Niko Lazaridi. I am not sure you can find it in supermarkets, especially in Athens (it’s Drama wine, Nothern Greece) and it’s not cheap. But it is excellent.

  3. Joannis MalathounisAugust 5, 2010, 9:34 am

    Excellent Choice. We offer these wines in our restaurant too … The germans are exited about the progress of greek wineries. Try also THEMA Pavlidis, AMPELONAS Papagyriou or the white wines of Karadimas. Greetings from Germany, Joannis.

  4. Ioannis SavvaidisAugust 5, 2010, 10:44 am

    Congradualions for the suggestions on Greek white wines. Indeed Greek wines have made a significant progress, especially small wineries up in North of Greece.
    I urge wine lovers to try Malagouzia variety of Claudia Papagianni, a winery around Arnaia/Halkidiki. One has to either buy it from a wine shop, and or from the winery itself. I believe it is one of the best Greek wines around this time. Also the area that I live near Ioannina, especially the Averof wines, now collaborating with Strofylia Estate have excellent white ones. Especially the Traminer.
    I must confess like previous readers thtat AB has some excellent white ones in terms for value/quality especially the Viognier from Argentina.
    My best regards for all of you, have a nice summer and enjoy the Greek varieties. They have nothing to be jealous of from imports. My advice is enjoy them at home!

  5. Kostas KatsoulierisAugust 6, 2010, 2:14 am

    Yianni has hit the nail on the head when it comes to pricing, there really is no logic. Sometimes it feels like a free-for-all, with restaurants charging outrageous markups and some producers releasing at exhorbiant levels in the belief that more people will buy it if it is expensive. One more example of how the consumer is being screwed in Greece. As for rose, I have a soft spot for Mercouri’s Lampadias and Dyo Filoi’s rose. I don’t know their exact price to see whether they fall in the €6 to €8 bracket but I hope they do…