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Move Over, Ouzo

Greek grapes, photo by Heather Hammel

During her travels this summer, Culinary Backstreets’ roving photographer seemed quite taken with the luscious-looking grapes she saw in Athens street markets (pictured). While Greek grapes are not just for eating – this is, after all, the land of Dionysus, the ancient god of wine – in modern times the aniseed-flavored spirit ouzo has been the country’s most popular alcoholic drink, with wine lagging far behind. Yet Greek wines, including those made from indigenous grape varietals, have recently begun attracting greater interest.

Not only are younger Greeks themselves drinking more domestic wines lately, but Greek wine producers have also set their sights on increasing exports abroad. A recent Bloomberg article examines these trends:

Once known primarily for its resinous wines and ouzo, Greece has recently put a great deal of effort and capital into capturing some of the global market, as well as planting international varietals like chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon aimed at Greece’s young wine drinkers.

It is increasingly easy to find a wide range of modern Greek wines in U.S. stores, especially in Greek and Middle Eastern neighborhoods like Queens, New York, where Grand Wine & Liquor stocks dozens of Greek bottlings from grapes like moschofilero, muscat, xinomavro, agiorgitiko, roditis and limnio, along with new blends or chardonnay, cabernet, merlot and syrah.

The full story is here.

 

 

 

 

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1 comments
Y's Choice
Y's Choice

Just returned from a weekend in Athens, which included a stop at a hip new wine bar that specializes in Greek wines. We tried several whites (to beat the heat, as is the local custom in summer) and a red made from native grape varieties and were mightily impressed with each one, especially a beguiling white from Santorini. Definitely looking forward to further exploring Greek wines.

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