WINE ON OUR MIND
There’s nothing I like better than a Greek feast at the home of my friend Stavros. His father brushing lemon over the rotating lamb, octopus on the grill, his mother’s keftedes. And the wine? Well, I in no way consider myself a wine snob, but, frankly, the stuff is turpentine: Retsina, which is flavored with pine resin, is for many the first and last taste of Greek wine. Fortunately, John Pardalis, the resident Greek wine expert at Manhattan’s Molyvos restaurant, introduced me to new. premium Greek wines. It was a scorching day on Seventh Avenue-not Santorini-but these wines still refreshed. And at prices will make you shout, “Opa!”
Foloi Mercouri, ($10) looks more French than Greek with its Art Nouveau label but it’s made entirely from indigenous Roditis grapes. Refreshingly clean and simple, it has good acidity and lemon flavor typical of the grape with a bone-dry finish. A great cooler by the beach or aperitif.
For a slightly bigger white, try Hatzi Michalis Estate Laas ($18), blended from three Greek grapes you’ll never pronounce yet nonetheless remember. Just relax and enjoy the aro’ma of honey, citrus fruit, and flowers with a bit of paraffin waxiness. A lush body makes it a great pick when grilling fish or pork.
Finally, Meliasto Spiropoulos ($8) is a robust rose made from the Moschofilero grape. A big bouquet, packed with strawberry, citrus zest, roses, and almost candied fruit belies the light, refreshing body and bone-dry finish of the wine. The subdued flavor is more a relief than a letdown. – JEFFERY LINDENMUTH.