By Holly Bruns
Greece, you have given us so much: the Olympics, Homer and Socrates, tragedy and comedy, the beginnings of governmental process, and while you didn’t really give us wine, per say, you were definitely instrumental in passing it along to the Romans, who then passed it along to the French, who then passed it along to the New World, kai ta hetera.
In a busy world where modern progress can blur our connection to the past it’s easy to forget about Greek wine. We see so little of it on our shelves here in Ontario. And indeed the Greek wine industry has had its share of problems over the years, but this can translate into good bargains at the liquor store if you can just find them.
Despite its southern location, Greece is white wine country; only thirty percent of the wines made are red. The green grapes take advantage of sites with cooling ocean breezes, elevated planting sites, and northern hillside exposures to counter-balance all that Mediterranean sunshine and allow for enlivening acidity.
This bottle of Sauvignon Blanc comes from Crete, perhaps the most ancient winemaking region in Greece. Pale yellow in the glass, a waft of balanced aromas greets the nose from first, crisp lemon and grapefruit to riper pear, white peach and pineapple. Herbaceous nettle and green bean compliments the fruit and provides a little depth.
On the palate, things are a little less complex with tangy citrus fruit dominating. Still, this is a pleasant, easy-going wine that’s perfect for sipping on a Tuesday evening. It would pair well with white fish, salad, grilled chicken, and anything with goat cheese in it.
Hopefully we’ll be seeing more selection on the Greek wine shelf in the near future, particularly the stuff made from indigenous varieties (there are over 300 known Greek autochonths to date). After all, how long can Dionysus be denied?
Thalia Sauvignon Blanc – Vilana, Greece. LCBO#273490, $9.95
Holly Bruns’ love for wine grew out of my love for food, and when curiosity got the better of me, I enrolled in the sommelier program at Algonquin College in Ottawa. Half way through the program I was definitely hooked. I graduated with the Sommelier Award of Excellence, at the top of my class, and felt bolstered to go on to study at the Wine & Spirit Education Trust where I’ve recently graduated from the Advanced program with distinction. I can now say I am an official wino. Writing a blog just felt like a natural extension of my desire to pursue all things vinous. I like to write, creatively, as a hobby and studied Engli