When thinking of wine-producing nations, France, Italy and the U.S. probably come to mind, perhaps followed by Spain, Australia or Chile. But where does Greece fall on the list? If it’s not there at all, you are not alone.
Estiatorio Milos’ Elise Vandenberg wants to change that. As she and her team explained to guests at the Cosmopolitan restaurant’s most recent Greek winemaker’s dinner, the nation’s vineyards made a serious move toward quality in the 1980s, which included increased attention to native grapes.
February’s meal featured the wines of Ktima Gerovassiliou vineyards, paired with a five-course family style meal. The bottles being poured contained Greek varietals such as assyrtiko, malagousia, limnio and mavroudi as well as imports such as viognier, syrah and merlot. The dishes included tuna tartare, grilled octopus, lobster pasta and grilled lavraki.
The dinners, priced at $79 for food and wine, are set to continue through at least October, on the first Thursday of every month. And while the menus are still being finalized, the themes have been decided. The March event will focus on Indigenous Varietals of Northern Greece; followed by Island Wines from Santorini and Crete on April 5; Indigenous Varietals from the Peloponnese on May 3; and Getting to know Assyrtiko and Agiorgitiko on June 7. Those will be followed by International Varietals from Greece; Greece v. The World I; Greece v. The World II; and Tasting Ancient Greece in July through October.
Dionysus would be proud.