Recommendations

July 26, 2011

These Greek wines will give you a taste of the variety available in the eastern Mediterranean. As you’ll see, I’m rather enamored of wines from Santorini, a small touristy island in the Aegean Sea famous for its whitewashed buildings with blue-tiled roofs and its crisp, minerally white wines ideal for pairing with seafood.

Sigalas Asirtiko Athiri 2010

***

Santorini, Greece, $21


(Deb Lindsey/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

Rich and mineral, it has flavors of apricot and stone; it makes an ideal pairing with a seafood salad or grilled fish.

Constantine: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Schneider’s of Capitol Hill; on the list at Citronelle, Cosmos Club, Kellari Taverna, Marcel’s, Mourayo, Parthenon. Available in Maryland at Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits in Annapolis; Chesapeake Wine Co., Wells Discount Liquors and Wine Source in Baltimore; Corridor Wine & Spirits in Laurel; I.M. Wine in Fulton. On the list at the Black Olive in Baltimore.

Gavalas Santorini 2010

***

Santorini, Greece, $17

This wine is light on its feet. It dances across your palate with flavors of apricot, pear, sea air and minerals. It’s young and fresh now and oh-so-gulpable; if you can, give it six months or so, during which it should gain complexity.

Dionysus: Available in the District at Harris Teeter, Rodman’s; on the list at Cafe 8, Cava, Kellari Taverna, Levante, Vinoteca, Zorba Cafe, Zaytinya. Available in Maryland at Asadur’s Market & Wine in Rockville, the Bottle Shop in Potomac, Calvert Wine & Spirits in Hunt Valley, Cork & Fork in Bethesda; on the list at Greek Taverna and Mykonos Grill in Rockville; Taste Mezze Tapas in Olney. Available in Virginia at Arrowine in Arlington; Chain Bridge Cellars in McLean; Whole Foods Market locations in Arlington, Fair Lakes and Richmond; various Total Wine & More locations. On the list at Cava in Arlington, Taverna Cretekou in Alexandria.

Skouras Saint George 2008

** 1/2

Peloponnese, Greece, $16

It’s a mellow red that should please merlot lovers with its straightforward fruitiness, well-balanced acidity and moderate alcohol. It makes an excellent partner with grilled meats.

Constantine: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Schneider’s of Capitol Hill; on the list at Citronelle, Cosmos Club, Kellari Taverna, Marcel’s, Mourayo, Parthenon. Available in Maryland at Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits in Annapolis; Chesapeake Wine Co., Wells Discount Liquors and Wine Source in Baltimore; Corridor Wine & Spirits in Laurel; I.M. Wine in Fulton. On the list at the Black Olive in Baltimore.

Diamantakis Diamond Rock Syrah-Mandilari 2008

** 1/2

Crete, Greece, $23

A blend of 70 percent syrah and 30 percent Mandilari, it gives an interesting Greek twist to a major international grape. The structure and smokiness of syrah is there, moderated by a tart sour-cherry flavor. This wine, from Chris Jelepis’s Sonata Wine, is interesting not just because of its interpretation of syrah, but because you won’t find it anywhere else.

Nice Legs: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits; on the list at Zaytinya. Available in Maryland at State Line Liquors in Elkton. Available in Virginia at Twisted Vines in Arlington, Unwined in Alexandria and Belleview, Vienna Vintner, the Wine House in Fairfax; the Vineyard Table in Herndon; on the list at Northside Social Club and Willow in Arlington, Nostos in McLean, Plaka Grill in Vienna.

Hatzidakis Assyrtiko; Aidani: Athiri 2009

** 1/2

Santorini, Greece, $21

With more age than most other Santorini wines on the market, this shows additional development, such as ripe, rich flavors of apricots and peaches, with a strong mineral core. It has enough body and acidity to match just about any food pairing you could throw at it.

Country Vintner: Available in the District at Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits, Cork & Fork; on the list at Cava, 1789, Zaytinya. Available in Maryland at Cork 57 in Bethesda, the Tasting Room in Friendship Heights. Available in Virginia at the Wine House in Fairfax; on the list at Rincome in Arlington.

Esmios Moscofilero 2009

**

Peloponnese, Greece, $12

This fruity, yet dry, white wine is an ideal partner for seafood salads or simple grilled fish.

Nickolas Imports: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, MacArthur Beverages. Available in Virginia at Cork & Fork in Bethesda, Snider’s Super Foods in Silver Spring.

Recommendations

***Exceptional  **Excellent *Very Good

Prices are approximate. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.

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