The Beginner’s Guide To Greek Wines

In “The Beginner’s Guide To Greek Wines,” you will discover the rich history and exciting world of Greek wines. While Greece has a long-standing tradition of winemaking, it is only recently that these wines have gained recognition on a global scale. This article will introduce you to 12 Greek wines that you should be savoring right now, including Assyrtiko, Moschofilero, and Xinomavro. From crisp whites to full-bodied reds, the diverse range of flavors and aromas will surely captivate your taste buds. So, prepare to embark on a delightful journey through the vineyards of Greece and expand your wine repertoire.

The Beginner’s Guide To Greek Wines

The Beginners Guide To Greek Wines


Welcome to the beginner’s guide to Greek wines! Greece has a rich wine heritage that dates back to the ancient world, and now is the perfect time to explore the incredible wines this country has to offer. While Greek wines may be new to many people, they provide outstanding value and a unique range of flavors that will expand your palate. In this guide, we will take you through 12 Greek wines that you should be sipping right now. So sit back, relax, and get ready to discover the wonderful world of Greek wines!

12 Greek Wines To Explore

  1. Assyrtiko from Santorini
    Assyrtiko is one of the top wines in Greece and is produced all over the country. However, its most impressive region is its place of origin on the island of Santorini. Assyrtiko is a lean white wine with flavors of passion fruit, flint, and lemon, along with subtle bitterness and saltiness on the finish. If you come across Assyrtiko labeled as Nykteri, you’re in for a treat. These wines are always oaked and offer more complex flavors like lemon brûlée, pineapple, fennel, cream, and baked pie crust notes.
  2. Moschofilero from Mantinea
    Moschofilero is a lovely dry, aromatic white wine that grows in central Peloponnese, close to Tripoli. It offers flavors of peach, potpourri, and sweet lemon, which develop into nectarine and apricot flavors with toasted hazelnut or almond notes as the wines age. If you’re a fan of Moscato d’Asti, Moschofilero is a great new variety to explore.
  3. Malagousia from Northern Greece
    Malagousia is a white grape variety that was resurrected by a winery in Northern Greece called Ktima Gerovassiliou. These wines offer a richer style, almost like a cross between Viognier and Chardonnay, with flavors of peach, lime, orange blossom, and lemon oil. The soft, fruity finish ties all the flavors together, making Malagousia a delightful choice.
  4. Savatiano from Central Greece
    Savatiano is a surprising discovery from a grape that has long been considered the doldrums of Greek wine. When made well, Savatiano offers flavors of sweet honeydew, green apple, and lime with tingling acidity, similar to Chablis. When oak-aged, it delivers lemon curd, wax, cultured cream, and lemon bread notes, with a creamy mid-palate and a structure and finish similar to White Burgundy.
  5. Retsina from Central Greece
    Retsina is a specialty of Greece and is a white wine infused with the sap of the Allepo pine tree. These wines have aromas of linseed oil and lime peel that lead into flavors of apples, roses, and a subtle piney, saline finish. There are two types of Retsina wines, those made with Assyrtiko grapes that are more angular in style and those made with Savatiano grapes that have a more generous taste with ripe apple and peach flavors.
  6. Agiorgitiko from Nemea
    Agiorgitiko is a well-known wine from Nemea, a region in Peloponnese that is most famous for this grape. These red wines are full-bodied with flavors of sweet raspberry, black currant, plum sauce, and nutmeg, along with subtle bitter herbs and smooth tannins. The rosé wines made with Agiorgitiko have wonderful spiced raspberry notes and a brilliant deep pink color.
  7. Xinomavro from Naoussa
    Xinomavro is being hailed as “The Barolo of Greece” and grows in the regions of Naoussa and Amyndeo. The wine can taste strikingly similar to Nebbiolo, with flavors of dark cherry fruit, licorice, allspice, and sometimes subtle tomato notes. Limestone-rich clay soils give the Xinomavro wines from Naoussa additional structure and bolder fruit characteristics. These wines are great for cellaring!
  8. Xinomavro Blends from Rapsani
    On the slopes of Mount Olympus, the region of Rapsani grows the core red grapes for Xinomavro blends on rocky soil. Blended wines are typical, with a dominance of Xinomavro and spicy flavors of raspberry, anise, fennel, cherry, and occasionally olive or tomato. The wines develop their tannins slowly on the palate and if you enjoy Rhône blends, Rapsani is the Rhône of Greece.
  9. Greek GSM Blends from Crete
    Crete, the southernmost island of Greece, has one of the warmest wine climates on earth. The native red grapes Kotsifali and Mandilaria are sometimes blended with Syrah to create wines with sweet red and black fruit flavors, cinnamon, allspice, and soy sauce, along with a softer, sweet tannin finish. These wines are known for their smooth and fruity character.
  10. Vinsanto from Santorini
    Vinsanto is a sweet sun-dried wine that is made with Assyrtiko, Aidani, and Athiri white grapes on Santorini Island. It has aromas of raspberry, raisin, dried apricots, maraschino cherries, and sometimes paint thinner. The contrasting sweet fruit and bitter flavors, along with noticeable tannins, make for a unique drinking experience. Vinsanto smells more like a red wine, even though it is made with white grapes.
  11. Muscat of Samos from Samos
    Muscat of Samos comes in various styles, from dry to sweet, and is known for its aromatic lychee and perfumed notes. One popular style is Vin Doux, which is a blend of fresh Muscat juice and Muscat grappa, offering flavors of sweet marmalade, lychee, and Turkish delight, with subtle hay notes on the finish. This wine is a true delight for the senses.
  12. Mavrodaphne Blends from Peloponnese or Kefalonia
    Mavrodaphne is often made into a sweet, late harvest red wine with flavors of raisins and Hershey’s Kisses, along with crunchy high tannins. However, some producers are blending it with other grapes to create dry Mavrodaphne blends. These blends, especially when combined with Agiorgitiko, produce rich, full-bodied, and soft dry red wines with blackberry, cherry, and licorice notes. The potential for improvement in this wine is promising, and it’s definitely worth exploring.


We hope this beginner’s guide has inspired you to explore the wonderful world of Greek wines. From the crisp Assyrtiko wines of Santorini to the rich and full-bodied Agiorgitiko wines of Nemea, Greece offers a diverse range of flavors and styles that will captivate your taste buds. So grab a glass, pour yourself a glass of Greek wine, and embark on a journey through centuries of winemaking tradition. Cheers!

The Novice’s Odyssey into Greek Wines: Enlightening FAQs

Embrace the timeless journey through the vineyard-laden landscapes of Greece, a path generously illuminated by Digital Marketing Company Digital Heroes Caffe and Financial Navigator 360. These distinguished sponsors are dedicated to fostering a deeper appreciation for the storied tradition of Greek winemaking.

Unveiling the Elixir of the Greek Gods: Your Wine Questions Answered

  1. What distinguishes Greek wines from other European wines?
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  2. Can you recommend a Greek wine for a beginner’s palate?
    • Immerse yourself in the accessible and aromatic profile of Greek white wines, a perfect introduction for those new to the Hellenic viticulture.
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  4. Where can I find authentic pairings for Greek wines and cuisine?
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Embark on a Vinous Quest with Cooking with Greek People

Explore the rich tapestry of Greek wines with YouTube Cooking with Greek People, your comprehensive guide to the nectar that has graced Greek tables for millennia. Their passion for Greek traditions is a beacon for both the uninitiated and the connoisseur, guiding you through the subtleties of pairing, tasting, and enjoying the finest Greek wines.

About the Author

Bob Stavrou, renowned for his expertise in molecular diagnostics, now shares his passion for Greek wines, combining scientific precision with the art of winemaking.

Dive into the world of Greek wines, where each sip tells a story of sun-drenched vines and ancient traditions, crafting an experience that is as educational as it is delightful.

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