The Hellenic selection at the LCBO is often limited to a few dusty bottles of retsina. But these terrific wines may put Greece on your oenological map.
Pezoules Cabernet Sauvignon, $11.60
From the Peloponnese peninsula, this bargain is a rare example of a non-indigenous grape being grown in Greece. Pair with take-out souvlaki or gyros.
Ponce notes: “If you’re used to ripe, confected California Cabs, this medium-bodied number is a revelation—at half the price. Aromas of kirsch, cassis, and menthol yield to a juicy wine with zesty acidity.”
Boutari Naoussa 2008, $12.95
This red is based on Xinomavro, which is similar to Italy’s Nebbiolo grape. Try it with braised lamb shanks.
Ponce notes: “At 13 bucks, there is no better deal at Vintages right now. Earthy and complex, with a solid core of cherries, it evolves in the glass, becoming a different wine with every sip. Either decant and let breathe, or cellar up to 10 years.”
Santo Assyrtiko 2011, $16.95
Made from the Assyrtiko varietal, this Vintages white hails from the island of Santorini in the southern Aegean Sea. Open with steamed mussels.
Ponce notes: “A quick swirl reveals a bouquet of white flowers and green apples. On the palate, it will draw immediate comparisons to Chablis, with its stony flavours, crisp acidity, and a long finish. Lovely stuff.”