Sweet, dry, sour, white or black -equivalent of the red wine today- these all are descriptions found in Ancient Greek texts, revealing the leading role of wine in the greek culture for centuries. In Ancient Greece, the ‘symposia’ were intellectual gatherings where the philosophers would gather around a table, discussing and drinking wine, letting the thoughts and the words flow freely. This kind of events are depicted in the ‘Symposium’ of Plato where Socrates, Alcibiades and Aristophanes were among the attendees, praising Eros, the god of love and desire.
According to the ancient greek mythology, Dionysus was the Olympian god of grape-harvest, wine, winemaking and theater. The festivals dedicated to Dionysus, Dionysia and Lenaia, are considered as the 'ancestors' of the theater, but also as crazy celebrations that ended up in drunkenness. However, this perception is just a stereotype. These festivals were cult events centered on the correct consumption of wine, which could ease suffering and bring joy. Both Theophrastus and Hippocrates mentioned also the healthful importance of wine in their writings, and suggested it for treatments with olive oil and saps, for the cure of many health problems, from menstrual cramps to depression.
Nowadays, wine is one example of the modern life intersecting with ancient tradition. It always pairs the family meals or a special occassion and it's a common moment to say 'Geia mas' by clinking our glasses. Produced by white or red grapes and vines in local wineries all over Greece, different types and labels of Greek wines own an exceptional position in the worldwide wine map.
Greek wine amphora - credits: Manera/depositphotos
Learn about the top must-taste Greek wines below and pick your favorite one to try it the next time you are travelling in Greece:
Agiorgitiko | Nemea, Peloponnese
Rose wines made by this unique and famous grape ‘Agiorgitiko’ are connected to this blessed region of Peloponnese, Nemea, worldwide known for the labour of Hercules. These wines are full-bodied and spicy, with raspberry notes and a deep pink color.
Nemea is not just a village. Its landscape consists of a sequence of mountains and plateaus with diversity in the subsoil constitution that creates so many microclimates leading to so many different wine types of Agiorgitiko.
Food pairing: spicy dishes, sausages, Greek moussaka