Did you know that the first wine in the world was from ancient Greece? Wine has been around for centuries, and the Greeks were some of its earliest producers. There are many unique varietals of Greek wine that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. This blog post will discuss some of the essential facts about Greek wine that you need to know!
The History of Greek Wine
The origins of winemaking in Greece go back over 6000 years. Evidence suggesting wine production confirms that Greece is home to the second oldest known grape wine remnants discovered globally and the earliest evidence of crushed grapes.
The ancient Greeks were also responsible for introducing winemaking to other parts of the world. Many of the techniques that they used are still in use today. For example, the ancient Greeks invented the pressurized fermentation system, which is today still used in many wineries. In ancient times, as trade in wine became more extensive, it was transported from end to end of the Mediterranean. Ancient Greek wine had exceptionally high prestige in Italy under the Roman Empire. Even laws passed that restricted the production and sale of Italian wines so that elites in Rome could enjoy only Greek wine.
Today, Greek wines are enjoying a renaissance, with international awards being won by winemakers from all over the country. More than 200 indigenous grape varieties are being grown in Greece, many of which cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
The Importance of Wine In Ancient Greece Economics
The wine was one of the main exports of ancient Greece. The ancient Greeks produced various wines, including red, white, and rosé wines. They shipped these wines to other parts of the world, and they were trendy in Rome. The ancient Romans were so fond of Greek wine that they often referred to it as “liquid gold.”
In ancient Greece, wine was not only consumed for pleasure; it was also used as a form of currency. The ancient Greeks would sometimes use wine as payment for goods and services. In addition, they would use wine to pay taxes and tributes.
Greek Religion And Wine
The ancient Greeks believed that wine had a variety of religious benefits. The wine was so important to the ancient Greeks that they even named their gods after different types of wine! Dionysus was the god of wine, and he was often depicted holding a grapevine or drinking from a wine cup.
The ancient Greeks used wine in religious ceremonies to honour their gods. They believed that wine had the power to purify the soul and bring about spiritual transformation. In addition, the ancient Greeks believed that wine could help them connect with the divine. Many of the rituals that they performed involved drinking wine.
The wine was also an essential part of funeral ceremonies. The ancient Greeks believed that the deceased needed to have a proper burial. The wine was often poured over the deceased’s body, and it was also used to cleanse the tomb.
Medicine and Ancient Greek Wine
Ancient Greeks wine was used for medicinal purposes. They believed that wine had healing properties and could treat a variety of illnesses. The ancient Greeks were the first people to use wine as a form of medication.
One of the most common uses of ancient Greek wine was to treat digestive problems. The acidity of the wine helps to stimulate digestion, and the alcohol helps to relax the muscles in the stomach. The wine was also used to treat respiratory problems, fever, and pain.
In addition, ancient Greeks used wine as a beauty treatment. They believed that wine could improve complexion and help reduce wrinkles. The wine was also used as a disinfectant to cleanse wounds.
What Makes Greek Wine So Special?
There are a few factors. Firstly, the climate in Greece is ideal for viticulture, with hot summers and mild winters. The mountainous landscape also provides excellent conditions for growing grapes, with many vineyards located on slopes where the sun can reach them all day long.
The traditional winemaking techniques still used in Greece also play a role in the unique flavour profile of Greek wines. Many winemakers use ancient methods such as foot treading and basket pressing to extract the most flavours from the grapes.
Finally, Greek wine is also distinctive for its aromatic character, which comes from the wild herbs that grow all over the country. These herbs are used to make essential oils added to the wine, giving it a unique flavour and aroma.
How to Pair Greek Wine With Food?
When pairing Greek wine with food, it is essential to consider the flavours and textures of both the wine and the dish. For example, Greek wines with fruity flavours are an excellent match for spicy dishes. Wines with earthy or mineral notes are perfect for pairing with salty foods like olives and feta cheese.
Here are some suggestions on how to pair Greek wine with different types of food:
Lamb: Greek wine is the perfect complement to lamb dishes. The fruity flavours of the wine balance out the earthy flavours of the meat, and the acidity cuts through the dish’s richness.
Seafood: Pair Greek wines that have fruity flavours with seafood dishes. The acidity and fruitiness of the wine pair well with salty flavours, and the sweetness balances out the strong flavour of fish.
Cheese: Pair Greek wines with sweet flavours and salty cheeses like feta cheese and olives. The sweetness of the wine will balance out the salty flavours, and the acidity will refresh your palate between bites.
Dessert: Pair Greek wines that have sweet or fruity flavours with desserts. The sweetness of the wine will complement the sweet taste of the dessert, and the acidity will balance out the richness of the dish.
Top 5 Greek Wines You Need to Try
All these wines are made from various grapes grown that was originally produced in ancient Greece.
Kotsifali Crete is a red wine produced in the Chania region of Greece. It has flavours of dark fruit, herbs, and tobacco. The acidity and tannins are well balanced, and the wine has a long finish. This wine pairs well with lamb dishes or hard cheeses like Pecorino.
Nemea Agiorgitiko is a red wine produced in the Nemea region of Greece. It is a medium-bodied wine with dark fruit, tobacco, and herbs. The acidity is well balanced, and the tannins are smooth and velvety. This wine pairs well with lamb dishes or hard cheeses like Pecorino.
Mavrodaphne Patras is a red wine produced in the Peloponnese region of Greece. It has flavours of dark fruit, herbs, and tobacco. The acidity and tannins are well balanced, and the wine has a long finish. This wine pairs well with lamb dishes or hard cheeses like Pecorino.
Assyrtiko Santorini is a white wine that is produced on the island of Santorini. It has flavours of citrus fruit, herbs, and minerals. The acidity is high, and the wine has a long finish. This wine pairs well with seafood dishes or hard cheeses like Pecorino.
Moschofilero Mantinia is a white wine produced in the Mantinia region of Greece. It has flavours of citrus fruit, herbs, and minerals. The acidity is high, and the wine has a long finish. This wine pairs well with seafood dishes or hard cheeses like Pecorino.
Is Greek wine a thing?
Greek wine is a thing! It’s one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world. The first evidence of domesticated vines in Greece dates back to 4000 BC. Greek wine has a long and storied history, and it’s still popular today. There are many unique varietals of Greek wine that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. So if you’re looking for something new and exciting, be sure to check out some ancient Greek wines!
What are the most famous Greek wines?
There are many different types of Greek wine, and it’s hard to say which one is the most popular. However, some more well-known varietals include Kotsifali Crete, Nemea Agiorgitiko, Mavrodaphne Patras, Assyrtiko Santorini, and Moschofilero Mantinia. These wines are all made from indigenous grape varieties exclusive to Greece. So if you want to try some of the best Greek wine has to offer, be sure to check out these varietals!
Does Greece make good wine?
There is no definitive answer to this question. However, ancient Greek wines are highly prized by collectors and wine enthusiasts worldwide. Many of the ancient Greek wine varietals are still produced today, and they are considered to be some of the best wines in the world. So if you’re looking for a high-quality wine that you won’t find anywhere else, be sure to check out some ancient Greek wines!
Can I buy Greek wine in the US?
Yes, you can buy Greek wine in the US. Many online retailers carry a wide selection of Greek wines. You can also find them at speciality wine stores or even some grocery stores.
Greek wine is one of the oldest and most famous wine-producing regions globally. There are many unique varietals of Greek wine that you won’t find anywhere else. If you’re looking for something new and exciting, be sure to check out Greek wines!