It was about time! Thanks to Greece2Taste, I was finally able to learn a bit about the grape juice I’ve been consuming for years.
The scene was set… A beautiful, warm, early May evening in Athens. A small group of people gathered on a veranda in a lush, green garden, eager to learn about wine and of course, taste it. Panos from Greece2Taste was our master of ceremonies for the night.
Greece2Taste was developed by a group of local residents who wanted to share their love of Greek food and regional wines with everyone. Everything about food is such a big part of the culture here in Greece. Sharing recipes from generation to generation, shopping at the markets, preparing it together and of course enjoying the meal with family and friends- it’s all magical!
They offer a few different opportunities for gastronomic enthusiasts to step into the world of Greek food and wine.
- A Day at the Market
- A Day of Wine Tasting in Nemea
- Athens Wine-bar-hopping
- Cooking Greek with Madame Ginger
- A Greek Wine Tasting
Wine-bar-hopping is on the top of my to-do list now that I have successfully completed my course-work in wine tasting. I can’t get too excited about that now though, let’s talk tasting!
Greek Wine Tasting Experience
There are three setting options for this service
- At the home of one of the founders- “A Genuine Home Experience”
- At a wine bar in central Athens
- At your place
Travel Bloggers Greece were invited to the “Genuine Home Experience” and it felt like we were at the home of a good friend.
I wish they would have been around when I had family and friends in town for my wedding. It would be perfect for a group of friends, renting an AirBnB in the city or staying in a summer house along the Coast. Even for locals, a great chance to do something different than the usual dinner and drinks out on Saturday night. The vibe was so relaxed and casual, I would definitely host one of these events in my home. I wonder if they do the dishes afterwards?
A Lesson in Wine
There was a box of pencils being passed around after we each received our sheet describing what to look for in a wine… that was as close to school as we got.
Panos started by giving us some background about wine in Greece and discussed the regions and types of wine. The dude knows his stuff and his spiel was well laid out, so there was never a ‘classroom type moment’ of boredom.
His demeanor was laid back, not that of a stuffy wine-know-it-all, which for me was a key element in the evening. He was approachable, so as the experience went on, I felt comfortable asking questions and getting to the bottom of things like tannins and cork taint.
We went through the list in detail for the first wine of the evening. I am not going to lie, there was some willpower being tested at the table. Quite a bit of time passed between the moment the first Greek white was poured into our glasses until we got to the ‘palate’ portion of the checklist when we actually got to taste it. We survived, there were no casualties and I suppose it built character.
The first wine we tried was a Moschofilero from Semeli winery in Nemea.
We spent the most time on that wine as it was our first time using the guide. The categories on the list we used are of the International Standard, so we were like proper wine folk (or at least pretending to be).
I can imagine doing an event like this and being a bit intimidated by a wine guru and not wanting to say that I could smell green apple (not red) in the wine, but Panos was totally welcoming to our newbie comments and I really appreciated that.
Next we moved on to Assyrtiko, a white wine from the famous Santorini.
Panos had some interesting things to share with us about wine from Santorini. It is getting a lot of attention these days and rightfully so- it grows in volcanic ash (soil) after all!
As the evening went on, we munched on breadsticks (obviously to cleanse our paletes) and we tasters tried our best to sniff out the different aromas and properly gauge the intensity of the wine.
Our third wine was a red from the famous region of Nemea.
This type of wine, Agiorgitiko, is native to Nemea and falls under the Protected Destination of Origin when produced in Nemea. If you find Agiorgitiko difficult to pronounce, you can just call it the blood of Hercules.
My Future with Wine
After this evening, I will surely give each glass of wine I consume a little more thought. I’ll swirl it around a few more times and think about the vines that it came from.
I really enjoyed this experience and can highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning a bit more about wine in general and/or getting started with ‘tasting’.
Am I ready for my Masters of Wine Challenge? No. I have a lot more wine to drink before I can even think about calling myself a beginner. Which way to the cava?
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