BOSTON, MA – Greek wine was featured on USA Today on August 7 with wine director – and Greek wine expert – Evan Turner of Krasi Meze and Wine, 48 Gloucester Street in Boston.
“Everyone is much more adventurous with wine, spirits and food,” Turner told USA Today, adding that “everyone wants to try something new and exciting and be on the cutting edge of technology. . It’s great for Greek wine. “
“Turner’s first contact with the country dates back over 40 years” and “to this day he still remembers the startling details, the aura conversations, of his first meal in Greece,” USA Today reported.
Turner then trained as a sommelier and established Helen Greek Food and Wine, 2429 Rice Boulevard in Houston, TX. Since 2015, Turner has witnessed a growing interest in Greek wines and more ‘restaurants with 100% Greek wine lists across the country – he mentions Taverna Khione, 25 Mill Street in Brunswick, Maine, and Emilitsa , 547 Congress Street in Portland, Maine, Taxim 1558 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago and Milos Wine Bar, 20 Hudson Yards in New York, ”USA Today reported.
“Turner says the majority of Greek labels that make it in the United States – around 85% – are from producers who are no older than two decades,” USA Today reported, adding that “he clarifies, however, that the first winemaking in Greece dates back 6,500 years.
“There are all these beautiful old vineyards sitting in Greece,” Turner told USA Today, explaining that “when the Ottomans invaded Greece, families were still allowed to make wine for their own use, so farmers were allowed to make wine for their own use. planted vines in their backyards, ”and“ these are the vineyards that still exist today; some vines are up to 400 years old. ”Turner explains that due to the isolation of these vineyards, the vines avoided the phylloxera epidemic in the 1800s and thus preserved those “insanely ancient” vines that produce grapes rich in flavor and history, “USA Today reported, noting that” Turner points out that it is these native grapes, as well as the terroir, which are responsible for the most recognizable qualities of Greek wine: high acidity, high tannins and low alcohol content (the average alcohol level is between 12.5 and 13.5 percent).
“Everyone thinks of the beaches of Greece … and it is actually one of the most mountainous nations in the world, with much of their soils being sandy and volcanic in nature,” Turner told USA Today , adding that “to list them, Greek wines tend to be less jammy and fruity – whether red or white – and more on those wonderful secondary flavors of earth, minerality and herbal.
“When it comes to what’s not in wines, Turner explains that sugar is not added during the winemaking process and that new oak is used sparingly for aging, favoring stainless steel, the used or “neutral” oak, “USA Today reported, adding that” Wineries also tend to harvest early due to the temperamental climate in the mountains, and in less volume, due to family constraints. “
“These minimalist techniques lend themselves to natural, organic and biodynamic wines,” USA Today reported, noting that “the trend movement of organic and biodynamic wines is therefore creating a favorable opportunity in the Greek wine market, in addition to acceptance. continuous orange wines.
Turner told USA Today that “it is these two movements, along with the sommeliers’ ability to present wines to customers, that will allow the category to thrive.”
“It’s not about the quality of the wines, it’s about getting them into the hands of the customers,” Marc Provencher, owner of Taverna Khione in Brunswick, Maine, told USA Today, noting that ” most people who come do not know Greek wines or grapes, it is about educating them.
“When it comes to educating diners about Krasi, Turner’s method is to relate wines to familiar varieties,” USA Today reported, adding that “for white wines, Turner compares the crunchy minerality of the assyrtiko from Santorini to “the child of a magnificent Sancerre and a dry riesling”, and “Malagouzia, from northern Greece, is a richer, rounder variety that features tropical notes and stone fruit on the nose and on the palate, similar to Viognier. “
“Moschofilero from the Peloponnese (one of the coldest climates in all of Greece) is aromatically floral, like a white blend from Alsace, where you get notes of gardenia, jasmine, cinnamon and cloves on the nose , but on the palate is shiny and clean with a dry finish, ”USA Today reported.
“As far as the reds are concerned, Agiorgitiko (originating in the south) is the most planted Greek red grape variety, frequently mixed with Bordeaux grape varieties; its light to dark cherry notes are comparable to Chianti Classico or Rioja Reserva, ”USA Today reported.
“This is a great red wine to give to someone if they haven’t eaten Greek reds before because it will look the most familiar to them,” Turner told USA Today.
“Limniona, just south of Mount Olympus, is reminiscent of an earthy pinot noir from Oregon” and “xinomavro is often compared to nebbiolo for its strong acidity and tannins which Turner says goes well with meat dishes at length. cooked which you so often see in Greece, “USA Today reported, adding that” in fact, Turner advises that all Greek varieties make exceptional pairings because of the style of meze cooking the country is famous for. “
“Greek wine has the greatest affability for food of any country,” Turner told USA Today, “Greek food in general has never been a one-plate-and-one-plate meal, we stack stuff in the middle; then you would like to make wines for that!
“As Greek wines continue to gain popularity in the United States, back in Greece, Turner hopes to see more wine tourism across the country,” USA Today reported, noting that “the Peloponnese currently attracts the most watch out for wine lovers, but Santorini, Nemera and Crete are also authoritative starting points for a self-guided tour, ”and“ Turner predicts eruption of wineries from lesser-known regions of Greece to continue to revolutionize the category . “
He concludes: “Using rare native grapes, sourced from various remote areas of the islands and the mainland, these wineries are at the forefront of the new Greek winemaking. They are the future, ”USA Today reported.