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New Wines of Greece Adelaide Masterclass at George's on Waymouth - 20 Waymouth Street, Adelaide SA 5000

On The Chopping Board (OTCB) was recently invited to an exclusive New Wines of Greece Masterclass, held at George’s on Waymouth, where all wine was provided by New Wines of Greece.

New Wines of Greece is a portal that dedicates itself to increasing awareness of Greece’s quality Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) wines through cutting-edge education and promotion across the world.

As a lover of wine, I (Taylor) was excited to discover the world of Greek wine, especially after the great experience Amanda had at the New Wines of Greece tasting last year (have a read of last years write up here)!

The Masterclass was run by Yiannis Karakasis, Master of Wine and author of ‘The Vineyards and Wines of Greece 2017’. Yiannis is an incredibly knowledgeable and passionate speaker who discussed the history and heritage of some native varietals, as well as the innovative wine making processes behind these never before seen wines in Australia.

Wines waiting to be tasted at the New Wines of Greece Masterclass

Our tasting was divided into four settings, Aromatic Varieties, Assyrtiko Roditis and Robola, Santorini and Native Reds and Beyond. Although we would love to tell you about all of the amazing wines we tried, I have selected a favourite from each setting to give an insight of our Greek wine experience!

Domaine Porto Carras, Malagouzia 2016
Image source: Domaine Porto Carras

Aromatic Varieties
Domaine Porto Carras, Malagouzia 2016
Imported by: Estate Wine Distributors

This dry white wine made from 100% Malagouzia grapes is made by Domaine Porto Carras, the largest organic vineyard in Greece. As the favourite of the setting around the tasting table, the wine was vibrant in colour and aroma, with hints of pear and citrus on the nose. The Malagouzia offered very well balanced acidity, with a long, fruity finish and lovely mouth feel. We imagine this wine pairing beautifully with light, summery seafood dishes with fresh herbs, or even a citrus based dessert that isn’t too sweet.

Gentilini, Robola of Cephalonia Wild Paths 2016
Image source: Greece and Grapes

Assyrtiko Roditis and Robola
Gentilini, Robola of Cephalonia Wild Paths 2016
Imported by: Made Establishment

Our pick from the Assyrtiko Roditis and Robola setting was this 100% Robola from Cephalonia, an island in the Ionian Sea which is just West of mainland Greece. The grapes for this wine are selected specifically from old, ‘wild’ vineyards, giving the wine it’s characteristic herbaceous and slightly yeasty aroma. However, the wine follows through with a gentle acidity on the palate, which balances the full mouth feel to create a well rounded wine. As another dry white style, we also imagine this Robola pairing well with most light seafood dishes, but particularly well with raw, oily fish.

Santo Wines, Santorini Assyrtiko 2016
Image source: Santo Wines

Santo Wines, Santorini Assyrtiko 2016
Imported by: Fox Wines and Spirits

Assyrtiko is a grape varietal indigenous to Santorini, but loved across the country for it’s very refreshing and aromatic characteristics. With aromas of lemon, honey and white blossom and a subtle minerality on the palate, this white is a definite food wine and is calling out to be enjoyed with a plate of fresh pasta.

Tsantali Estate, Agioritiko Abaton Gold Selection 2012
Image source: Tsantali Estate

Native Reds and Beyond

Tsantali Estate, Agioritiko Abaton Gold Selection 2012 
Imported by: Fox Wines and Spirits

This blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% organically grown Limnio has created a full-bodied wine of great intensity and complex flavours. With a rich ruby red colour, aromas of black fruit and vanilla, and spicy notes on the palate, this is a well rounded wine with a long finish. This was definitely one of the favourite reds around the table, and we could imagine enjoying a glass with well-aged cheese and cured meats.

Learning about wine is always a fun experience, especially when they are wines varietals you've never tried before! It was fascinating to discover the roots of Greek wine that go back to over 4,000 years ago, to understand more about Greek culture and the excellent work winemakers are undertaking to bring their wines to the rest of the world.

One of the things that we loved most about all the Greek wines tasted at the Masterclass was the food pairings we were able to imagine while we tasted. Alike most Mediterranean wine varietals, Greek wines are extremely food-friendly and are calling out to be enjoyed with good food and good company - which is exactly what we plan to do!


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