One doesn’t automatically think of Greece as a bastion of fine wine despite the country boasting a vinicultural tradition that is one of the oldest in the world. Anyone that has holidayed in Greece might consider Retsina, Ouzo, Raki or any other flavoured alcohol as examples of a low level of sophistication. However you’d be wrong to assume most Greek wine is crap – there are some outstanding wine regions, especially Nemea where we recently visited.
Sadly, we weren’t there to tour Nemean vineyards. The wine we did drink was ‘Krasi’.
Krasi is just ‘Greek Wine’. It’s usually locally produced and decanted very young straight from barrels and in tavernas is brought to the table in traditional copper carafes. Sophisticated it is not, but Krasi is very drinkable and pairs superbly with simple food.
Whites are usually very dry with floral and herbaceous characteristics. Reds, often chilled, are rather like Beaujolais – think strawberries and something slightly savoury.
That week we drank the local Krasi that came in plastic bottles – bought at the bakery in Ancient Epidavros. Sceptical at first, we really enjoyed quaffing this. The wine we had in local tavernas in the town of Napflion and the gorgeous port village of Vathi were far superior though – more complex than the local Krasi and really quite interesting.
Crazy to drink Greek wine? No definitely not