I gotta tell you: I’m on a summer high, embracing the heat wave …kind of, I just ordered an AC unit; but somehow all I can think about is basking in the sun against the backdrop of that stark blue and white that’s so famously Greece. Sweating in my apartment with Hudson, who’s unfortunately still wearing fur, I’m riddled with wanderlust. And while architecture’s nice and everything, you can’t drink pictures and they’re making me thirsty AF along with this heat.
Enter: the liquid equivalent of time suspended, seashells gathered, and salty-lemony snacks under the glowing Greek sun and that impeccable shade of blue.
FYI: Greece has been a winemaking region for say, 3000 years! NBD. Greek wine went out of fashion for a while due to some mishap with retsina, a wine dosed and flavored with pine resin. Originally that was to preserve the wines from oxidizing, but then everyone thought all Greek wine tasted like pine resin and so they shunned it. All of it.
Typical Winecism. But Greece is back in a big fat way, with a small collection of producers, like Sigalas, championing indigenous varietals the old-fashioned way.
This wine tastes like thousands of years of sunlight. And one of the coolest things about this wine from Greece is the vineyard itself: instead of the traditional rows, the vines are coiled in a circular fashion, held close to the earth like beautiful, leafy crowns, to protect them from the intensity of sun, wind and sea. It is a mysterious and enchanting sight. It’s almost as if a Santorini island alien colony, fueled by the local nectar, installed a secret message millennia ago. Well, I decoded it for you – it says: YOU NEED THIS IN YOUR GLASS. They plan to return for the wine we are too stupid not to enjoy and finish, so get to sippin.’ Also, they come in peace.
WINE: Domaine Sigalas, Santorini, Greece 2015
GRAPE: Greece grows so many native grapes. Assyrtiko is arguably the best; it has the feel-good energy of a high octane summer anthem and the precision and beauty of a concert cellist. There’s also a teeny bit of Athiri dosed in for aromatics and balance
HOMETOWN: Santorini, the premier winegrowing region in Greece. These ancient grapes come to life in an ancient vineyard sitting afloat on an island in the south of the Aegean; volcanic soils, salty sea air, and a winegrowing history that dates back THREE THOUSAND YEARS – this is an unadulterated and completely pure expression of place.
TASTES LIKE: beach-like, dry, satisfying; like dangling your feet in the Santorini breeze after a swim; ripe yellow citrus and maybe a hint of honeydew melon; salty, with minerality from the volcanic soils, and a super subtle-but-beautiful bouquet of fresh herbs.
GOES DOWN EASY WITH: all the fare you’d expect with Mediterranean flavors: olives, fresh cheeses like burrata and feta, thyme, white fish, fried calamari, anything in the key of salty-lemony – OH! Squeeze a lemon on some fish and chips and drink this!!
If YOU LIKE: Um, vacation and breathing air? C’mon. Get this in your glass.