Chilling with Greek Red Wines

Summer is in full effect and the desire for chilled wines is growing. The sales numbers for whites and rosés rise drastically, but what about those of us that still enjoy red wine all year round? Well, I have great news for you. Most Greek red wines can also be enjoyed with a chill on them.  

When it comes to Greek wines, many enthusiasts are familiar with the crisp whites and robust reds. However, there is a growing trend of serving red wines chilled, providing a unique and refreshing experience. In this piece, we will explore some Greek red wines that are particularly well-suited to be enjoyed chilled, offering a delightful twist to your wine tasting adventures.

  1. Xinomavro
    Xinomavro, known as the "Noble Grape of the North," hails from the northern regions of Greece, particularly Naoussa and Amyndeon. This red wine is highly versatile, exhibiting complex flavors of red fruits, earthy notes, and hints of spices. Chilling Xinomavro slightly enhances its acidity and tames its robust tannins, resulting in a more vibrant and refreshing experience.
  2. Agiorgitiko
    Agiorgitiko, also referred to as St. George, is a widely grown grape variety in the Nemea region of Greece. It produces rich and velvety red wines with pronounced fruitiness, often accompanied by notes of cherry, plum, and a touch of spice. Serving Agiorgitiko lightly chilled accentuates its fruit-forward character and makes it an excellent choice for warmer days.
  3. Mavrodaphne
    Mavrodaphne, a unique Greek grape variety, is known for producing both dry and sweet wines. As a red wine, Mavrodaphne displays intense aromas of dark fruits, chocolate, and caramel. When served chilled, its sweetness is balanced by the refreshing temperature, making it a delightful accompaniment to desserts or a standalone aperitif.
  4. Limnio
    Limnio is an ancient Greek grape variety that boasts a long history dating back thousands of years. It grows primarily in the northern region of Thrace and the island of Lemnos. The wines made from Limnio exhibit bright red fruit flavors, gentle tannins, and a touch of herbal complexity. Cooling Limnio highlights its freshness, making it a perfect choice for casual gatherings or picnics.
  5. Mandilaria
    Mandilaria is a native Greek grape variety predominantly found in the Cyclades islands. It produces deeply colored red wines with bold tannins and flavors of ripe berries, spices, and herbs. Serving Mandilaria at a slightly cooler temperature helps soften its tannins and brings out the wine's inherent fruitiness, making it an excellent choice for those who prefer lighter reds.

Greek red wines have a rich and diverse range of flavors, and some varieties can be enjoyed even when served chilled. Xinomavro, Agiorgitiko, Mavrodaphne, Limnio, and Mandilaria are among the notable Greek red wines that benefit from a slight chill, showcasing their unique characteristics in a refreshing way. Embracing this emerging trend allows wine enthusiasts to expand their tasting experiences and enjoy Greek reds in new and exciting ways. So, the next time you're looking for a cool and delightful wine experience, don't hesitate to explore these Greek reds that shine when served chilled.