Rosé is the unofficial wine of choice for summer drinking. Light, bright, refreshing, and dangerously palatable, its millennial-pink color is on-brand for Instagram lovers everywhere.
But by summer’s end, we’re honestly a little rosé-ed out. While we’d like to step out of our blush-hued bubble, the idea of trying to decipher which red wines are light enough to be summer-friendly and which whites aren’t too sugary sweet to drink is overwhelming. Listen, we’re just trying to enjoy a refreshing beverage, not become professional sommeliers.
So when we learned this amazing wine hack, we just had to share: Turns out that wines that come from Greece are kind of perfect for summer drinking. Greek wines tend to be lighter, softer, and more subtle than their Italian and French counterparts. And we’re not just talking rosé )although Greek rosés like the Ktima Parparoussis Petite Fleur Rosé can give White Girl Rosé a serious run for its money!). Reds and whites, while incredibly unique and flavorful, are just light enough that they taste refreshing on a warm day but still have a complexity that you don’t always find in palatable rosés.
Part of their unique flavor comes from the Grecian climate. Fertile soil right on the ocean and a Mediterranean climate make for very unique grapes. Another detail to note—many wine producers in Greece have been making wine for generations and have always run organic, biodynamic farms. Because they’re so respectful of the land and the organic process, these families craft really beautiful small batch wines.
Plus, grabbing a Greek wine for your next rooftop dinner party will definitely make you stand out from the crowd. While Greek-produced wines are popular throughout Europe, they can be more challenging to find here in the United States, even at specialty wine stores. But trust, it’s worth doing a little extra digging or calling around—once you find them, you’ll want to scoop up the whole stock. Look for makers like Ktima Paraparoussis, Ktima Katsaros, Ktima Gerovassiliou, and Ktima Driopi for a high-quality pour.
When you’re perusing bottles, you’ll notice a few grape varieties that are specific to Greek wines. Don’t be overwhelmed by complicated names like Assyrtiko, Vidiano, Moschofilero and Savatiano in whites and Xinomavro, Agiorgitiko, Kotsifali and Avgoustiatis in reds, and don’t be afraid to grab a blended wine—usually, blends denote lower quality grapes, but that’s not the case when it comes to Greek wines. Some winemakers will grow a combination of traditional grapes and Greek grapes; take for example the Ktima Katsaros winery, a 20-acre vineyard plants Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay crops alongside Xinomavro grapes. Their Valos Xinomavro is a fruity, medium-bodied red wine, while their Chardonnay is silky and slightly sweet.
Finally, Greek wines pair well with Greek-inspired food. Duh. Think light grilled fish, citrus flavors, seasoned meats, tangy cheeses, and fresh herbs and veggies—much like the food you’re probably serving all summer.