Get Him to the Greek (Wine Varietal!)
It's time to add a new grape to your repertoire and order a seemingly unpronounceable varietal (see rule #2).
Despite the dreary economic situation, Greece has long been associated with the sybaritic lifestyle, attracting like-minded voluptuaries to places like Mykonos, Santorini, and Crete. Plus, Greek varietal names sound seriously sexy rolling off the tongue, so let's indulge our hedonistic streak and try a glass of Moschofilero (moh-skoh-FEE-leh-roh).
This grape is grown primarily in the high, cool Mantinia plateau in central Peloponnese, and produces dry white wines that are light in alcohol (between 11.5 to 12 percent), but intensely perfumed with wild florals, spice, stone fruits, and citrus notes on a racy, fresh palate.
Greece boasts 6,500 years of wine-making on its résumé. But a lack of international awareness (partially due to the fairly recent revitalization of the industry) means there are undervalued bottles hiding throughout the city's wine shops. If you ask me, Greek wines are going to be the next big thing, so taste them while they're still under the radar and cheap:
Where to try:
The wine list is quite short at the Immigrant, a very intimate, very dark East Village establishment, but it covers some interesting territory. Although I take issue with its thick-lipped wine glasses -- I prefer mine sharp as a surgeon's scalpel -- the Moschofilero is a perfect tipple on a balmy night: fresh, mouth-watering acidity with intense aromatics of pear, peach, and white flowers followed by lingering citrus pith on the palate. Antonopoulos Vineyards, Moschofilero, Arkadia, Peloponnese (Greece) $11/glass
Where to buy:
Sherry-Lehman carries Boutari, Mantinia Moschofilero (Greece) 2011 $12.95. Boutari is a leader in the Greek wine renaissance and considered one of the best (and biggest) producers, making its wines easier to find in the States. While Uva in Williamsburg carries Nikiforou, Moschofilero (Greece) 2010 at a steal -- just $10.
Lauren Mowery is a wine and travel writer based in NYC. She blogs at Chasing the Vine.