I wrote this for a recent Guild of Sommeliers (a.k.a. the best $100 you will ever spend as a wine professional) enrichment program application.
Again, a little dry, but I feel a good PSA for the quality and value of Greek wine:
Nothing will ever replace visiting a wine region. Direct contact with the vines, soils, traditional winemaking practices, the wines, and, most importantly, people has no substitute.
Specifically with Greece, I think the country is poised to make a real splash in the American market and will become an increasingly important member of any internationally-focused wine list. Some of the best examples of Greek wine on the market currently (Sigalas Assyrtiko, Kyrdas Xinomavro, Samos Vin Doux, to name a few off the top of my head) are amazing values, and quality is high across the board. Most Greek wines reaching the American market today have incredible appeal and are generally consistently high quality. They are also food friendly, and mostly done in an accessible “Vin de Soif” style, particularly the whites. This is good for the consumer and for me, as they have a much more utilitarian (read: accessibly delicious) nature than wines coming out of most other emerging markets.
On a trip to Greece, I would like to get inside these wines. I really want to understand them in their context, and not just from the perspective of what a wine rep brings me or what I read in a book. A trip to Greece would allow me to see how these wines function relative to the native cuisine and to speak with growers and winemakers, to see what they’re focused on and what interests them about their wine making; what is their ethos? If I want to see more of these wines on the market in America, I need to know what to ask for and what I like. Hopefully, that will allow me to guide importers and distributors towards bringing in the Greek wines that I’d like to provide to my customers. Right now, what’s brought to the American market from Greece is good, but I definitely feel as if we might be missing some amazing wines here in the States. As a sommelier, I feel it’s my responsibility to advocate for quality, value wines. We’ve just touched the tip of the iceberg in Greece, and I’d like to spend my time in Greece exploring just how deep it goes.