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Welcome to the Med: Greece and Croatia

Welcome to the Med:
Greece and Croatia

Rolling vineyards, fields of fresh produce and the sun-soaked coast – it's easy to see why our team of beer, wine and spirit developers were inspired by the flavours and colours of the Med for our summer range. Let us take you on a taste trip, winding around the shore and showcasing the best of each region as we go. Corkscrews and glasses at the ready as we arrive at our third port: The Eastern Med

Eastern promise

The east of Europe might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you make your wine choice, but with exciting new vineyards and fresh vintages making waves in the Med, you should think again. Our in-house wine expert, Elizabeth Kelly, calls out a few of her favourites.

Lyrarakis Dafni

Grown on the island of Crete, dafni is a local white grape variety and means 'bay tree' due to the herbal bay character of the wine. The variety was saved from extinction by the Lyrarakis family and the grapes are grown in their Psarades vineyard at 500 metres above sea level, which offers the grapes cool winds on this hot island.

Anfora Trio

Made in the Aegean region of Western Turkey in a vineyard overlooking the Aegean Sea, this wine is crafted from the better known shiraz and cabernet sauvignon grapes and blended with local variety kalecik karasi, giving it a light and fragrant finish.

Chateau Ksara Clos St Alphonse

From the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, this is the region's oldest winery and was founded in 1857. The varieties made here are heavily influenced by France, with this wine in particular containing a blend of syrah, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon.

Take me to the Eastern Mediterranean

The road less travelled

Want to be more adventurous with your wine choices but don't know where to start? Wine specialist Elizabeth Kelly and winemaker Jeneve Williams show you how

We’re all creatures of habit. But who doesn’t love the thrill of something new? So stick a cork in your regular vino and traverse the Mediterranean with our superb picks from countries that may not yet be on your wine radar.

This month's showstopper

Rethink your riesling with Golden Valley Grasevina from Croatia
Heady and aromatic (just like a good riesling), Golden Valley Grasevina 2012 is immediately refreshing with ripe peach and crisp apple notes. It hails from the Kutjevo hills in north Croatia, where the cool nights and warmer days make the grapes ripen slowly, filling them with flavour.

Drink it with: Asian food, in particular a rich coconut curry. Also try with seared scallops, fried in hot oil with sliced spring onion and grated ginger added to the pan halfway through cooking.

Greek and Eastern wine tips from the expert

Our very own Master of Wine, Emma Dawson, gives us her top tips for enjoying Greek and Eastern Mediterranean wines.

  1. Greece has an amazing array of high-quality grapes that are being rediscovered. My favourites are xinomavro, which is similar to Italian barolo. Or for a white, assyrtiko, which has the freshness and elegance of a good burgundy.
  2. Lebanon is one of the oldest winemaking regions in the world. Its winemaking style is French influenced, and uses the same grapes. But the warmer climate creates riper, more juicy wines, although with similar elegance to classic French styles.
  3. Eastern Mediterranean wines go well with their local foods, unsurprisingly, and many of the reds share the warming spice characters found in the intensely flavoured cured meats that are made in these regions.
  4. Orange wine is an intriguing ancient style of making white wines that originated in Georgia. Normally, they're made from grapes that are quickly crushed and the juice separated from the skin. For orange wines, the skins are kept with the juice, which extracts colour and gives a 'grippy' texture, before the wines are aged in amphorae. Expect an experience in between drinking a red and white wine. I would recommend trying it with tapas or a charcuterie board.
Master of Wine Emma Dawson


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