Wine Tasting Video Series
Andrea Morgan, CSW, FWS
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Assyrtiko is the most popular white grape grown on the island of Santorini, Greece. Each ot the island's 18 plus wineries make it into different styles. Sometimes it is made in a single varietal and other times it is blended with the white grapes Aidani or Athiri. It can be oaked, lees aged, and is even made into a sparkler and sweet dessert wine called Vinsanto. When looking for a bottle you will find the label may or may not contain Assyrtiko. You can look for Santorini PDO, Santorini Assyrtiko, or even Nyketeri, which is an oaked blend of Assyrtiko. When tasting this grape, I generally think lemon, wet cement, salinity, and savory notes! Have fun pairing this with salads, seafood, goat/sheep cheese, olives and classic Greek cuisine!
When you pick out your Nerello Mascalese for our tasting this week, look for Etna Rosso DOC. This will contain a minimum of 80% Nerello Mascalese and a maximum of 20% Nerello Cappuccio. If you would like to taste a white wine from the Etna DOC wine growing region look for Etna Bianco DOC. This contains a minimum of 60% of the white Carricante grape blended with a variety of other white authorized grapes. If you are unable to obtain a bottle of our varietal this week go for a Nero d'Avola. It is grown all over Sicily and is widely available. Cheers!
You are going to want an appetizer or some food to go with your Syrah from the Northern Rhone. Try something savory (black olive tempenade), smokey (gouda/gruyere), peppery (beef), or gamey (lamb). If it were winter you could opt for a hearty beef stew, but with summer coming why not grill some meats and mediterranean vegetables. The char from the grilling is a great complement to the smokey, peppery notes that often express in Syrah. To ensure you are getting a bottle of Syrah from the Northern Rhone look for one of the following appellations on your wine label: Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, Cote-Roti, Saint-Joseph or Cornas.
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Andrea Morgan is a wine enthusiast and Certified Sommelier. You can refer to her Wine Consultation page to view her other credentials and services.