We love Greek wines! Don’t you? As wine enthusiasts, we love to try the plethora of wines out there. Small vineyards, large, we like to try them all! Here’s where to find some in Chicago.
And if they’re Greek, even better! For years, I’ve been talking and writing about all the exciting wines that Greek producers are creating. I find it all so fascinating — a fusion or art, science, nature…and a little bit of luck. For a while, outside of Greektown or other fab restaurants like Taxim and Avli, it was difficult to find them. Well, don’t fret! Greek wines are popping up in stores all over Chicagoland!
Here are a few of our local finds and some suggestions of other places to look:
– Santorini Assyrtiko 2013, Santo Winery
Where to find it: Binny’s Oak Brook, IL
A summer favorite! My husband and I visited this winery while on our honeymoon. We sampled several of their vintages on a spectacular terrace overlooking the caldera. We drank Assyrtiko every evening as we watched the sunset from the patio our little cavehouse in Oia. This wine always reminds us of that special time, and of summer! If you haven’t tried Assyrtiko, be prepared for a new experience in flavors. The volcanic ash helps to create a unique flavor that is characteristic of this wine.
– Xinomavro, Alpha Estates Hedgehog Vineyard 2010
Where to find it: Costco
Love! Love! Love this wine! I’m typically a red wine drinker, and my go-to is Pinot Noir, though when this is available, there’s no contest! In this wine, made from the Xinomavro grape, taste berries, vanilla, and a hint of spice. This beautiful wine has a deep purple-red hue and once you try it, you will love it, too! I was first introduced to this wine several years ago at a Greek wine road show, and I have enjoyed it regularly ever since.
– Moschofilero: Boutari Wines
This light and fruity wine made from 100% Moschofilero grapes, is a perfect summer wine. This is one of the very first Greek wines I ever found in a store, several years ago at a Jewel in Chicago. This one will be very easy to find.
Where to Find: Pete’s Fresh Market (Oakbrook Terrace, IL)
I stumbled upon this wine last year. They don’t always have it, so you’ll have to check often. Sometimes they carry the Lion D’Or Chardonnay as well. This is a very easy-drinking wine, with flavorful berries and cherries, as well as hint of spice. I think we drank 6 0r 7 bottles of it last Easter!
These are just a few of things off the top of my head. If you don’t already, check the wine aisles at your local store for Greek wines. Sometimes you have to ask. At the local wine shop in our old Chicago neighborhood, I asked if they carried any Greek wines. Not surprisingly, they didn’t know much about them, but on my suggestion, they did some exploring in the world of Greek wine, and do now occasionally carry some. Don’t be afraid to suggest they learn about Greek wine. For some, it’s just not on their radar yet, or they have had more experience in another area.
– Minos Imported Foods: They have an aisle of Greek wines. Red, white, rose, plus Ouzo, Mavrodaphne, Masticha, and more.
– Binny’s: Selection varies by store, so call, check online or visit the store. Click to see web listing for Greek wine.
– Costco: Selection varies by location, and be sure to check the entire department. We usually find Xinomavro, and Estate Argyros Assyrtiko, and occasionally something different.
– Marianos: Again, selection varies by location. We have found Sigalas Assyrtiko at the Roscoe Village store.
– Avli Estiatorio: Not only does this Winnetka, IL restaurant have a delightful menu and an extensive wine list, you can also purchase a bottle of wine to take home. You will find things not currently available in stores, so do ask!
– Whole Foods Market: Occasionally they will have a Greek wine. Last summer they featured Boutari Elios, but I haven’t found it this year.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. To learn more about Greek wines, visit my friends All About Greek Wine.
What Greek wines have you found in local stores and where? Do share!