Have you ever found yourself drinking the same wines over and over again? Do yourself a favor and be adventurous. As the Greeks say "you don't know, what you don't know" but admitting that is half the battle.
For a treat that will surprise you and leave you craving for more try some Xinomavro. Can't pronounce it? Who cares? You don't have to spell it or even try to pronounce it, you just have to give it a try. I happen to love Pinot Noir and Greek Xinomavro is a great alternative to a fine Pinot Noir.
I had the pleasure of visiting the Kir-Yianni Winery in Naoussa located in Northern Greece and featured in the video below, and experienced first hand their hospitality as well as their fine line of wines. They produce an amazing Xinomavro, Ramnista, which happens to be one of my favorite Greek red wines and I am not alone...
The winery was founded in 1997 by Yiannis Boutaris, hence the name Kir-Yianni, and today produces boutique quality wines that are authentic, true to the Kir-Yianni vision of producing dynamic wines without compromising traditions and philosophies. In other words innovative does not necessarily mean fancy, but rather true and authentic seen in different light which is easy to do when it comes to the production of Xinomavro, as the area of Naoussa is well known for the cultivation of this particular variety and the best Xinomavro productions in Greece.
Often times I hear that Greek red wines are weak and have no character making them really hard to pair with American Cuisine. This statement is simply not true but I do know that it stems from ignorance and not bad intent. Try Kir-Yianni Dyo Elies for example, a blend of Syrah, Merlot and Xinomavro and proceed with all the fatty foods you want, from burgers to steaks and pork chops as this wine can handle them all!
Most importantly, focus on trying new things and get out of the wine ignorance. Greece has very unique micro-climates and soil variations giving this country, although small in size, an advantage when it comes to production of many different varieties of wine. Allow yourself to experience new things and don't be surprised if you find that your favorite sushi companion is a Greek Moschofilero. I certainly was speechless as I had never thought to pair Greek wine with Asian cuisine BUT, I was willing to experiment and so should you, because after all, you don't know what you don't know...