The island of Crete has a long history of human civilization, as well as one of, if not the first to develop a ‘wine culture’. Crete has been contested by Greece and Turkey for political control over the years, but the Greek Vintner Boutari is a widely known exporter of wine from the island and if the 2010 Kretikos is any indication we owe it to ourselves to provide a place for their wine in our shopping list.
Kretikos is a blended white wine composed of 70% Vilana and the remainder a blend of other grapes indigenous to Crete; for those who are curious about Grecian grapes and how to pronounce them here is a helpful link, http://boutariwines.com/speak-greek-grapes/. A pretty gold yellow in the glass the nose is fresh pear and peach with a floral note that is worth spending a little time with while the wine breathes in the glass. The fruit is a simple blend of flavors, lemony pineapple is dominant with a suggestion of cement and some tangy spice at the end. This is a dry wine of medium weight, but with a solid feel in the mouth that has a clear finish, but still manages to leave a hint of the wine on the tongue. A tasting several days after the initial uncorking showed off a wine that held its own, but lost some of the freshness and developed a honeyed character like an aged German Riesling, quite good in its own way.
This was an enjoyable standalone wine, however, don’t be afraid to serve it at the table either, it is made to complement a meal. Think about foods from the Mediterranean diet, specifically food from Greece, though if you want to pick up something on the run and go try a roasted Lemon Pepper Chicken from Fresh Market, a nice pairing of weight and flavor. By all means though experiment and have friends over to enjoy their favorite food along with a wine that I am willing to wager most have not tried before; you could create a memorable time for those you care about.
Not a highlighted wine in most stores you may have to look around for the Kretikos White and Greek wine in general, though a few bottles with the Boutari label are fairly common in the area wine stores. Price can vary; I found the 2010 Kretikos White for a little over $8 on sale, but the “suggested” price is in the $10+ range. Look around and you will find a basic assortment of Grecian wine to choose from, however, you may have to ask someone or search around a bit in shelves filled with more well known wine labels and countries. In my opinion though, it will be time and money well spent.