Opa! Best Wine Pairing With Greek Food

wine pairing with greek food
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Looking for the best wine pairing with Greek food? You know we’ve got you covered!

From briny feta and tangy yogurt to aromatic oregano and garlicky hummus, Greek cuisine is a treasure trove of bold, bright flavors. These intense tastes, which I adore, especially in dishes like succulent Souvlaki and creamy Tzatziki, make Greek food one of my favorites.

While Greek cuisine might not always be considered fancy, its rich and authentic flavors are incredibly satisfying and pair wonderfully with a variety of wines.

In this easy guide, we’ll explore easy-to-find wines from around the world that are perfect companions for popular Greek dishes!

But First, An Introduction to Greek Flavors

Before suggesting wine pairings, let’s take a look at some hallmarks of Greek cuisine:

  • Briny olives, salty feta, and oily fish contribute a pleasant salty tang. This needs to be balanced by a wine with refreshing acidity.
  • Herbs like oregano, dill, and mint provide herbal and earthy notes. These complement wines with similar green, herbal qualities.
  • Spices like cumin and cinnamon add warmth and subtle heat. Gentle fruit and soft tannins help temper the spiciness.
  • Lemons, tomatoes, and yogurt contribute to tangy, bright acidity. Wines with citrus-driven acidity mirror these flavors.
  • Roast peppers, grilled meats, and fried foods have a smoky, charred flavor. Fruit-forward wines match the intensity of char.

By keeping these typical flavors in mind, it becomes easier to complement the dishes with your wine choices.

Our Picks For Wine Pairing With Greek Food Dishes

wine pairing with greek food on a table overlooking ocean

Wine Pairings for Mezedes (Appetizers)

As a guest dines in a Greek restaurant, you’re likely to see a spread of mezedes to subdue their appetite. Here are our suggested pairings:

  • For briny favorites like olives, hummus, and taramosalata, serve a dry Italian Pinot Grigio. Its racy acidity cuts through the richness.
  • Fried crispy treats like spanakopita, calamari, and keftedes need a Spanish Rosado. The red berry flavors balance the grease.
  • Meat mezedes like grilled lamb skewers or chicken souvlaki deserve a light Beaujolais-Villages from France. Its fruit and low tannins match the char.

Salads and Vegetable Dishes

Greek veggie dishes span from delicate salads to hearty roasted dishes. Some top wine picks:

  • For the classic Horiatiki salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, and feta, pour a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand (one of my favorites is inexpensive Oyster Bay!). The energetic citrus and acidity complement the brine.
  • Roast eggplant, peppers, zucchini, and other veggies served warm deserve a California Zinfandel. The jammy berry notes and gentle tannins marry nicely with the smoke.
  • Cooling tzatziki yogurt sauce served with grilled pita begs for a Greek Moschofilero. The rosy, lime-kissed wine mirrors the tangy yogurt.

Seafood Matches

Greece, surrounded by seas, has perfected cooking seafood dishes. Ideal wine pairings include:

  • For grilled whole fish or fried calamari, have an Italian Pinot Grigio chilled. Its mouthwatering acidity and pear notes balance the briny seafood.
  • Heartier fish stews and casseroles with tomatoes pair better with a Viognier from France. The stone fruit flavors echo the sweet tomatoes and herbs.
  • Simple grilled octopus drizzled with lemon and olive oil deserves a Spanish Albariño. The zesty citrus quality complements the tender octopus.

Meat and Poultry Partners

Robust Greek meat preparations require equally hearty wines that can match the intensity. Some spot-on pairings:

  • Rich lamb kleftiko and intensely flavored moussaka need a bold California Cabernet Sauvignon. The concentrated dark fruit flavors sync with the meaty flavors.
  • Lighter grilled chicken seasoned with herbs and lemon does well with a Greek Moschofilero or Albariño from Spain. The bright, aromatic whites don’t overpower the poultry.
  • Grilled souvlaki and sausage pair nicely with an Italian Chianti Classico. The smoky, medium-bodied red is a classic match to charred meats.

Vegetarian Mains and Sides

Vegetable-centric Greek fare can also be paired successfully with wines. Consider these duos:

  • For light veggie dishes like fasolada bean soup or lemony roasted potatoes, open a Greek Moscofilero. Its lively acidity and floral aroma won’t overwhelm delicate veggies.
  • Heartier dishes like moussaka, spanakopita and stuffed peppers deserve an easy drinking Beaujolais-Villages from France. The berry flavors complement without competing.
  • For ratatouille with eggplant, zucchini and squash, try an earthy Pinot Noir from California. The gentle tannins and complexity work nicely.

Sweet Treats

Finish off your Greek feast with classic desserts paired with wines that echo the sweetness:

  • Baklava, koulourakia cookies, and walnut cake served with Turkish coffee deserve a glass of Italian Moscato d’Asti. Its honey and stone fruits play off the nuts and pastry dough.
  • Less sweet rice pudding with cinnamon wants a demi-sec Vouvray from France’s Loire Valley. Its bright acidity balances the subtle sweetness.
  • Simple Greek yogurt drizzled with honey and walnuts matches beautifully with a fruit-forward Riesling Kabinett from Germany. Its just-ripe stone and tree fruits sync with the honey’s sweetness.

The key to pairing wine with Greek cuisine is to complement the unique flavors of each dish and amplify all the tastes in harmony. With this guide on your side, you can confidently serve wines that will bring your Greek cooking alive. Yamas!

FAQ: Wine Pairing With Greek Food and Mediterranean Cuisine

wine pairing with greek food on wood table

Does Red or White Wine Go Better with Greek Food?

For Greek cuisine, the choice between red or white wine hinges on the specific dish. Red wines pair well with meaty dishes like lamb or moussaka, while white wines are better suited for lighter dishes such as seafood or Greek salads. The diverse flavors in Greek food allow for both red and white wines to be excellent companions.

What Wine Goes with Greek Souvlaki?

Greek Souvlaki, with its grilled meat and herbs, pairs wonderfully with a variety of wines. A light red wine like Pinot Noir can complement the charred, smoky flavor of the meat. If you prefer white wine, a Chardonnay with its subtle oakiness or a zesty Assyrtiko, a Greek white wine, can also be a great match, especially if your souvlaki includes chicken or pork.

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