While salivating over a recipe from renowned Greek chef, Diane Kochilas, we wondered what wine to pair it with. If you were in Italy, you might think a Barolo but in Greece a similar but more versatile choice would be Xinomavro (pronounced ksee-NOH- mah-vroh). This spicy red wine would be perfect with Diane’s stuffed tomatoes, peppers and grape leaves. When pairing food and wine, always match flavor to flavor, so in this case, the acidic and spicy flavors of the tomatoes will be perfect with Xinomavro.
Another grape to consider is Agiorgitiko (pronounced Ah- yor-YEE-te-ko). to make life easier for you some winemakers prefer using the name of the appellation, Nemea,). Agiorgitiko is the most widely planted red grape in Greece and perhaps, its most versatile. The flavors will depend on both the soil it is grown in and style in which it is made but it can range from soft and fruity to rich and tannic. However it is made, it goes well with any meat, vegetable or poultry dish. Because of Agioritiko’s ubiquity, you’ll find it in most good wine stores.
While the recipe is rich with lots of flavors, it is vegetarian so we should consider white wines as well, as there is white wine in the sauce. This means it calls out for a crisp Assyrtiko, either oaked or unoaked. An aromatic Moschofilero will also work well to complement the raisins and nuts in the dish.
Clearly, there are a lot of options, which is one of the great things about Greek wines. There are many styles and versions and since the Greeks are the first culture ever to think about food and wine going together, you can’t go wrong.
You’ll have to check out Diane Kochilas’ amazing Greek-style recipe for stuffed and roasted tomatoes, peppers and grape leaves. Among some of the delicious (and healthy) ingredients: crisp onions, sauteéd until soft and sweet, Carolina rice grown authentically in the northern part of Greece and lightly browned, pine nuts toasted to perfection, fresh mint leaves, a delicious Greek white wine like an Assyrtiko or Moschofilero, and a whole host of vegetables to be roasted in the oven until they are warm and soft and sweet. This could be just the dish for Xinomavro, Agiorgitiko, Assyrtiko or Moschofilero.