Grapes I Can’t Pronounce

Actually, I think that would be a really long list. This post is only about one of those grapes. In my quest to reach the Century Club (wow, I really need to send that paperwork in) I encountered many grapes I had never previously heard of and many of which I butchered the names every time I tried to pronounce them! This one in particular I’m still trying to sound out. Hooked on Phonics doesn’t really work well for Greek words. Today we tried out the Assyrtiko grape, an indigenous Greek grape. I picked up the 2008 Yannis Santorini Assyrtiko at The Curious Grape in Shirlington Village. A while ago they were hosting a seminar on holiday wines which we arrived a few minutes late for and therefore couldn’t participate in, but since we’d driven all the way there, we picked up a couple bottles anyway! The wine had a real cork closure and clocked in at 13% alcohol by volume.

My first impression of the wine was that is smelled like watermelon Airheads. Otherwise I found pear, spice, melon, citrus, and cream. The mouth showed lemon, melon, pear, and spice. While I found it to be fairly simple, it had good acidity and the flavors were crisp and clean.  I’ve not seen a bottle of Assyrtiko bottled by itself since I got this one, though if I did, I’d pick it up to compare as what I read about the grape suggests that it has more citrus and mineral characteristics, which I didn’t really pick up in this bottle. I understand the grape is often blended with other grapes to make such wines as Restina (an experience I had once that I don’t really care to repeat!).


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