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What Are the Different Types of Greek Wines?

Bartender serving a glass of Greek wine.
A glass of red Greek wine.
Sparkling wine.
Retsina is the most common white Greek wine.
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  • Written By: Emily Espinoza
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 13 September 2014
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The different types of Greek wines include wines with Appellation of Superior Quality, wines with Appellation of Controlled Origin, and some well known wines that are commonly consumed by the local people. There are numerous appellations in Greece, and each produces its own unique flavor and quality of wine. Wines with Appellation of Superior Quality are typically dry table wines, while those with Appellation of Controlled Origin are sweet dessert wines. While wines with appellation are well known and often exported, local residents are most often found enjoying simpler, more common wines such as retsina and Agiorghitiko.

Greek wines with Appellation of Controlled Origin make up the sweet dessert wines produced in Greece. The production of each of these wines must take place in a very specific region of Greece. The grapes must be grown in that area and the production of the wine itself must follow specific guidelines. These strict specifications give Greek wines of each appellation a unique and distinctive taste. These sweet wines are typically lighter wines, such as a white or rose wine, and sometimes come in sparkling or still versions.

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If a Greek wine has an Appellation of Superior Quality, the wine is usually a dry table wine and is most often red. These wines must also follow strict specifications and use very specific grapes from certain areas. Greek wines with appellation of both kinds might also be described by certain characteristics of the wine such as dry or semi-dry, sweet or semi-sweet, as well as by their color. The appellation of a wine, along with its descriptive characteristics, gives consumers a good idea of what the flavor of the wine will be like.

These more prestigious wines are often exported and are well known Greek wines, but the wines that are most often enjoyed by the average Greek are readily available and far fewer formal requirements. In fact, these popular wines are often made by individuals or small businesses and can even be purchased at small stands along the roadside.

Possibly the most well known of these common wines is retsina, which is made as white or rose and is often served as the wine of choice at local restaurants. Brusco is a house red wine that is also commonly served at restaurants and at gatherings of friends and family. Agiorghitiko is another red wine. It has a slight cherry flavor and is named after St. George. Xinomavro is known as an acidic black wine because of its flavor and dark color.

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