Tasting Wines from Greece at Mavrommátis

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We’ve been to wine tastings at the Greek restaurant Mavrommátis, and we always leave looking forward to their next one. This year, on March 27, thirteen wine producers from Greece presented their wines during a special tasting at this handsome establishment on rue Daubenton in the 5th arrondissement.

Pouring Estate Argyros

Pouring Estate Argyros
Photograph by Tom Reeves

Thirteen wine stands — that’s a lot of wine! To limit alcohol intake, a professional taster will swirl the wine in his mouth, do a retro-olfaction trick (a way of tasting the wine without swallowing), and then spit the wine into a special bucket. I like to take small sips and swallow, the way wine is supposed to be drunk. So, to limit our consumption of alcohol, my wife and I chose to visit only three stands and taste no more than three wines at each stand.

Stefanos Georgas of Estate Argyros

Stefanos Georgas of Estate Argyros
Photograph by Tom Reeves

We first visited the stand of Stefanos Georgas, where we sipped a crisp white wine called AOC Santorin Assyrtiko Argyros. “The best wine for under $30 according to The New York Times,” Mr. Georgas declared. And I believe him. We then tasted his IGP Cyclades Argyros Atlantis, a very slightly-sweet rosé with an agreeable taste that I couldn’t identify. “Strawberry,” Mr. Georgas said. Finally, we tasted a Vinsanto 20 ans Domain Argyros, a blend of three sun-dried grape varieties, aged in oak casks for seventeen years and in the bottle for three. Intensely sweet, it was like drinking ambrosia. We purchased a bottle of both the Assyrtiko Argyros and the Vinsanto, took them home, and sipped away.

Effie Kallinikidou

Effie Kallinikidou for Domain Lyrarakis
Photograph by Tom Reeves

“Let’s go to the far side of the restaurant to see what we can find,” I said to my wife. There, in the corner, we found Effie Kallinikidou, export manager for Lyrarakis. This estate is located on Crete, the largest island of Greece. We tasted IGP Crète Domain Lyrarakis Vilana, a light, delicately-flavored white wine of 100% Vilana grape. I liked it because it was delicately flavored, while my wife would have preferred something with more character. We purchased a bottle and drank it as an apéritif before dinner.

Athanasios S. Parparoussis of Domain Parparoussis
Photograph by Tom Reeves

Finally, we walked by the stand of Athanasios S. Parparoussis, who was pouring IGP Achaïa Domain Parparoussis Dons de Dionysas Sideritis. This white wine had a slight licorice flavor and was not too dry for our taste. We both enjoyed this one.

A week after the tasting, the Greek wines that we purchased are almost gone. Happily, we can restock at La Cave Mavrommátis at 47, rue Censier, down the street and around the corner from the restaurant.

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