Greek wine has been around for over 4000 years, but most of us are more familiar with Cabernet than Xinomavro. There's a good reason to change that: Greek wine is tremendously versatile, and many hard-to-pronounce indigenous grapes yield wines that are perfect for summer picnic foods.
To prove the point, I got in touch with Kamal Kouiri, General Manager and Wine Director of New York's Molyvos, which boasts a list of nearly 700 bottles, all Greek. I challenged Kouiri to pair wines from his menu with five all-American summer picnic foods (courtesy of Stew Leonard's, a group of family-owned and operated food stores in New York and Connecticut that's known for strong selection and singing animatronic food items). Here, our findings:
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To pair with the ultimate American classic, Kouiri chose Alpha Estate's 2012 Xinomavro Hedgehog Vineyard ($19). The earthy tannins stood up to the char of the meat, while its raspberry and cranberry notes played well with the ketchup (I know, but trust me). Best of all, the acidity and tannins worked well with fat and the condiments on the burger, which I've now learned is a crucial element of pairing.