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Retsina wine is a distinct Greek wine that dates back centuries. Retsina’s flavor profile is unmistakable, with its signature Aleppo pine resin taste and aroma. Retsina has been enjoyed for centuries by Greeks throughout the country, making it an iconic part of the country’s culture.
Thanks to the advent of modern transportation, Retsina Wine is now available worldwide, allowing people to taste the unique Greek experience.
A brief history of Retsina wine
Salt was most likely the most common ingredient used in wine in ancient times. Why? Sulfur dioxide was not utilized as a preservative at the time, and it wasn’t used routinely until the 17th century, according to Greek wine scholar Stavroula Kourakou-Dragona. This implies that wine was very perishable, with salt serving as the major preservative for the ancient Greeks.
High salt-content wines offer a severe health danger nowadays. Hence, adding salt to wine is prohibited. As a result, modern Retsina Greek wines are considerably more delicate in flavor than they were in the past. Fresh pine resin is commonly used to ferment white wines and is removed at the conclusion of the winemaking process. We were fortunate to try several Retsina wines that showed remarkable promise (one aged 7 years) during a trip to Greece, including Ktima Eyoinos, Kechris, and Papagiannakos.
What makes Retsina wine so special?
Superior quality Retsina has a distinctive balsamic flavor of pine (from the Aleppo pine tree) which does not interfere with grape notes. The subtle bitterness provides a pleasant aftertaste similar to a carbonated beverage, making Retsina a suitable complement to the rich dishes of traditional Greek cuisine.
Only Retsina made in Greece can bear the designation “Traditional Designation” (as with verdea wine). The places most recognized for their Retsina production and allowed to carry their identity on the Retsina label are all in Central Greece: Attica, Viotia, and Evia.
Retsina is produced by modern winemakers who use contemporary techniques and ingredients to enhance its beloved flavor. Whether you’re a Retsina connoisseur or just getting your first taste, Retsina Wine will take you on an unforgettable journey. So grab a bottle of Retsina from a store or a taverna along with a traditional Greek dish and enjoy the taste of Greek culture!
Varieties & tastes of Retsina wine
Several white grapes grown in Greece may be used to make retsina. Some of the greatest are created using Assyrtiko grapes as the foundation. These wines possessed the structure to age for more than 8 years, and matured wines grew more round, rich, and ostensibly sweeter. Roditis and Savatiano are two additional popular options.
Retsina, contrary to common perception, is not solely white. According to the law, retsina may also be rosé, mainly from the Xinomavro type, and white wine. However, the regulation does not define which types of Retsina should be utilized in its varietal makeup.
Retsina does not have overpowering aromas. Rather, it’s about texture and nuance. Premium grade Retsina has a distinctive balsamic flavor of pine that does not interfere with grape notes. The subtle bitterness provides a pleasant aftertaste similar to a carbonated beverage, making Retsina a suitable complement to the rich dishes of traditional Greek cuisine. Retsina wines produced from Assyrtiko grapes have a more angular character (but age longer), while Retsina wines made from Savatiano grapes have a more generous taste with ripe apple and peach notes and an oily texture on the tongue.
This article provided an overview of Retsina wine, its history, flavor profile, and how it is produced today. Retsina has been a part of Greek culture for centuries and continues to be enjoyed by Greeks and people worldwide today. Retsina is a unique and distinct Greek wine that all can enjoy.
So, pick up a bottle next time you want something special! You should always drink Retsina responsibly.