About the Greek White Wine Retsina

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Retsina wine has a history that dates back 2,000 years. It was common practice at the time to let wine stand in open vessels. The Greeks discovered that sealing the vessels would prevent oxygen from getting in and the wine would last longer. The vessels would be sealed with Aleppo Pine resin, which gave the wine the flavor it is still known for today. The pine resin flavor is how Retsina came to have its name. The flavor of pine resin is faint though.

This white wine looks and even smells like a typical white wine, though you may also experience a light aroma of resin. Even though the wine-making and storing methods have improved from 2,000 years ago, the aroma and flavor of pine resin is still infused as it is has become an acquired taste among the Greeks.

Retsina is produced across Greece, but the majority comes from Attica, Evia, and Boeotia. Retsina is a blend that is made from the grapes Rhoditis, Assurtiko, and Savatiano. Retsina that is made with Savatiano grapes will have more of an apple and peach type flavor.

The European Union has protected the name “Retsina” so that only wine made with grapes from certain areas are allowed to use it. Other wines that are resinated must be called something different. No matter how many types of white wine you’ve tried, Restina wine is unlike any other. It may look the same, but its unique taste is sure to make an impression.

Type of Greek Wine

Retsina is a white wine that has a light flavor reminiscent of pine.  

Wine Region for Retsina in Greece

Retsina is produced all over Greece, but mainly in Attica, Evia, and Boeotia.

Retsina Greek Wine Flavor Description 

Retsina wine tastes faintly of pine resin. Retsina made with Savatiano grapes tastes of peach and apple.

Food Pairing for Retsina Greek Wine

Retsina pairs well with seafood dishes and cheese:

  • Spanakopita (spinach pita)
  • Tiropita (cheese pita)
  • Greek lobster
  • Greek cod with garlic sauce
  • Greek meze spread with feta cheese, olives, and stuffed grape leaves

Facts About Retsina Greek Wine

  • Retsina wine dates back 2,000 years
  • This white wine is infused with pine resin
  • In antiquity, Retsina was known as “retinitis Oenos”
  • During ancient times, Retsina wine was salty. Back then, sulfur dioxide wasn’t used as a preservative, but salt was

Retsina wine is making a comeback. This is a unique wine you should be sure to try if you get the chance.

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This post was written by Greek Boston

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