Friday, August 18
6-8 PM no reservations needed $12

Los Angeles natural wine orange organic biodynamic no sulfites Greek wine
Sclavos Alchymiste 2015 Aenos/Greece 2015
Sclavos Meganitnion 2014 Aenos/Greece 2014
Domaine Glinavos Vlahiko Ionnina/Greece 2013
Economou Liatiko 2006 Crete/Greece 2006

Beyond the very occasional exposure to a cheap glass of retsina, be honest with yourself and ask: what does Greek wine mean to you? To be sure, there is a fair amount of Greek wine available to me as a wine buyer. There are many technically perfect modern wines that more often or not are not terribly inspired, very fine, but with only the modest ambition of meeting one criterion: price. No matter how well made and appealing, Greek wines feel bogged down in the labyrinth of the value wine. And this is a shame, as Greece is graced with all manner of historical, autochthonous, and peculiar grape varieties, many of which are grown nowhere else on earth.

All of this changed for me when I began tasting wines selected by New York based Greek wine importer, Dionysi Graventis, whose wines we will taste tonight. Dionysi’s portfolio was the first book in which each wine was bright and alive, ranging from a simple, inexpensive moschofilero, dry, crisp, and aromatic, to the tiny, odd-shaped bottle of skin-contact fizzy debina that makes me laugh every time I drink it, to the complex and perfumed liatiko that I’ve been stocking and restocking for the past two years. Dionysi is coming back to Los Angeles sometime this fall and we’ll surely hold a grand tasting with him then, but in the meantime, you really must taste these exciting wines and see what you’ve been missing.

Tonight, we have Dionysi’s distributor, Casey O’Brien, on hand to pour the wines and tell us about them. Casey’s pouring two very different white wines from the Greek natural wine grower Evriviadis Sclavos, a biodynamic grower on the island of Kefalonia. The alpha is dry, crisp and briny, made from roditis grape; the omega is luscious, nutty, and oxidative, made without added sulfites. Following that, two red wines, one from the mainland, dark-as-the-night and made from vlahiko, dry, earthy, and mineral; the other is an otherworldly liatiko from Crete that is dry, delicately perfumed, and with ten years of bottle age.

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