To the Greek climate we owe the development of Taste.
J. J. Winckelmann, German art historian & archaeologist
Greek gastronomy keeps alive a deep-rooted tradition of fine food and wine from classical times, through Rome and medieval Europe, to what we eat and drink today. Cheese, wine, honey and olive oil – four of Greece’s most valuable contributions to culinary culture – offer illuminating insight to the country’s collective gastronomic consciousness as well as a useful background to reading Greek comedy and lyric poetry.
Greece is remarkable among wine-producing countries in terrain and in climate. Flavours, and even colours, of Greek wines can be startlingly distinctive, explaining the development of appellations of origin, or appellations contrôlées.
Ancient indulgences like aromatic and old spiced wines survive in oúzo and mastíha, the spirits creatively flavoured with aniseed and mastic, while wine flavoured with a bouquet of pine resin is the ancestor of modern retsina. Today, the Mavrodaphne of Patras, the muscat of Samos and Limnos, or drier and most elaborated wines enhance the selection of classic quaffs.
Deeper in the well of Greek gastronomic possibilities, olive oil, honey, mastic, saffron (Krokos Kozanis) and seafood form part of the modern Mediterranean diet. They are all known for the multitude of health benefits they offer as well as their cosmetic skin care applications. Vinotherapy, apitherapy, and mastic therapy are used in anti-aging cosmetic treatments and spas for over a decade already. Apart from the traditional culinary methods, molecular gastronomy creates olive oil bonbons and makes use of the power of saffron threads inspiring new, exhilarating journeys of gastronomic imagination.
See though your wine testing glass the winelands of Greece: rows of grapevines hint at the marvelous wines that await you, while the tables for the Symposia are already set: cakes, sweets, nuts, fresh and dried fruit accompany the wine; a life depicted on vases in the metaphor of a dance of Silenus and his Satyrs.