Fresh out of the grueling master of wine exams I fled straight to the beautiful Ionian island of Kefalonia to let my aching brain recuperate under the burning Mediterranean sun. The air was heavy with the scent of wild herbs, the air alive with the music of goat bells and crickets, and not a house or a human to spoil the view down the rugged hillside to the turquoise ocean.
There was only one thing to perfect this beautiful solitude and that was obviously a glass of wine (no, I am not yet sick of the taste of wine). Upon opening the fridge I was mildly horrified to find a 5 liter plastic drum of yellow ‘white’ wine. Driven by the desperation of a late morning thirst I poured myself a glass. Don’t judge me, watches are forbidden on holiday and therefore I am not bound by ‘acceptable’ drinking hours.
Now let me state my case before you call me a snob. I am a huge advocate of Greek wine; there is a roll call of stellar producers spread throughout the mainland and islands including Gaia, Alpha Estate, Biblia Chora, Sigalis and Harry Hatzidakis which I can’t recommend highly enough. I am also an advocate of alternative packaging for greatly improving its carbon footprint. However this particular beauty could have been mistaken for olive oil, and at less than euro 10 for 5 liters my expectations weren’t high.
Despite my nose being screwed up in anticipation of disappointment, I was in for a very pleasant surprise. It had a certain easy going charm and a round fruited freshness that perfectly suited my sun lounger and my mood. It didn’t demand my attention, allowing me to alternately submerge myself in Wilber Smith and the view. It was the perfect accompaniment rather than the main focus, and was all the better for it.
As the sun dropped my mind rose from its torpor, and so too did my desire for something more challenging, more complex and more thrilling. A stunning Assyrtiko/Sauvignon Blanc from Ktima Biblia Chora hit that spot perfectly, and matched the intellectual banter around the table. Ok, well maybe I’m over estimating the conversation, but certainly not the wine!
The beauty of wine is just that; it can be simple, clean and refreshing or it can be complex, intense and lingering, it is simply a case of finding the right moment in time to do that wine justice.