I have to admit that when I'm after a nice glass of wine or two as comfort in the middle of winter, Greek wines don't often jump to mind with my preference usually heading towards Australian, French or Italian wines.
However, I'm always keen to expand my palate and was excited to take part in 'The Progressive Greek' event hosted by Greek wine importer, Douglas Lamb Wines.
"Many people don't know that the Greeks have been making wine from about the third century BC and actually took the art to Italians, who then introduced it to the French," says David Lamb, a qualified sommelier and third generation wine importer.
|"The Progressive Greek' guided tour by Douglas Lamb Wines starts at Alpha, Castlereagh Street, Sydney|
Following the three venue, guided progressive dinner we had through the Sydney CBD, I can attest to the eye-opening matches that really highlighted the versatility of the Greek wines we had: the Kir Yianni wine range from the Amyndeon region in the far north west of Greece.
|Kir Yianni 'Akakies' Brut Rose at Alpha|
The first wine for the night was the Kir Yianni 'Akakies' Brut Rosé which would be a perfect thirst quencher on a hot summer's day. The rosé had a lovely strawberry pink hue and was bubbly with a crisp acidity and a nice hint of sweetness; a great wake-up call for the palate.
|Melitzanosalata smoked eggplant dipat Alpha|
Served to share, we were presented with a moreishly delicious, chunky and smoky eggplant dip with lots of warm, fluffy pita bread.
|Pickled octopus, cucumber and sun-dried olivesat Alpha|
|Ouzo cured ocean trout, fennel, orange, watercress and sumac onions at Alpha|
All three dishes were rich in their own right and I found that tartness of the rosé helped cut through them, allowing me to keep going back for more.
|Kir Yianni 'Petra' with food at Danjee, Albion Place, Sydney|
The Kir Yianni 'Petra' has a light honey appearance and was dangerously easy to drink, probably due to the fact there was very little acidity and its very smooth finish that didn't leave the palate dry at all.
|Banchan side dishes at Danjee|
|Yukhoe - beef tartare at Danjee|
Refreshing in its coldness yet rich in mouthfeel, the yukhoe was surprisingly well matched to the white Kit Yianni 'Petra'.
|Hew dup gap - salmon and kingfish sashimi, vegetables and rice at Danjee|
The fresh flavours and chilli hit was a fantastic pairing with the silky Petra white wine, which really complemented the varied flavours well.
|Kitchen at Glass Brasserie, Hilton Sydney, George Street, Sydney|
|Kir Yianni 'Paranga' at Glass Brasserie|
|Braised wagyu short rib with Pedro Ximenez, carrot & cumin puree, |
horseradish and piquillo peppers at Glass Brasserie
Dessert wasn't on the cards but overall the 'The Progressive Greek' evening was thoroughly enjoyable, thoughtful and well planned with food and Greek wine pairings. We couldn't have had a more knowledgeable and approachable host in David Lamb to explain the origins and history of the Amyndeon region wines, all the while keeping the affair casual, light-hearted and most importantly, delicious.
Amazing food at three Sydney CBD restaurants, some really versatile Greek wines and to share the whole experience with some new friends - it's surely ignited a desire to continue progressing my palate, one Greek wine at a time.
During the month of July, wine and food lovers can book guided tours in Sydney hosted by Douglas Lamb Wines' David Lamb. If you want to take things at your own pace there is also a self-guided option, with participating restaurants in Melbourne and Sydney with meal and Greek wine pairings.
Food, Booze & Shoes attended 'The Progressive Greek' dinner as a guest, with thanks to Douglas Lamb Wines.