OK to mix metaphors, this wine is not everyone’s cup of tea. In its poorest offering it tastes like mouldy pinesol. Yet when produced with care and love it tastes like Greece itself. When I smell the dry robust scent of pine trees I know that summer in Greece is near. Good Retsina is as evocative as the pine trees are. Almost a picture of the land itself.
As legend has it, when the Turks took over Greek lands, in order to spite their new overlords resin was added to the best of the wines so that they would not be taken as bounty… As glamourous as that sounds, the real reason for the resin has more to do with oxidization than spite. In the heat of the summer wine deteriorates quickly, leaving the best of wines ruined in a matter of hours. To prolong the drinkability resin was added as a preservative. And Retsina was born. Retsina pairs well with small oily fishes such as sardines or anchovies as well as with dishes prepared with legumes like chickpeas. If you can get past the overpowering aroma give this wine a try, I promise you will not be disappointed.

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