“My big fat Greek wine”—exposing Greek wine to a wider audience

Perhaps it was just a matter of time to see a brand like this appear on the market, but after having been introduced last night to “My big fat Greek wine” Savatiano (a white wine) and its red counterpart, “My big fat Greek wine” Agiorgitiko, I’ll admit to being very impressed with the concept and to a fair degree, the wines themselves.

I think the first image that pops into most Americans’ heads when they think of Greek culture is the highly successful film, My Big Fat Greek Wedding (leave it to Hollywood for our social enlightenment). Then it’s probably kalamata olives, grape leaves, the Parthenon, Santorini island (for those lucky enough to have been there)—and from an adult-beverage perspective, maybe Ouzo… but wine? Not really.

Greek wine is currently a bit of an oddity in most wine shops throughout the country. I remember being quite intrigued one summer by Greek wine and traveled far and wide to find some. No easy task. Then I stumbled upon this packie in Warwick (Rhode Islandese for “liquor store”) aptly named Airport Liquors due to its amazingly close proximity to the TF Green runway.  There I was astounded to find a whole shelf devoted to Greek wines. Why? Well, the owner was Greek… and that pretty much sums up Greek wine distribution to-date.

What I like about the brand “My big fat Greek wine” is that the name is instantly recognizable because of the movie. Therefore, potential customers will already feel comfortable giving the wine a try. Also, it retails for just $10, so you really can’t go wrong at a price like that. Currently, the brand features a red and a white wine, both made from indigenous grape varieties. However, I’ve been told that the intention is to expand the brand using other Greek grapes.

I think this is a terrific concept because the approachable label and equally approachable price should give Greek wine much-needed exposure to a larger audience. With luck, consumers will become more familiar with Greek wine and hopefully start seeking out estate-grown wines at higher quality levels, which will ultimately lift the category as a whole.

“My big fat Greek wine” Savatiano (white)

As for the wine’s quality, I was honestly quite impressed with the white wine. Savatiano is an indigenous Greek variety that is widely planted throughout central Greece, especially near Athens within the Attica region (though this wine comes from the Peloponnese). It is very dry, but features a highly aromatic nose and citrusy flavor along with a surprisingly medium-to-full body. At just $10, I would consider this wine to be a terrific value.   

“My big fat Greek wine” Agiorgitiko (red)

As for the red wine, this is made from the Agiorgitiko grape (also known as “St. George” for those a bit wary of Greek pronunciation). It is one of Greece’s most popular red varieties, traditionally grown in the Nemea region of the Peloponnese. As for this particular expression, I would have to conclude that it is what you pay for: nothing remotely complex, but quite light and fruity and completely inoffensive—a good quaffing wine, as they say.

Lower photo courtesy of Krista Hedderich

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