I’ve seen it sitting on shelves at bottle shops and also mentioned in writing of aeons past, in a book where a character found refuge in a bottle while stuck in Greece. The question for me was always what would be so appealing about a basic wine combined with resin?!
So what is retsina?
Well, it’s a traditional Greek wine. Long history. Has been in production for at least 2000 years. Yes, two millennia. Or as the fount of all wisdom tells us:“Today the traditional grape for Retsina is Savatiano with Assyrtiko and Rhoditis sometimes blended in, as well as other grape varieties throughout Greece. On the island of Rhodes, Athiri is the main grape. Modern Retsina is made following the same winemaking techniques of white wine or rosé with the exception of small pieces of Aleppo Pine resin added to the must during fermentation. The pieces stay mixed with the must, and elute an oily resin film on the liquid surface; at racking the wine is clarified and the solids and surface film are removed from the finished wine. Nowadays, protecting the new wine from oxidation is easy to do with far simpler means and much less resin is used for retsina than traditionally called for. Such wines lack the pungent “whiff of turpentine” streak of old, and are considered ideal accompaniments to such strong-tasting local cuisine as pastırma or garlic dips.” thanks to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retsina
Anyway, I digress. I am currently enjoying a glass of said nectar – from Tsantali. It’s an acquired taste. Must be chilled. Though, I can see how this would be really good with seafood, mostly cold prawns maybe fish caviche etc. And yes, I am sitting on my balcony. With music. Wine. Thinking of food. And since Wikipedia mentioned garlic, I am now thinking of that as well.