Wine was considered a way to sanitize drinking water back in ancient Greece. Three parts water to one part wine was the way to drink to your health, said Constance Begue, wine director at Hills Market.

Wine was considered a way to sanitize drinking water back in ancient Greece. Three parts water to one part wine was the way to drink to your health, said Constance Begue, wine director at Hills Market.

The thought of that dirty water might make you shudder, but the wine wasn't that great, either. Since the 1980s, there's been a push to raise the quality of Greek wine, and it's led to a marked improvement, Begue said. That's in part thanks to dropping the use of resin-based corks, which would taint the flavor of the vino.

The ancient Greeks cultivated some of the oldest vines, from which European vines were eventually derived. These days, local Greek restaurants have spurred interest in wines from their homeland, Begue added.

Her suggestions are below; you can find them at the Hills Market wine department in Worthington.


Kourtaki Muscat (non-vintage)

Region: Samos, Greece

Cost: $12

Flavors: Fairly dry, with a sweetness that's balanced by some acidity

Pairs well with: Scallops, mussels or as a light dressing for a fruit salad

Constance Begue's advice: "Muscat is pretty much the main grape from which traditional European grapes are derived. This is probably one of the oldest grape varieties."


Gaia Estate 14-18h Agiorgitiko (2005)

Region: Peloponnisos, Greece

Cost: $15

Flavors: Full-bodied (for a rose), fruity

Pairs well with: Almost anything - pizza, spicy food, salads, burgers

Constance Begue's advice: "The '14-18' hours [in the name] refers to how long the skins stay in contact with the juice to give it the color, flavor, body and tannins."


Domaine Costa Lazaridi Amethystos (2007)

Region: Macedonia, Greece

Cost: $17

Flavors: Dry, light and bright

Pairs well with: Solo sipping or seafood

Constance Begue's advice: "This is a great summer wine. A patio wine, you might say."