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IT'S ALL GREEK TO US

Kalimera or kalispera, depending on when you open this edition of Oddnews. Regular readers of our blog will be aware that we’ve fallen head over heels for Greek wine this month. If you missed our recent musings on Blogbins, feel free to play catch up by clicking here. To help us explore the joy of our new Greek wine range, we’ve employed a few intrepid explorers. They’re an odd bunch so, be warned, it may be a bumpy ride. For example, Scottish explorer David Livingstone said “I am prepared to go anywhere, provided it be forward”, which must have made the manoeuvres part of his driving test particularly trying…

For those not up on their explorers, Norwegian Roald Engelbregt Gravning Amundsen led the first expedition to reach the South Pole and was also the first to undisputedly reach the North Pole. He also rocked a particularly stylish bowler hat, though this was probably saved more for exploring the local grocers than for treks across the icy tundra. We like the mantra that “adventure is just bad planning.” But it doesn’t always hold true. Not planning sufficient dessert wine for your dinner party doesn’t make for an adventure, more of a veritable high society travesty, populated solely by extremely disgruntled guests. To avoid just such a situation, we imagine that Mr Amundsen always carried with him a husky sled full of Samos Vin Doux. Dripping with lemon curd, apricot and honey, this sweet little Greek marvel is an extremely versatile pudding wine, just as good with pâté or blue cheese as it is with baked cheesecake or a fruit flan. “Samos” even sounds like something you might shout to order the advance of your husky pack. SAMOS!
Atma White - £10They’re an unusual lot, these explorers. Don’t get us wrong, we love a peach, maybe not quite as much as Thomas Walker, who lead expeditions into Kentucky and was also the first American to discover and use coal, but we do like them. We think we’d still choose life over shuffling off this mortal coil, even in the absence of peaches. Mainly because we’ve found Apostolos Thymiopoulos’ Atma, which is a glorious white wine, exclusive to Oddbins and made by one of Greece’s rising stars, laced with Amalfi lemons, pears and of course heaps of crisp peaches. Take some of Mr Walker’s beloved coal, fill the barbeque, fire it up, grab some σούβλα (that’s Greek for skewers) and get your souvlaki on. Drizzle with lemon and serve with a glass of Atma, for that’s what makes life truly great.

Hatzidakis Santorini White - £13.75 & Naoussa Jeunes Vignes - £12.50Sir Hillary must have conquered himself a couple of times on the way up Everest. Do you think he and Tenzing Norgay raced the last bit to see who would be first up? Because we just don’t buy that “they reached the summit together” stuff. The Greeks have also conquered a mountain or two. Despite the trip-hazard of white robes hindering early progress, they turned the volcanoes of Santorini into stunning vineyards. Now Chablis and Sancerre may boast about their minerality, but the Hatzidakis Santorini White puts both French regions to shame with its stony, flinty flavour. Not satisfied with just volcanoes the Greeks then turned the Vermio Mountain range into a vineyard, producing elegantly exquisite, forest fruit-infused wines like our Naoussa Jeunes Vignes. And they did all this without a Sherpa and while wearing sandals. Go Greece!

That’s all from us, until next time, we’ll leave you with some words from American pioneer and explorer Daniel Boone, which most of us can probably relate to…

“I have never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks.”