That glass of Mykonos Paraportiano white would not have been the same if it had not been for the breathtaking Aegean coastline.
If someone had offered me a glass of wine of choice two months ago, I would probably have opted for a red variety. Today, lest I should be asked the same question, I would, without hesitation, request a glass of white Paraportiano. They say that beer tastes best in its native land, but I can confidently say the same about wine: that glass of Mykonos Paraportiano white would not have been the same if it had not been for the breathtaking Aegean coastline, balmy Mediterranean breeze and piping hot moussaka that accompanied it.
In an outdoor restaurant with a panoramic view of Elis Beach, I sat waiting for my lunch order with two girlfriends. We sat in silence, not because we had nothing to talk about, but because the atmosphere seemed to require no words. It wasn’t the kind of stunned silence you get from viewing a monumental piece of artwork or glimpsing some vast natural landscape, but a natural inner quietude usually expressed in the form of a faraway gaze and contented smile, sometimes even a few happy sighs. It was the kind of landscape that an Average Joe could take a picture of on his crappy non-smartphone and still get a postcard worthy shot. Pristine waters gradated from clear to deep indigo, extending as far as the eye could see. The white buildings were so white they hurt your eyes to look at. The sun dazzled in her entire beauty, hiding nothing, making everything sparkle in celebration of the Mediterranean summer. It was in this kind of setting that I tasted my first Greek wine: that beautiful glass of crisp, citrusy bliss.
One sip was all it took. One sip caressed my taste buds with its soft, fruity flavor. My thirst was quenched; the elixir washed down my throat with an unbelievably refreshing sensation. The rich and creamy texture of the moussaka, brought straight from the oven by the boisterous waitress with a husky voice, was a perfect complement to the crispness of the wine, as was the salty feta and olives in the Greek salad, a welcome contrast to the Paraportiano white’s mellow taste. The glass of Paraportiano white harmoniously blended together all the different flavours in our meal, almost making it seem as if the glass of wine could be the true main course; the moussaka, salad and pizza as mere side dishes to accompany it. Making it the main course of the meal probably wouldn’t do it real justice, since the real beauty of the Paraportiano white lies not in its taste or aroma (though those are great in themselves) but in its versatility and lack of distracting individuality. The Paraportiano white is supreme in its ability to become a supporting role to any Greek dish, bringing out the best flavors, not leaving any particularly strong aftertaste itself that distracts from the essence of the other dishes. It is the perfect complement; the bass in a jazz ensemble.
With wine this good, I’m not surprised that the Dionysus drank it all day long. The Greeks may not have invented everything, but you got to give it to them that what they did invent, they did pretty damn well. Next time you decide to go for a gourmet wine tasting trip, why not come straight to where it all began, to drink the sacred wine of the Ancient Gods? And do try the white: you won’t regret it.
Article written by Chihiro Isozaki.