In our humble opinion, there is no better Greek wine list in the U.S. than the one curated by this man, Kamal Kouiri, at one of New York City’s premier Greek restaurants, Molyvos in Midtown.
We’ve been to a lot of Greek restaurants this year: never before have we seen a Greek wine list with such breadth, balance, and passion.
At 25 pages, replete with verticals for the red and white wines of Greece, Kouiri’s list is a veritable encyclopedia of Greek wines.
Where many sommeliers use their lists merely to catalog their wines, the thirty-something Kouiri uses his for his patrons’ education as well. Here’s a paragraph lifted from his “intro to Greek wine”:
Wine has been an important part of Greek culture for over 4,000 years as the numerous archeological discoveries throughout Greece indicate. The ancient Greeks knew the nutritional value of wine well, as it became an inseparable part of their daily regimen. They loved to organize intellectual gatherings called symposia where they would eat and talk about philosophical subjects while drinking wine. Our ancestors also realized the important influence of the local ecosystem on the characteristics of wine. In recent years, the Greek wine industry has undergone tremendous improvements with serious investments in modern wine making technology. The new generation of native winemakers is being trained in the best wine schools around the world. What makes Greek wine so unique are the more than 300 indigenous grape varieties grown there, some of which have been cultivated since ancient times. Many of the world’s best wine critics agree that the distinct flavors come from these native grape varieties. Many well-known international grape varieties are also used in Greek wine making. This extensive variety of grapes together with the moderate Greek climate, plentiful sunshine, low average rainfall and soils of moderate fertility combine to provide an excellent environment for the production of high quality wines. The beauty about this land is that it provides distinctive geological cites, like Makedonia, Thraki, Thessaly, Epirus and Peloponnese in the main land, Kephalonia & Corfu in the Ionian sea, Santorini, Crete, Paros, Samos, Rhodes and Limnos in the Aegean Sea.
You can download a PDF version of the list by visiting the restaurant’s website here. Be sure to peruse the glossary at the end.
871 7th Ave # 4
New York, NY 10019-3923