As one of the oldest wine producing countries in the world, Greece has millenia of experience and expertise when it comes to viticulture, and has developed a set of flavors and characteristics which are found nowhere else on earth. The ancient Greeks revered and deified wine, and were the first true innovators in the history of wine, adding everything from seawater to honey and spices in order to find exciting new taste combinations and aromas. Today, Greek wines are just as varied, although far more refined and sophisticated than their ancient counterparts. The practice of enhancing Greek wines with aromatic substances never left the country, though, as can be seen in the popular Retsina wines, which use pine resin to provide their unique taste and aroma combinations. There is far more to Greek wine than merely Retsina, however, and the vast variety on offer is a testament to the expertise of Greek wineries making the most of the wonderful climate, terrain and grape varietals they work with. One of the most ancient of the Greek grape varietals, Aidani has been cultivated on and around the Cyclades for millennia for its versatility and gently pleasing aromatic qualities. Wines made primarily with Aidani grapes tend to have a milder alcohol content than other classic Greek wines, and relatively low acidity. This makes Aidani wines a perfectly pleasant accompaniment to a wide range of traditional Greek foods, and equally pleasant to drink chilled at any time under the Greek sun. Nowadays, Aidani grapes are mostly likely to used as a blending grape, often being mixed with Assyrtiko grapes to balance out and mellow the acidity and high alcohol content found in them.
As a blending grape, the Aidani offers light, delicate floral tones, often reminiscent of a Muscat. On the island of Naxos, it has been traditionally blended with the Athiri grape to produce the island's signature sweet wine, Apiranthos, where the subtleties of the Aidani grape are really allowed to shine through. However, elsewhere in Greece you are far more likely to find the blend of these two distinctive grapes in dry white wines, where the Aidani is used primarily not for its flavor, but for its aroma and mellowing effect.
Additional Information on Greek Wines
Ancient Greek Wines – A Brief History of Wine in Greece
The Myth of Dionysus, Greek God of Wine
What is Retsina?