A few days ago, acclaimed wine critic Eric Asimov published his annual “20 Wines under $20” list in the pages of the renowned New York Times, citing 20 distinct wines that cost less than $20 from vineyards all across the world. According to Asimov, he selected wines that not only offer great value but also convey the flavor of the places that produced them, representing, however, just a cross-section of the kaleidoscopic choices presented to consumers. “Other parts of the country, and the world, may offer entirely different selections”, writes Asimov.
“These 20 bottles come from 11 countries. Each of the wine regions does things its own way, using different sets of grapes, say, or techniques and sensibilities that have been traditional in its part of the world. Natural conditions —climates and soils, for example— vary as well.” Among the list are two Greek wineries from the region of Macedonia, in northern Greece:
Argatia Macedonia Haroula 2017
This red from Argatia, a family producer in the Macedonia region, is made largely of the excellent xinomavro grape, blended with small amounts of negoska and mavrodafni, two rarely seen indigenous grapes. It smells like dark fruit and licorice, and is smooth and bright, with underlying tannins.
Domaine Tatsis Macedonia Limnio 2018
Domaine Tatsis has been growing grapes in the Macedonia region of Greece for roughly 100 years. It’s now led by two brothers, Periklis and Stergios Tatsis, who farm biodynamically and are adamant about producing wines with minimal processing. This red, made with the ancient limnio grape, is luminous and lightly tannic, with pure, spicy flavors of red fruit.