They say local wines, and cocktails, go best with the local food. So what to do when dining at an authentic Greek restaurant in the middle of Santa Barbara county wine country? Go Greek.
Petros in Los Olivos is the third of Petros Benekos’ restaurants in southern California, where he serves up high-quality, delicious and authentic Greek dishes in beautiful spaces. But one of the most beautiful things in this space is the Greek wine list.
The Greek whites are my favorite, with two outstanding choices:
1) Moschofilero Grape, from Monemvasia or Boutari Wineries – this wine can be compared to a Viognier with its apricot, melon and floral notes. My white-Rhone-loving friend can attest to this. This wine is lovely with so many Greek dishes, as the wine’s floral notes and food’s Mediterranean character take you to blue summer seas.
2) Sigalas, Assyrtiko, from Santorini – with its dry, crisp, volcanic taste, this wine is more of along the lines of a Sauvignon Blanc or Chablis. I love mineral notes, acid and freshness in white wines, so this one is a perfect palate cleanser for everything you order.
The red Greek wine list is much longer than the white, and the 2 reds available by the glass are good choices, especially for the lamb dishes. But if you really want to be authentic, try the Boutari Grand Reserve, Xinomavro from Naoussa 46, a Greek varietal, or Tsantalis, Metoxi, Cabernet-Limnio from Mt. Athos, a Cabernet Sauvignon variety.
And did I mention the Kourtakis, Retsina from Attiki? Named for the taste of pine resin, this is very typical wine of regions throughout the country, just a little bizarre and a must-try. Right before you finish with a Classic Ouzo. Opa!