New York has recently enjoyed a proliferation of Greek restaurants that present whole fish on ice, grill them simply with olive oil and herbs and match them with adventurous lists of Greek wines. The food is delicious, and it’s a great opportunity to explore the exotic indigenous wines of this ancient vineyard region.
I recently dined at Avra, a good example of the genre, with Daniel Katz, founder and chair of the Rainforest Alliance. This non-profit organization works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior.
Katz explained to me that one of the Alliance’s latest projects is to support sustainable production of wine corks. He announced that Oregon’s Willamette Valley Vineyards is the first winery in the world to earn Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for using cork stoppers harvested from responsibly managed forestlands. I replied that while most wine lovers would value sustainable corks, more important would be a program that guaranteed that the corks would not taint the wine they were designed to protect. (Learn more about TCA taint here.) But that’s a discussion for a different article.
As we talked, we enjoyed a moist, flavorful Mediterranean snapper and paired it with a bright, minerally white from the volcanic island of Santorini. Made from Assyrtiko, an indigenous variety to the island, Domaine Sigalas’ wine was nervy and refreshing, with just enough weight to match the delicate fish. We paid $49 per pound for the fish and $50 for the bottle of wine, which I rated 88 points, non-blind.
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