The collected wine-tastings & wine-ramblings of one who prefers to describe wines with metaphors, not percentages

Kourtaki, Retsina of Attica review

The yellow label of a bottle of Kourtaki RetsinaGo out and find your nearest coniferous forest. Sure, you probably have one somewhere on your estate, right? Send out the groundsman and tell him to pick a handful of spiny pine leaves.

Then stuff ‘em in your gob and chew.

Now. I’ve never actually eaten the leaves of an evergreen tree. But if I did, I expect they’d taste a fair bit like this wine. Which isn’t really that surprising, I guess, given that it’s flavoured with pine resin.

… Which gives it a bitterness and a lot of middle-body. A little like a jaded divorcee who’s let himself go to seed. Compared to oak — a variety of tree we’re more accustomed to encountering in the alcoholic context — it’s much less soft, less opulent, less vanilla’d in the quality with which it endows the wine. There’s a frontloaded, chemical quality to it that must be something of an, um, acquired taste.

(Or, in the words of the excellent Quaffable’s Charles Saunders, ‘Domestos, that pine flavoured aroma designed to leave your palate fresh and clean’.)

Beyond this — well, it’s dry. There’s a little dab of lemony fruit in there, but, really, it’s all about the resin — and talking about any other characteristics of the wine feels a little perverse, given that this is manifestly its dominant property. I guess these things are more important if you’re writing a dedicated Retsina blog.

And (on the strength of this) I must confess to being rather glad I’m not.

Rating ★ 1 star (flawed)
Region Attica
Grape Savatiano
ABV 11.5%
Price £5.99 (I think) at Sainsbury’s — who’ve since, it seems, stopped selling it. But it’s at Tesco. If you really want it. For £5.49.

6 Comments to Kourtaki, Retsina of Attica review

  1. November 20, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    "@oldparn: I drank some Retsina I didn’t like it very much http://t.co/oMbF34ZE&quot; << TVM for the ref; not a wine to help Greek Trade Exports

  2. Me's Gravatar Me
    September 14, 2012 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Go F yourself….we love it….specially with sprite!

  3. Arrogant Frog's Gravatar Arrogant Frog
    November 28, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Acquired taste? Think about Whiskey and beer. Anglo-Saxons can always surprise you by their total lack of self-reflection. What do you expect from people “civilized” by half-barbaric Normans. Sophisticated Greeks enjoyed their pine raisin flavored wines already at the times of Homer, when the forebears of the Anglo-Saxons were still jumping around in the trees of the Teutonic forests.

  4. Sehr's Gravatar Sehr
    December 1, 2012 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    I’ve never seen a ‘pine raisin’, Arrogant Frog? Are they nice?

  5. A.C.'s Gravatar A.C.
    March 7, 2014 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    I love this. I use it to quench my withdrawal symptoms from my Greek holidays. I heard there is a canadian whisky that has pine notes that is well liked. I love the pine fresh resin taste and the sharp citrus. Although I understand it’s an acquired taste http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLy2kxOi0Gc

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