Pine is Just Fine, Thank You

If you’ve been to Greece recently (or are going to ditch winter this year) you probably didn’t escape without falling in love with (or learning to abhor) retsina, the pungent, pine-resin-flavored wine, the drinking of which is virtually a baptismal right in Greek tavernas. Traces of pine resin have been found in Greek wine jars dating back to the thirteenth century B.C. Modern retsina can be made anywhere in the country, although most of it is made near Athens. Many different white grape varieties can be used, but the most common variety is savatiano, a relatively neutral white grape. Resin from the Aleppo pine is added to savatiano grape juice as it ferments, imparting retsina’s unmistakable, piney, turpentine-like aroma. Yeah it sounds bad. But when in Rome, I mean Greece…..

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