Off the Beaten Path
I had the opportunity to drink some of the wines made in Croatia, Portugal and Greece. (Had a lot of French wines while in France but we are familiar with them)
Portugal is known for its Port, a fortified wine, but also produces many nice red wines. These wines are enjoyable to drink and are measurably less expensive than other European wines.
The Duoro region is Portugal’s largest producing area and a good place to start. It’s also where the Port comes from. Also check our Alentejo, a region where easy drinking reds come from.
Croatia has a long history of wine making, even when a part of the former Yugoslavia. It is an up and coming area worth exploring. Their wines are also very reasonably priced.
A famous Napa wine pioneer, Mike Grgich, was born in Croatia. One of his Napa wines was a winner in the famous Paris Tastings in 1976. He went back to Croatia in 1996 and started a winery there.
The most popular red wine is called Plavic Mali which is genetically similar to Zinfandel.
Greece – Ugh! Couldn’t find a red I liked and the whites we had were thin.