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This is the reason behind the Greek specialty wine Retsina

Greek specialty

Here’s what you need to know about Retsina

Resin-infused wines are not only part of the Greek cultural heritage, but their taste is also unique in the world. Here you can find out what this wine specialty is all about.


The use of resin in wine production dates back to ancient Greece.

The use of resin in wine production dates back to ancient Greece. Aleppo pine sap (Pinus halepensis) was used to seal bottles and as an additive in wine. However, spruce wines did not become very popular until the late 19th century.

Unfortunately, the quality of the Retsina wine was somewhat mixed. Especially during the 1960s and 1970s, resin was used to cover up poor or even defective wine quality. However, there have always been higher quality specimens made from ripe grapes and using better resin.

Retsina is available in all quality levels

In wine production, resin is usually added to the fermentation, although smaller amounts of resin are used now than in the past in order to obtain a finer and more complete resin character. Winemaking techniques have also improved greatly over the past few decades, resulting in the production of high quality Retsina wines.

The grape varieties most commonly used in Retsina, Savatiano and Roditis, are also the most common grape varieties cultivated in Greece. While the Savatiano grape has a white skin color, the Rhoditis grape is pink, which is why the Retsina wine made from it may also be pink. Both types of grapes provide high yields and adapt well to the typical hot and dry growing conditions in Greece.

By the way, the most expensive Retsina wine is often made from Assyrtiko, the leading white variety from the volcanic island of Santorini. Retsina has long been a legally protected category of wine with strict regulations regarding the allowable amount of resin and minimum acid and alcohol content.

This is how Retsina wine tastes

You can instantly recognize Retsina wine by its resinous flat. The taste of wine is often bitter and pleasant, with aromas of pine and citrus such as lemon or grapefruit. Retsina is best served cold between 9 and 12°C. The perfect dining companion for Ritesna, how could it be otherwise, is Greek cuisine.