To complete the story of our dream trip to Santorini we need to talk about what we ate and drank on the island. Because if in Santorini you can find everything you can taste in the rest of Greece, the opposite is not true because in the pearl of the Aegean you can taste dishes that are only found here. And we certainly didn’t steal from the tasting!
The best of the volcanic island
Excellent, thanks to the volcanic nature of the island, are the cherry tomatoes and white aubergines: very good the meatballs prepared with the first and called domato keftedes tasted by Ta Delphinia, a family-run restaurant with tables on the veranda and on the boardwalk on the sea, at which we also ate the typical Santorini salad, which instead of feta provides chloro, a local fresh cheese, in addition to the delicious island capers.
In another tavern on the sea, from Giorgaros under the Akrotiri lighthouse, we tried the delicious cream of white aubergines and the bean puree, another delicacy proposed everywhere. As well as everywhere you will find Souvlaki, Pita Gyros and Moussaka prepared to perfection.
Of course we never missed a classic salad at will along with the fresh and refreshing Greek beer. And not only Mythos, Mamos and Fix, the most common, but also the one produced by a company based in Fira, the Volkan, a very special beer based on water filtered by volcanic rock and Santorini honey and cedar of Naxos. In addition, Volkan is a Greece Debt Free (GDF) certified product: in practice, for every euro of profit it contributes to reducing the Greek national debt by fifty cents.
The goodbye to Santorini we gave it with a dinner of fish: pay attention to the portions because they are abundant and also include the side dish. For “the last dinner” on the island we chose the Katina Tavern on the Ammoudi Marina.
While the frying of the very fresh fish that comes directly from the family fishing boats, we tasted it from Giorgaros, of which we have already spoken about the white eggplant cream and the bean puree.
We were not thrilled by the loukoumádes, fritters too sweet for our tastes, while at Kokkinos Villas breakfast we really tried everything: from the classic thick Greek yogurt with grape compote to meatballs to dolmades.
Without ever forgetting cappuccino and espresso that we had available in capsules in the room. But we also advise you to try the Greek version: we did it at the Galini Cafè in Firostefani, a lovely bar overlooking the caldera.
A separate chapter deserves the wines of Santorini that like all the volcanic territories reserve splendid enological surprises. Moreover, the excavations of Akrotiri have already witnessed the presence of grapevines on the island since the period prior to 1700 BC, the date of the great catastrophe due to the eruption. A presence that has since reached intact, given that the vines of Santorini have not known the scourge of phylloxera and are often centenarians.
The soils, consisting of sand, lapilli, pumice, ash and lava rock, are rich in minerals and the climate completes this exceptional picture: rains are rare and during the summer the only water resource is given by morning condensation, generated by the evaporation of sea water. Just to exploit this sea dew and to protect it from the strong wind, the vine is cultivated on the ground, with a basket shape: the plants look like large nests resting on the ground.
To get to know more about wines and vines we gave ourselves a tasting from Santo Wines, a cooperative of small producers from the island based in Pyrgos and with a wonderful view of the caldera. Santo Wines is the only winery in Santorini that produces a small amount of Classic Method bottles.
We started the tasting of two sparkling wines, Sparkling White and Rose to get to VinSanto, passing through various types of still white wines. And so we learned that the most famous vine of Santorini is the Assirtiko, an autochthonous white grape variety such as the Aidani and the Athiri.
While among the reds we tasted the Mavrotragano and the Kameni, obtained from the Mandilaria grape variety, which are characterized by a remarkable structure and robust but soft tannins.
In conclusion it is a must to taste VinSanto, the island’s traditional wine, made with white grapes, 85% Assyrtiko and 15% Aidani, which develops hints of raisins, dried and candied fruit up to aromas of dried figs, date and chestnut honey in the mouth.