Greek Cheese and Wine Pairing

Exploring the Rich World of Greek Cheese Beyond Feta

A Journey Through Greek Cheese Heritage

The history of Greek cheese stretches back to ancient times, symbolizing the country's deep-rooted dairy traditions. While Feta, the star of Greek cheeses, is globally renowned, Greece's cheese palette is much more diverse, including many Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) cheeses. This article aims to guide you through some lesser-known yet equally fascinating Greek cheeses, each with its unique flavor and historical significance.

Kefalotyri: A Symphony of Flavors

Kefalotyri, a traditional yellow, hard cheese, is made from sheep or goat milk, or a combination of both. This variety results in an incredible range of flavors and qualities, making it impossible to pin down a typical Kefalotyri cheese. When finely crafted, Kefalotyri exudes a rich, salty flavor and an expressive aroma. It's versatile in its use, excellent with fruit, in cheese pies, or grated over pasta, and pairs well with both red and white wines​​.

Ladotyri Mytilinis PDO: The Olive Oil-Infused Delight

Unique to the island of Lesbos, Ladotyri Mytilinis, also known as “oil cheese,” is a hard, pale-yellow cheese made predominantly from sheep's milk. It's notable for being preserved in local olive oil, contributing to its distinctive spicy and salty flavor. The cheese's texture limits oil absorption, ensuring a balance between the gentle taste of the oil and the cheese's own flavors. This cheese is a staple in local Lesbos recipes and pairs beautifully with sweet wines​​.

Graviera PDO: Versatility and Richness

Graviera, the second most popular cheese in Greece, is produced in various regions, each adding its unique touch. Naxos Graviera, for instance, is made with a majority of cow’s milk, whereas the Cretan variant primarily uses sheep milk. Graviera from Metsovo, produced exclusively during a specific period when sheep graze on fresh grass, is known for its semi-sweet, buttery flavor. This hard yellow cheese is a delight in salads, pasta, and summer dishes, and pairs exquisitely with Rosé wines and honey​​.

Kopanisti PDO: A Flavorful Adventure

Kopanisti, a soft white cheese without a rind, is in a class of its own, bearing similarities to Roquefort, Stilton, and Gorgonzola. It's made from cow's, sheep's, or goat's milk, or a mixture, with a preference for cow's milk in modern times. The Kopanisti Mykonou variety, notable for its light pink color and rich flavor, is a perfect appetizer, spread on bread, or combined with tomatoes and olive oil on Mykonian rusks. It's also enjoyed with local fig-based drinks and sweet sparkling wines​​.

Kasseri PDO: A Subtle Delicacy

Kasseri, a semi-hard, pale-yellow cheese, is traditionally made from sheep's milk with a possibility of adding goat milk. Its mild flavor with discreet saltiness and soft texture make it an everyday favorite. It complements the Thessalonikian koulouri (sesame bread ring) and is a key ingredient in cheese pies. This cheese pairs well with dry chilled white wines and mild reds without tannins​​.

Manouri PDO: Creamy Elegance

Manouri, a white, soft whey cheese, is made from sheep's or goat's milk whey, with whole milk and/or cream added. Creamier and less salty than Feta, Manouri is a versatile cheese perfect for salads, desserts, or as a breakfast item. Its rich fat content makes it a luxurious alternative to cream cheese in cheesecakes or yogurt​​.

In conclusion, the world of Greek cheeses is as diverse as it is flavorful. From the hard, salty Kefalotyri to the creamy, luxurious Manouri, each cheese offers

Learn more about Pairing Greek Cheese and Wine

Greek Cheese and Wine Pairing 1
Greek Cheese and Wine Pairing 1

FAQ: Greek Cheeses and Wine Pairings

Q: What wine pairs well with Kefalotyri cheese? A: Kefalotyri, with its rich and salty flavor, pairs wonderfully with both robust red wines and crisp white wines, enhancing its varied flavors.

Q: Which wine is recommended with Ladotyri Mytilinis PDO? A: The spicy and salty taste of Ladotyri Mytilinis PDO goes well with sweet wines, which balance its robust flavors.

Q: What is the ideal wine pairing for Graviera cheese? A: Graviera cheese pairs nicely with a chilled Rosé wine, especially for varieties with a semi-sweet and buttery flavor.

Q: Can you suggest a wine to accompany Kopanisti PDO cheese? A: Kopanisti PDO, known for its strong flavor, is best enjoyed with sweet sparkling wines that can complement its rich and peppery taste.

Q: What type of wine should I pair with Kasseri PDO cheese? A: Kasseri PDO, with its mild flavor, is best paired with dry chilled white wines or mild reds without strong tannins.

Q: Which wine complements Manouri PDO cheese? A: Manouri PDO's creamy and rich texture pairs beautifully with light and fruity wines, both red and white, to enhance its delicate flavors.

Follow these Greek Cooking links to learn more:

Enhancing Your Greek Salad Tips and Tricks (

Cooking with Greek People YouTube

Cooking with Greek People Website

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