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Best Wine Tasting and Wine Bars in Athens Greece

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    Rijnard van Tonder

If you love wine, this article has you covered for some of the best wine tasting opportunities in Athens, Greece. When you're in a time crunch (who isn't nowadays) you simply have to go to the best of what's on offer. I cover three excellent but very different wine bars in the heart of Athens. Discover the one that suits your mood (or take my recommendation and just go to all three).

A quick intro—

Hi 👋 I'm Rijnard. I'm a credentialed Certified Sommelier (Court of Master Sommeliers) and a Certified Specialist of Wine. My day job is programming, and I earned my PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in 2019.

Getting into wine changed how I spend my free time, and I want to make your wine experiences more valuable. I hope this article will lead you to authentic life-long memories with people and places.

This article covers authentic wine bars in Athens that offer excellent selections and flights. If you're heading to one of the many restaurants and hotels that offer wine in Athens instead, be sure to read my notes on the best wines and Greek grape varietals I tasted in this guide. These are summarized in the Athens section. That way you'll be well-informed to pick a wine off of a restaurant menu!

Table of Contents

heteroclito — Casual and Eclectic

You'll notice a unique ambience when you find Heteroclito. It's in the historic part of Athens, offering outside seating and a small bar counter inside (seats 6 or 7 people). The surroundings tend to be bustling during the afternoon with all the shops around. Sit outside for people watching and inside for a more quiet setting. The wine list is a lot of fun and frequently updated, you can find a direct link to the current wine list here.

If you're just getting into Greek wines, Heteroclito has you covered for typical and atypical styles of indigenous grapes. They also offer some interesting international varieties (I've seen Spain, France, and Georgian wines no the list). One of the best parts of this wine bar is the wide selection covering so many styles (whites, reds, orange, rosés, sparkling, dessert), all available by the glass!

Assyrtiko wine at Heteroclito

A glass of Assyrtiko at Heteroclito wine bar.

Love orange wine, low-intervention, or natural wines? Heteroclito is the place to enjoy these styles. Look out for Malagouzia orange wines, and glass selections that indicate low-intervention or natural fermentation. Around the world I've found that some natural wine styles are "too" funky. Not the case at Heteroclito! Their selection is thoughtful and offers quality natural styles that still retain unique character and fruit flavors that aren't overwhelmed by funkiness.

If you're into reds, look out for examples of Agiorgitiko and Xinomavro grapes. Agiorgitiko grape is known for a nose rich in red fruits (cherry, raspberry), medium to full body, and complemented by subtle hints of spices and herbs. Xinomavro typically offers something more heavy and complext, with savory qualities like tomato leaf, olives, and higher acid and tannin content (pair it with food or snacks!)

For white wines, look for Assyrtiko and Malagousia. Assyrtiko tends to deliver crisp acidity, minerally notes, and a citrus-led bouquet. Full-bodied taste, so pairs perfectly with seafood. Malagouzia presents exotic fruit and floral aromas, leading to a rich, slightly sweet palate. A great wine at the start of a meal or for enjoying on its own, if you love fruity quilities. The best examples express a lively acidity.

Heteroclito will offer a complementary sample of olives to go with your tasting, and has a variety of snacks available on the menu as well.

By the glass wine Tasting at Heteroclito
YearNameMy Tier Rating
2019Markovitis XinomavroA
2021Tetramythos Roditis Orange NaturB+
2021Dalamara Kapnistos Malagouzia Assyrtiko RhoditisA
2022Pontiglio Winery Lianoroido Kakotrigis Dry WhiteB+

Finewine Athens — Intimate Deep Dive Tasting

Finewine Athens is actually a wine store in the heart of Athens that also happens to offer intimate and highly knowledgable tastings. There are by-the-glass or bottle options if you are looking for a casual setting, and you'll find this area much more tranquil than Heteroclito. However, if you want my recommendation: do the guided tasting flight. You'll be shown maps with geographical regions as you taste through the flight (so excellent!). The tastings are done when you request and reserve them for the afternoon, which is easily done (the bar is a small family-run operation). There are just a handful of tables of outdoor seating. You can secure a spot for the tasting by making a reservation earlier. I got a reservation easily enough in the morning the day-of while browsing the store.

Wine Flight on a cute cart at Finewine Athens

Wine Flight on a cute cart at Finewine Athens

I tasted through eight wines, which came with a cheese and charcuterie platter (big enough for two!). The wines in this line up are premium Greek wines and classic styles for each region, with a few other interesting curveballs. For example, I did not expect a Xinomavro Rosé!

The stars of this flight included the Santo Wines Assyrtiko and Papaioannou Old Vines Agiorgitiko. This premium Agiorgitiko has an incredible complexity, with red and black fruits, baking spices, layers of vanilla, graphite, and a touch of savory notes when you leave it to rest for a bit. The palate adds contrasts, which has less complex flavors and hardy tannins meant for food. The Assyrtiko is a classic Santorini varietal, this one done in an unoaked style, a citrus-lined expression of lemons, lime, and characteristic salinity. I also can't put down Vinsanto (also made from the Assyrtiko grape).

If your visit is like mine you can expect personal attention from the sommelier, and a lot of knowledge and context on each wine, including best vintages and details on varietals. Except for the Biblinos Oenos Red wine, apparently it's an unknown vinis vinifera grape variety! The whole experience was excellent. If memory serves, it cost 50 euros. Extremely agreeable since it includes the wines and snack board!

Wine Tasting at Finewine Athens
YearNameMy Tier Rating
2022Papaioannou (Παπαϊωάννου) MalagouziaB
2022Monemvasia Assyrtiko Kidonitsa Dry WhiteB
2021Santo Wines Santorini Selection Cuvee AssyrtikoA
2022Ktima Gerovassiliou (Κτήμα Γεροβασιλείου) Xinomavro RoséB+
2019Mikro Ktima Titou (Mikpo Kthma Titou) Goumenissa XinomavroB+
2015Papaioannou (Παπαϊωάννου) Old Vines AgiorgitikoA
2016Ktima Biblia Chora (Κτημα Βιβλια Χωρα) Biblinos Oenos RedA
2016Santo Wines VinsantoA

Vintage Wine Bar & Bistro Athens — Classy with crazy selection

The first time I popped into Vintage Wine Bar right when they opened at 4PM, things were quiet, and I sat at the bar counter. This wine bar mostly operates on evening reservations for tables in a dining area, and I think walk-ins are less common. So, be prepared to sit at the bar without a reservation (seats around 8). Seating is indoors, with a classy ambience accompanied by warm lighting. Early hours it's quiet but becomes more like a lively restaurant in the evening.

1979 Mavrodaphne at Vintage Bar Athens

1979 Mavrodaphne at Vintage Wine Bar Athens

Vintage wine bar sports an extensive list: 36 pages with exceptional selections from Greece and excellent coverage of international regions. Many options include vintage wines (as the name would suggest :D) and offered by the glass (Coravin). The sommeliers here are world-class, and there are about two or three on the floor at a time. I found them always carrying a smile, and very generous with helping find wines that you actually want to enjoy drinking. Since the wine list is so extensive, there's bound to be something for everyone!

Overall the wines I tasted at Vintage Wine Bar were the highest quality and most memorable (I ended up visiting three times). There are many high quality options in the 7 to 9 euro range, and premium by-the-glass wines go up from there. My natural instinct was to try vintage Greek wines here, some of them exclusively procured by this wine bar. You'll be hard-pressed to find some of these wines anywhere else in the world.

2000 Vinsanto at Vintage Bar Athens

2000 Vinsanto at Vintage Bar Athens

All the wines I tasted were highlights and stood out for different reasons. The biggest surprise: a delightful 2012 Nebbiolo from Macedonia that had all of red cherries, baking spices, roses, pepper, petrichor, and quinine aromas. It was surprisingly congruent with Italian styles, but still very different (lacking classic tar notes and exhibiting more savory qualities than fruit). All to say: these are the kinds of surprises you can expect when exploring Greek wines!

Mavrotragano is a unique varietal to look out for and try here, a heavy-hitting red grape with vegetal and Meditarranean aromas (think olives). Past vintages of Xinomavro and oaked Assyrtiko are such a special opportunity to try here, their style and character differs starkly from recent vintages. Elegant and delicious. If you have a sweet tooth, do not sleep on Vinsanto. This wine is made from Assyrtiko on the island of Santorini (not to be confused with Vin Santo from Italy, a different thing altogether). The excitement of this wine comes from its heightened acid and vibrancy even after long periods of aging (20+ years). It's like having that slice of lemon in a coke. And yes, the Vinsanto I had notably yummy caramel and coca-cola notes!

Wine Tasting at Vintage Wine Bar Athens
YearNameMy Tier Rating
2007Amyntaion Amyntas Red XinomavroA
2007Boutari 1879 Boutari Legacy XinomavroA
2017Domaine Sigalas MavrotraganoA
2012Wine Art Estate Nebbio NebbioloA+
1979Achaia Clauss Mavrodaphne (Μαυροδάφνη) Grand ReserveA
2000Argyros Vinsanto 12 Years Barrel AgedS
2015Dascali (Δασκαλί) AssyrtikoA+
2014Dascali (Δασκαλί) AssyrtikoS

Beyond Greek wines, you'll also find some iconic international options. You might even be pleasantly surprised to find many wonderful wines under one roof. Some eye-catching by-the-glass options: 2001 Chateau d'Yquem, 2002 Petrus, 2004 Cheval Blanc, 2015 Grand Echezeaux GC. You might also get a kick out of the variety of dessert wines here: Eiswein, Tokaji Aszú, Sauternes, Vinsanto, and Barolo Chinato.


There are so many excellent restaurants in broader Athens, and my advice is to look for classical Greek varietals and producers when dining. Assyrtiko is excellent with seafood and salads. Gaia is a popular, high quality producer that I noted on some lists. Xinomavro or Agiorgitiko with meatier dishes, the former pairing better with red meats. Pair the red Mavrotragano with quintessential Mediterranean dishes (meatloaf in grape leaves, or Spanakopita).

I hope this helped you enjoy happy touring! I want to hear from you and your experience. I'm human and you can talk to me on instagram / twitter / e-mail.