Dakos Recipe and Wine Pairing
By my friend Despina from Wine Scribble in Cyprus.
I am so excited to collaborate with my friend Despina from the Wine Scribble. She is one of my dearest wine sommeliers that I go to for any wine advice. She has a fabulous Youtube channel that you MUST check out. New things coming from us soon. Stay tuned in. Today we talk about Greek dakos (Greek bruschetta) and wine! If you ever wondered what wine goes best with dakos, well here you go.
We hope you enjoy this beautiful food and wine pairing post! Don’t forget to follow my friend Wine Scribble on Instagram too.
- 4 round Cretan rusks
- 4 large tomatoes
- 1 cup of crumbled feta
- Oleosophia extra virgin olive oil
- Lemon juice (1 lemon)
- 1 garlic clove minced
- Salt & Pepper
- Kalamata olives or capers (In the photo I used capers because we were out of olives at the time)
- Prepare the tomatoes. In a bowl, you can either grate the tomatoes or dice them. Add the minced garlic, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
- Prepare the Cretan rusks. In a large bowl fill the bowl with lukewarm water and then place each rusk inside just for a few seconds. Make sure to get both sides. Place rusks onto a large plate, and then add the tomato mixture, feta, and then a pinch of oregano. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with chopped olives.
Wine pairing by my friend Despina! Check it out below.
Traditionally, Dakos are made with round barley rusks. This is bread so hard that it needs soaking before using in this dish. They are then topped with crumbled feta, diced tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, red onion, oregano, salt, and lemon juice. And just to make your taste buds stand up and pay attention, you can sprinkle some olives or capers on top too.
Needless to say, these are very bold flavors. Let’s consider these ingredients one by one.
The wholegrain rusks are a neutral but very earthy base note.
You may have heard that fresh tomatoes are notoriously difficult to pair with wine. This is because tomatoes are very acidic. But this gorgeous ingredient is not a problem. It’s merely a challenge. And that makes it all the more gratifying when we do find the perfect wine pair for it.
The acidity in the tomatoes will make a rich, rounded wine, taste flabby. That’s because the little acidity the wine does have will disappear next to Dakos salad. So whatever you do, steer clear of low acid red wines, such as Malbec.
Feta has a tangy, salty flavor, with a peppery edge to it. And the salty, high acid earthiness of this dish is amplified further by add-ons, such as the onions, the capers, and the olives.
You need a wine that can stand up to this dish and that means a wine with high acidity, high salinity, and high minerality.
A crisp white wine is an obvious way to go. If you have the option, go with a Greek wine first. My top choice would be Assyrtiko. Assyrtiko is a champion of acidity. If you choose a Santorini Assyrtiko, you also have very intriguing flinty and saline flavors in there as well. That’s why I’m certain a Sigalas Santorini Assyrtiko would be perfect with this Dakos salad.
The other big Greek white grape, Moschofilero, is less obviously right. A Moschofilero grown at a high altitude by a producer who makes sure its exuberant yields are kept under control might work well. A good example would be Hoof and Lur Moschofilero, by Troupis Winery. However, depending on where it grows, Moschofilero can also produce wines that are lower in acidity and redolent with floral aromas. A lovely aperitif for sure, but it would disappear next to a Dakos salad.
As an alternative to Assyrtiko, I would recommend a Xinomavro rosé. Xinomavro rosé is not your average strawberry fruit bomb. Xinomavro is renowned for its unconventional aromatic profile, which includes aromas of olives and tomatoes. Yes! It’s a wine that echoes the bold flavors of Dakos salad. The rosé expression of this variety also has a freshness about it. A gorgeous crisp acidity that will not be intimidated by this very Greek salad. I recommend wholeheartedly Rosé de Xinomavro by Thymiopoulos winery if you can get it.
However, if you can only get international varieties, have no fear. The bold, high acidity and herbaceous character of a Sauvignon Blanc would work very well with Dakos. The flinty character and naturally high acidity of a Riesling would also go well with this – though do make sure it’s not a sweet-style Riesling. A French Chablis has lovely terroir-driven acidity, minerality, and salinity. And a Spanish Albariño would be lovely too. Please, at all costs, avoid a creamy, oaked Chardonnay!
However, having said that, Remember always, that the best food and wine pair, is the one that you like the best! Enjoy making the recipe. Enjoy experimenting with wine pairs. And when you find one that you absolutely love, please let us know! We would love to try it too.
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