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Drinks and Drinking in Kefalonia

Most locals will drink ouzo with their meals. This is served in small bottles and is normally drunk with water. Another popular drink is retsina, which is a resonated wine and which is not to everyone’s taste. Most bars serve a brand of retsina known as Kourtaki, which is the most popular brand, though connoisseurs prefer Liokari or Melamatina.

Most tavernas will have wine lists with all of the best Greek wines on them. These include Domestica, Rotunda, Kambas and Lac des Roches. Kefalonia itself has a long history making wine and is famous for some of its own excellent wines. The most well known appelations of origin are Muscat (a white wine that is very sweet), Mavrodafni (a dark red wine) and Robola (a dry white). The island’s main producers are Vitoratos, Sclavos, Soroke, Metaxas, Gentiliini and Divino.

Gentilini was set up over 20 years ago by Nicholas Cosmetatos who was the first to pioneer the fusion of old style wine flavors with the popular western style of wine making. The company led the way for a new wave of Greek and Kefalonian wines which were suitable not just for the palates of the domestic market but also were sophisticated enough for the wider European market. He was soon followed by a number of other companies including one set up by Giannakostas Metaxas, who opened up a winery in 1991 in Mavrata. Aiming for a similar blend of old local cultivars and modern refined tastes Metaxas quickly established themselves with high elevation lower yield vineyards and wines that exhibited a finesse not previously tasted in Greek wines.

If you’re not into your wine and consider yourself something of a beer connoisseur then you should try to experience the local brew – Mythos beer. This Greek beer has become more and more popular in recent years and has just about caught up to the Dutch beers, Heineken and Amstel which used to dominate. These three will be on sale in most tavernas and you will probably be able to find most of the well-known imports in bottles too. For those of you prefer to drink local when on holiday, there are also one or two other Greek brands such as Fix, Vergina and Alpha, all of which are very pleasant.

A rough guide to the prices for drinks is that soft drinks should cost you a couple of Euros, beers two to three Euros, 500ml of house wine should be around 2 Euros and a bottle of wine anything between eight and thirty Euros depending on the wine.