By Jamie Drummond
The charming Christina Boutari relaxes at Toronto’s Le Germain Hotel.
A couple of months ago I was given a last minute opportunity to record an interview with Christina Boutari of the enormous Boutari Grecian wine empire. We decided to meet at Toronto’s Le Germain Hotel where we were shown the very best in hospitality by Victor Restaurant’s Chef/Owner David Chrystian who was having a private showing of the previous night’s episode of Top Chef Canada for a select group of friends, even replicating the dish that he made for that particular show for us all to sample.
Having visited Boutari’s historic Nemea winery back in the Summer of 2010, and having been a great fan of their myriad bottlings over the years since, it was a delight to get to share a couple of drinks with Christina Boutari and discuss her thoughts on the future of her family’s wine business.
In my mind Boutari, despite being by far the largest producer in Greece, make an astonishingly well-made range of quality wines from all over the country. The value exhibited in so many of these wines blows me away every time. Many a large wine company could learn lessons from Boutari regarding the importance of quality control, even when one is making wine on such an enormous scale.
It was superb to have the chance to speak with Christina and hear her personal take on some of the challenges facing her country’s wine industry, particularly with the current political and economic challenges. It is most heartening to hear that despite the financial crisis things are looking up in the Greek wine world, with exports increasing year over year, a welcome breath of fresh air in what are otherwise difficult times for the country as a whole.
My thanks to Christina for her patience with my sometimes broken line of questioning.
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Boutrai’s wines are widely available across Canada.
Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… and he had a tough job editing out all of his fluffed lines in this one.