Aidani is another variety of the Aegean Sea but, in some ways, it can be considered as an alternative expression of the great wines of Santorini or the perfect blending partner of Assyrtiko. It is a white grape, used to produce dry whites or, in less usual occasions, dessert wines that receive substantial aging in oak.
Aidani gives wines with pale lemon green colour and a discreet nose, with hints of yellow fruits, minerality and flowers. On the palate is medium bodied, with moderate alcohol and moderate acidity. Usually, Aidani is blended with Assyrtiko, because it has the unique ability to provide roundness and floral complexity to the blend, without interfering with the majestic minerality and texture of a typical PDO Santorini. Nonetheless, the rare bottlings of pure Aidani are exquisite and worth hunting for. Aidani is mainly found in Cyclades. In specific, it makes dry and sweet wines (Vinsanto) in PDO Santorini, in Naxos and in Paros, but is not allowed on Paros PDO wines. Given the high quality of the variety, it seems a matter of time that a wine grower, outside Cyclades, start exploiting Aidani’s possibilities.
Aidani is a variety for wine lovers with a highly discerning palate, willing to go after the lesser known facets of illustrious appellations. Selecting a bottle of Aidani suggests familiarity with the most elusive aspects of the wine world. Dry wines are excellent to consume young, especially when paired with seashells and dense fishes. Richer dishes can be matched with mature Aidani, since it can develop for at least five years. Dessert wines could be kept for decades.