- February 6, 2013
EAST COUNTY — When he was 4 years old, Lakis Pape watched his grandfather stomp grapes and make wine in the cellar behind his house in a small Greek village.
Most of Pape’s neighbors in Corinth had vineyards in their backyards. Wine was a staple during meals, parties and nights at home.
When he was in middle school, Pape snuck sips from wine bottles sometimes, as did his peers, he joked.
“Wine is part of the Greek culture,” Pape said. “It’s special and has history. Some Greek wines date back 4,000 years.”
To show the cultural importance of Grecian wine, Pape and other organizers of the 31st annual Greek Glendi are adding a longer wine list this year.
The Glendi, held from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Feb. 5 through Feb. 7 and noon to 8 p.m. Feb. 8, at St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church, will feature 12 Greek wines.
Last year, the four-day festival only offered one type of wine to patrons for $5 a glass, says George Pandis, one of the event’s organizers. This year’s wine lineup includes red and white wines, such as Imiglykos, Ionos and Domain Mega Spileo.
Prices range from $5 to $12 per glass or $17 to $40 per bottle.
Having additional wines at the festival gives attendees more variety and also attracts a different demographic, Pandis says.
“The food has been the staple of the festival, easily,” Pandis says. “Why not have wines to match? We can attract more people by giving them something different to taste.”
The festival will again offer traditional Greek foods such as moussaka, an eggplant or potato-based dish, and pastitsios, a baked pasta dish that includes ground beef and béchamel sauce.
The event will also feature art, jewelry and other craft vendors, along with performances by the Greek Tycoons Band and St. Barbara’s Hellenic dancers.
Patrons can also participate in a raffle. Each of the 1,500 tickets costs $100. Participants could win a Mercedes, $7,500 in cash or a travel voucher for $5,000.
“Greeks are about hospitality, family and culture,” Pape says. “We’re going to share that with everyone this weekend.”
Contact Amanda Sebastiano at [email protected].
IF YOU GO
The 31st annual event features Greek food, music, craft vendors and 12 varieties of red and white wines.
When: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Feb. 5 through Feb. 7 and noon to 8 p.m. Feb. 8; church tours are from 1 to 5 p.m. each day
Where: St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church, 7671 N. Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota
Cost: $4 for adults, free for children ages 12 and younger
Parking: St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church or take the shuttle (Friday through Sunday) from Trinity Church, located one mile from St. Barbara’s
Info: Visit sarasotaorthodox.com or call 355-2616.