Maria Dimou –Wine & Food Specialist

I am a physicist who fell in love with wine. I studied Physics at the University of Athens and then followed the trail of my heart. I went to France for the OIV MSc in Wine Management and travelled to 17 countries around the world studying wine. At the end of the road there was London, where I worked for about a year at a wine store and then decided it was time to come home to Greece. During the last decade, I work in the wine company of Katogi and Strofilia, marketing its wines and communicating the company’s activities. I am especially proud of the work that we have done in developing the first wine tourism unit in Greece, the Katogi Averoff hotel and winery. While working as a wine marketer, my desire for wine tasting led me to pursue in parallel a career as a sommelier. As a “wine geek” I excelled in this job getting awards at the Panhellenic Sommelier Contest. My experience in working at restaurants and especially in Spondi, the leading restaurant in Greece with two Michelin stars, deepened my love for taste and my interest in wine and food pairings.

Even though my sommelier career is now in the past, I am currently trying to convey my knowledge and love for wine and food to the students of Le Monde, the leading tourism and culinary school in Greece. I taste wine and work as a columnist in the “Oinochoos” magazine of Kathimerini and as a wine consultant for the www.wine.gr portal, where I also keep my personal wine blog.

My constant contact with wine and taste, the frequent interactions with celebrated chefs and their obsession for fine food, made me deeply appreciate the fine first ingredients of the Mediterranean cuisine. So with a group of close friends from the days of my undergraduate studies, we decided to invest in our families’ olive groves and bottle the olive oil that we enjoy in our daily table. We created “The House of Olive”, a company that keeps our dream of cultivating the family oil groves and of exporting the extra virgin olive oil that we produce vivid. Wine and olive oil are indispensible parts of my country and I am thrilled to communicate through my work, Greece as a unique culinary experience and destination.