Lebanese wine is often regarded as an unknown entity, which is surprising given that it’s one of the oldest wine producing nations in the world. The great Phoenician traders set forth from its shores, spreading not only an alphabet that gave birth to all the modern phonetic alphabets used on our wine labels, but also their winemaking skills. It’s thought that the Phoenicians preserved their wine for its sea voyages under a layer of olive oil and pinewood resin, and that this may have given rise to the Greek penchant for Retsina.
Lebanese wine-based rituals may have been the origin of Dionysus/Bacchus, the God of Wine, and may have even influenced Jewish Passover and the Christian Eucharist. But it was the French sway between the World Wars that really shaped the Lebanese wine we see today. In a nutshell, what you can expect is Bordeaux meets Rhône with a little added Lebanese je ne sais quoi. However, the “je ne sais quoi” is very much Lebanese and not French, we’re just not very sure how you say it in Arabic.
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