Lebanese, Please

By now, I've preached my most fundamental tasting mantra, "drink what you like," enough times to put an om-chanting yogi to shame.  However, in times when I'm exploring an unfamiliar wine region, "pair like with like" and matching a wine with its country of origin is a great gateway to something new.

 

A recent dinner brought my friend and I to Almayass, a Lebanese/Armenian restaurant with branches across the the Middle East.  I'm not very familiar with Lebanese wines but this seemed like an opportune time to give one a go.

 

 

 

 

 

Ksara Blanc de Blancs, Sauvignon Blanc. Semillion, Chardonnay blend, Bekaa Valley, 2011

(head shot)

 

 The first thing that struck me about this wine was the fluted bottle.  Based on presentation alone, I wondered if this wine would resemble a Riesling, which is traditionally bottled in this shape.

 

(full body shot)

 

Riesling?  Not quite. Instead, this medium-bodied white had a honeysuckle, floral and almost honeycomb-like nose, balanced by some tropical fruit.  Very faint but still present was a bit of minerality, most likely due to the soils in the vineyard, a nice counterbalance to the luscious topnotes.

 

On the palate, much of what came through on the nose also appeared, but there was an unctuousness that I found very appealing, while still being rather elegant. I really dug this weird vino.

 

Hummus, let me introduce you to your new friend...

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