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
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...