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05.09.2006

Vineyards Instead of Hashish Fields

OK, so maybe they shouldn't have pulled out ALL of the marijuana and opium poppies. On the other hand, better vineyards than civil war and UN sanctions.

You probably know that I have a curiosity concerning emerging and underappreciated wine regions, so I was pleased to come across a recent article about Lebanese wine. I had vaguely heard of Lebanese wine over the years, but my first chance to taste it was my trip to Egypt, where the very nice rosé we got with dinner was literally the only drinkable wine we had on the whole trip.

It was made by Chateau Ksara, which is one of the wineries featured in the article, whose numbers have gone from four in the Seventies to twenty now. The country currently has about 4000 acres of vineyards. These numbers make in miniscule in terms of the overall world wine production, but that doesn't faze Lebanese winemakers. They've been in the business long enough to eschew growth for quality, which is pretty darn cool.

So check out the article, and next time you see a Lebanese wine on the shelf, give it a try.

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.