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100% Lebanese DNA - Obeidy St. Thomas

100% Lebanese DNA - Obeidy St. Thomas

While the Lebanese people are becoming more and more international, and our Diaspora is living in the four corners of the world, one of the things that everyone always takes pride in is the country’s heritage and its beautiful identity.

 

Lebanon is known for its culture whether it be in relation to its music, its art, its food or its delicious wines for instance. There are a variety of different reds, whites and rosés harvested in the gorgeous landscapes surrounding the country. Many of the latter hold European hints to their making and taste but the Obeidy wine made by Château St Thomas is unique in its composition.

 

This bottle is made using what once used to be considered unsuitable for wine-making; the Obeidy grape. The owners of Château St Thomas decided to send it to DNA testing and profiling where it was revealed that it is authentically 100% Lebanese. After experimentation, the vineyard excelled in the making of Obeidy wine and have launched it in the market with the efforts of reviving the legendary grape of Lebanon.

 

This dry white wine comes from the Bekaa Valley contains floral notes and sweet spices, perfect for all who enjoy citrus notes. This mix is that of a divine concoction that will add more life to your bar at home and make you appreciate Lebanese wine at its finest.

August 30, 2022 — 209 Lebanese Wine
It’s not day drinking, it’s brunch…

It’s not day drinking, it’s brunch…

Brunch is the best excuse to start drinking early in the AM and what other than a good mimosa to pair with your food?

We’re here to make sure you host your best brunch yet with our mimosa recipe that will have you and your guests reaching for the carafe all afternoon.

 Here’s what you need:

  • 1 chilled bottle of your favorite dry sparkling wine
  • 3 cups chilled orange juice (preferably freshly squeezed)

 

Mimosa Recipe

 

 

And that’s it; an easy and quick make for a delicious drink that is guaranteed to upscale your eggs benedict, your avocado toast and honestly… your overall day.

August 11, 2022 — 209 Lebanese Wine

Wine and cheese; a heavenly pairing

Wine and cheese have been the perfect pair for centuries.
It is something everybody seems to enjoy; whether you’re having a big gathering with friends and family or simply staying in with your partner (or by yourself); wine and cheese always seems like the perfect way to do it.
Today is National Wine and Cheese Day; a special day where we get to rejoice and enjoy that wonderful bond.
What better way to celebrate this day than by hosting your own Wine and Cheese night?
Order your bottles here, get yourself some fine cheeses to experiment with and have at it!
July 27, 2022 — 209 Lebanese Wine
Arak & Tout Recipe

Arak & Tout Recipe

When drinking Arak, it usually goes 1/3 Arak and 2/3 water, some ice and it’s already the perfect drink.

But we added something to the mix we think everyone would enjoy.

We get it- we understand that Arak is mixed with water and that’s the extent to which everyone is willing to go to stay authentic to the traditions.

 

Arak & Tout Recipe

 

But you haven’t tried this divine of a mix yet- it’s simple, it’s straight to the point and so easy to make. Give it a shot to see how you will be the hero at your next gathering.

It’s still 1 glass of Arak, 2 of cold water but now you add 2 tablespoons of Toot “Mulberry” syrup, ice cubes and you mix until diluted. Now brace yourself to be pleasantly surprised and enjoy!

July 15, 2022 — 209 Lebanese Wine
Tags: 209 Lebanese

Arak Cana; the drink of connectivity

Chateau Cana - Arak Soukara
 
 
When we think of Lebanon, we think of many things. A small country stretching along the Mediterranean Sea filled with beautiful sceneries, a rich culture, wonderful people and of course, exceptional Arak.
Arak, being the national drink, is greatly adored by the population.
But it has always had a special feature, a characteristic that makes it stand out from other spirits; its ability to bring people together. (like those jugs of Arak we find on family Sunday lunches…)
 
Arak - Chateau Cana
 
Having many health benefits to it, Arak truly has its own unique taste. It’s made from grape aniseed indigenous to Lebanon and undergoes a distillation process before it matures in terracotta jars.
A spirit like no other, Arak is a fundamental piece of Lebanon and Château Cana has created an irresistible bottle “Arak Soukara” that should definitely be placed on your bar shelf.
July 14, 2022 — 209 Lebanese Wine
Tags: 209 Lebanese

Jun Dry for your summertime spirits

 
Jun Gin

 

Gin is highly appreciated all over the world. And with good reason…

It has made its way into cocktail culture and the bar scene due to its versatile flavor. 

Made essentially from juniper berries, Jun Dry is also infused with coriander seeds and local orange peels which makes for delicious drinks and offers bartenders an opportunity to experiment and create greatness.

Produced in Rechmaya, this bottle is a must-have as it will take your Gin Basil, Gin Passion and Gin anything… to the next level.

July 14, 2022 — 209 Lebanese Wine
Heading to your first wine-tasting?  Here’s how to make the most of it

Heading to your first wine-tasting? Here’s how to make the most of it


Wine-tasting events can be very enjoyable, especially if they’re experienced with good company. To make the most of a wine-tasting event, there are a number of things to be mindful of, and others to avoid in order to prevent mishaps. Bearing in mind that you are there for the pleasure of the experience but also to learn, it’s important that you are comfortably dressed and well prepared. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind the next time you’d like to attend a wine-tasting:

- Attire, perfume and note taking
Aside from being comfortable it’s also important to keep in mind the likelihood of spills when choosing what to wear for the night. That in mind, it would be ideal to avoid clothing with loose sleeves, and maybe opting for dark colored tops. Additionally, it’s important not to wear perfume to the wine-tasting to avoid it from being a sensory distraction. You’ll also want to be prepared to take notes. You shouldn’t have to struggle the next day trying to remember that third or fourth bottle you tried and really liked.
- Eat First
The assumption is that you are likely to taste a significant number of wines. Knowing that, you’d really want to be completely mindful of the experience without distracting hunger or starting to feel slightly light headed early into the evening. Be sure to have something to eat before attending the event, or even throughout the event if need be.
- Catching and Releasing
In order to experience the wine in the best way possible, taking in air with the mouthful of wine lets you taste but also detect the aromas of the wine. After taking a sip and letting the wine coat the inside of your mouth, you would normally spit it out. Letting go of the wine then leaves you with a window of opportunity to really assess the distinct features of the wine including its texture and finish.

Have you ever noticed how memorable a story can be?
Bring your experience of every bottle to a good end by asking about the story of the winery and that specific wine. By doing so, not only would you be able to appreciate the wine more, but you’ll also be able to make your winetasting experience much more memorable.
 
November 06, 2017 — 209 Lebanese Wine
Notes and Impressions from a VINIFEST 2017 visitor

Notes and Impressions from a VINIFEST 2017 visitor



Interesting show. Several good surprises, some of which can even be called amazing. Overall Lebanese wine quality still on an upward trend.

Lebanese Wine discovery:

Chateau Marsyas red 2012: Amazing. Elegant and rich, balanced and fault-free. A bordelaise structure with no overextraction, no overoaking. The star of the classic red show. Buy Chateau Marsyas red 2012 online https://www.209lebanesewine.com/products/chateau_marsyas_red_2012_red

Sept Syrah 2016: Wooowww. An attack overwhelmed by velvety and super elegant tannins clearly engulfing and totally covering the structure with a transparent veil of lace; after having enjoyed crossing this golden gate, one discovers a beautiful array of pastel and oil colours with not the slightest clash in site. Akin to the feeling of Colombus discovering the American continent. Yet still very young, but with the promise of extreme greatness. Biodynamic and selective parcel vinification. A marvelously memorable experience. Batroun heights. Buy Sept Syrah 2016 online https://www.209lebanesewine.com/products/sept_winery_syrah_de_nehla_2016

Vertical 33 Cinsault du soir 2015: totally unexpected. Is this wine or some sort of magic elixir. Never has any Cinsault offered this fine elegance with a touch of undescribable lightness combined with a fruitiness you'd think came from a newfruit of paradise. When I say unexpected i mean total departure from any previous conception of wine flavour profile. Is this a wine or a magic brew? Purists could complain about its extreme lightness combined with an unwinelike slight fruity sucrosity; they'd have nothing to compare it with; they would expect a layer of heaviness, a sting of bitterness, something to chew on. But no, nothing of this in this wine light and pleasant enough for any time of day, any occasion, any need to surprise one's senses. West Bekaa grapes. Buy Vertical 33 Cinsault du soir online 2015 https://www.209lebanesewine.com/products/cinsault_du_soir_2015

Sept Obeideh: excellent. Feels like a concentrated thin straight line where you have to search but will be amazed by the mix of flavours you find within the rich and varied structure. It is flexible enough to pair well with foods of both higher or lower richness. Buy Sept Obeideh online https://www.209lebanesewine.com/products/sept_winery_obeideh_2016

Other very good discoveries: (in no particular order)

Syrah du Liban 2012: excellent, totally classic with an interesting syrah typicity. An unmistakably great lebanese red wine. Bravo Faouzi Issa, Domaine des Tourelles. Even better than the 2006 star. Central Bekaa. Buy Syrah du Liban 2012 online https://www.209lebanesewine.com/products/syrah_du_liban_2012_red

Qanafar red 2012: great follow thru after the very successful 2011. Definitely one of the great lebanese bordelais. Slight sucrosity but great structure. Blanc de Qanafar has improved and is vey good. The second red, Paradis has made a huge upwards leap. Buy Chateau Qanafar red 2012 online https://www.209lebanesewine.com/products/chateau_qanafar_2012_red

Muse rose 2016: excellent rose made from syrah monocepage. Elegance, faultless and no heavy acidity. Pity their white and reds are no way near the rose. Buy Muse rose 2012 online https://www.209lebanesewine.com/products/muse_le_rose

Tourba Petit Verdot red 2014: interesting and surprising as a monocepage; this varietal is normally added in very small proportion (typically 5%) to enrich Bordeaux style blends. Here, on its own its not bad at all. Buy Latourba Petit Verdot red 2014 https://www.209lebanesewine.com/products/latourba_petit_verdot

Marsyas B-Qa: amazing second wine in both red and white. You don't feel it's a second wine with the red easily being the best at that price level. Buy Marsyas B-Qa online https://www.209lebanesewine.com/products/b_qa_de_marsyas_2013_red

Musar Jeune: in earlier years I had thought of this line as a wasted attempt at range extension. Not any more. It is now an excellent value line in all of the white, rose and red. A very decent entry level range that will not depreciate the Chateau Musar image. Bravo. Buy Musar Jeune online https://www.209lebanesewine.com/products/musar_jeune_white https://www.209lebanesewine.com/pages/chateau-musar

Bybline red: i could not avoid being attracted this year again by the amazing Musar-style Bybline. The same varietal blend Cabernet, Carignan, Cinsault planted in Wata Joz, kesrouan. It is a Musar near lookalike but with a bit less volatile acidity and brett effect. Those who appreciate the Musar style would enjoy it, particularly at half the price. Amazed it lasted 11 years. Buy Chateau Bybline online https://www.209lebanesewine.com/pages/chateau-bybline;

Karam rose: not bad at all. Faultless and interesting with any food. Buy Karam Rose online https://www.209lebanesewine.com/products/arc_en_ciel_2015_rose

Lebanese wines are definitely improving. There are much more quality wines than a few years ago. But the most interesting aspect is that new styles are appearing and this new variety of taste profiles and experiences is very pleasant. This novelty will not please everybody, particularly those fixated on Bordeaux style, but this extension will help attract a larger number of fans. I think it is great and the industry is going in the right direction.

Don't be surprised that I hadn't mentioned wines of Ksara, Kefraya or Ixsir . Not because I didnt like them, but because they were not offering their best at Vinifest: the two great Kefraya efforts are Chateau 2012 and the amazing Comte de M 2012, both of which were not offered; their entry level Breteche 2015 is not bad at all, but they seemed more interested in selling the label design than the wine experience. Ksara' s Souverain and Troisieme Millenaire seemed to be the same ones offered last year; their Chateau is more than decent but was not given enough boost. At Ixsir I eagerly looked for the fantastic EL 2012, but only the 2013 was on offer, slightly ahead of its top form. A brand that showed excellent follow-on to the philosophy of quality is definitely Chateau Qanafar where all the wines, without any exception, are improving vintage after vintage.

PLEASE BEAR IN MIND THAT THESE ARE THE PERSONAL OPINIONS OF THE WRITER, BASED ON HIS OWN SUBJECTIVE TASTE. I DONT MEAN TO DENIGRATE ANY WINERY OR OVERAPPRECIATE ANY OTHER.

 
This is how you can store wine!

This is how you can store wine!



Wine drinking is a common activity that isn’t limited to occasions. It has become a pleasure in itself, or a means to bring people together, celebrate, or unwind at the end of the day. Considering it to be something that is regularly consumed, you might consider stocking up with a few bottles, and maybe a little more if you enjoy having people over.

You can store bottles anywhere other than the kitchen, boiler room, or anywhere else likely to heat up. Look for a cabinet with the right temperate conditions and that is hidden away from sunlight, and it’ll do the trick. Other than that, here are a few pointers that you might find useful:

1. Store the bottle on its side to maintain the cork seal longer – this is also space-efficient.

2. Store in cool temperature and keep it that way – the rule of thumb goes with a max of 21 degrees Celsius and humidity of 50-70%.

3. If a bottle is already open, pour the wine into a smaller container – less exposure to oxygen would delay it from going bad. Wine would last a few more days in a smaller half bottle and sealed with cork or saran wrap.

4. If a bottle is already open, replace the cork and store it in the refrigerator to slow down the effect of oxygen.

5. Use a vacuum to remove the air from the bottle, and seal it with an appropriate cap.


If you are looking to take things further, then a wine cooler would hold your bottles under a constant temperature. Given that you have the space for it, it would make for a reasonable investment. Keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be able to enjoy wine at home whenever you want, and be able to handle the leftovers. Check the remarkable wine coolers we have at 209! .

 

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May 26, 2017 — 209 Lebanese Wine
On Lebanese Wine…Q&A with Mr. Zafer Chaoui, UVL President

On Lebanese Wine…Q&A with Mr. Zafer Chaoui, UVL President


1- What, in your opinion, is one thing that truly distinguishes Lebanese wine?

The exceptional weather permits for the Lebanese wineries to produce natural wine with almost no use of chemicals along with a unique terroir in altitude.

2- How does the terroir play a role in differentiating between wines from different areas in Lebanon? How are wines from the Bekaa, for example, different than those in North Lebanon?

The terroir plays a very important role in the taste of the wine (its phenolic composition, fruitiness, …etc). The terroir is affected by several factors including altitude, orientation, soil composition and topography.

3- How do wine-making techniques affect the resulting flavor of the wine?

The temperature of fermentation is fundamental in the quality of the wines especially for the Rose and White as it affects the aromas and the flavors directly. As for the Red wines, the skin maceration period determines the structure of the wine.

4- Why is Lebanese wine perceived as expensive by some drinkers?

Lebanon is an extremely small wine producing country and therefore we have no other choice but to produce high quality wines. Besides, we need to compare what is comparable (we can’t compare a cheap Bordeaux or a Chianti with a “Chateau” wine). Furthermore, we shouldn’t forget that Lebanon doesn’t produce colored bottles, corks, or cap, and so all of the packaging material has to be imported which leads to a cost increase.

5- Why do you think some Lebanese wine drinkers mention that some wines give them headaches?

What actually causes headache in wine is the high concentration of Sulfur Dioxide, which is not the case in Lebanese wines since most of the wineries use less than the permitted concentration. I think this has more to do with an unfounded propaganda. Having said that, we need to highlight that the Lebanese wines are exported to more than 45 countries requiring precise chemical analysis.

6- What makes Lebanese wine worth trying when compared to other wines?

Lebanese wines continue to gain popularity all over the world because of their high quality, the concentration of flavors, and structure. Every year, we witness an increase in the export of the Lebanese wines all over the world.

7- Where is wine-making in Lebanon heading? That is, what are the current trends when it comes to Lebanese wine-making and wine consumption?

No doubt that Lebanese wines are increasingly in demand, domestically and internationally, which leads to an increase in production. However, Lebanon is a small country and the narrow available surface will eventually limit the production. Nowadays, the trend in wine-making tends towards more fruity wines with less use of oak and lower concentration in tannins.

February 20, 2017 — 209 Lebanese Wine