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It’s time to bring the tropical cocktails out!

What better way to welcome the summer heat than whipping the tropical cocktails out! This pineapple sangria is the best exotic touch to spice up your sunny season – adding a mixture of one of our top locally produced Pinot wine and the refreshing, flavorful taste of seasonal fruit.
 
This cocktail holds true to traditional sangrias by having wine as its main foundation but incorporates a different twist with its use of tropical pineapple and citrus fruits. This recipe may be enjoyed on any occasion and paired with numerous meal choices to fulfill your satisfactions and evoke the feeling of a paradise getaway.
 
Without further ado, it’s time to grab your Lebanese Pinot from the fridge and get to making this simple recipe. Here’s all you’ll need:
 
  • 750 mL Pinot wine
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 24 oz Sprite or lemon lime soda
 
 
Sit back, relax, and let the drink do the talking!
June 13, 2022 — Traccs Lebanon
Cognac vs Brandy; a liqueur lesson

Cognac vs Brandy; a liqueur lesson

There is an abundance of spirits that are made locally here in Lebanon that have become very famous and a staple in some people’s houses. Besides the Lebanese wineries (since they make the best wine for Lebanese food), there are also some other drinks to be enjoyed after relishing in your meal.  

As a digestive, it’s good for you to go for a nice whiskey, a neat Cognac or a marvelous Brandy.   

Cognac and Brandy are often mistaken for one another. This is mainly because they look the same, they’re both made from distilling wine and because it’s often repeated that “every cognac is a brandy, but not all brandy is a cognac” which leaves people wondering what that means exactly. That’s where the confusion settles in but here’s a short spirits session that could benefit everyone.

 

 

For starters, Brandy, put very simply, is a distilled spirit made from fermented fruit juice; whether it be grapes, apples, pears- that’s Brandy for you. You may be wondering how it differs from wine when it’s done with grapes- the answer is quite simple; it’s all in the distillation process. The latter concentrates the wine which in turn increases the alcohol content in the beverage all while removing some or most of the water present in the grape!

Brandy is most preferred and better enjoyed when aged in wooden barrels just like our own Katy from Batroun does it for 10 years in French oak! This makes for a smoother, softer and sweeter drink as you still get hints of fruitiness and tartness.

Now onto Cognac- it is a specific type of Brandy. It is probably the most well-known and esteemed type of Brandy. Just like its name suggests, it is only specifically made in the Cognac region in France. However, its place of origin is not the only characteristic that makes it what it is. In fact, it must follow strict rules such as the fact that it can only be distilled from white grapes; it has to be distilled twice between October 1 and March 31 according to French law and aged for a minimum of two years.

And there you go… that’s the difference between Cognac and Brandy.
June 04, 2022 — Traccs Lebanon
Pinot Gris!

Pinot Gris!

One grape; two sensations 
Lebanon’s beautiful landscapes and climate allow for it to be home to amazing vineyards and wineries. With this, the country has witnessed the introduction of wine makers that have clearly made their mark on people’s hearts.
One place known for its superb wine-making would be Zahlé that offers an abundance of reds, whites and rosés that people relish in all year-round. There are many majestic Lebanese vinos made from remarkable grapes including the Pinot Gris.

Pinot Gris is befitting for all wine lovers. It is compelling to all taste buds and satisfactory to all cravings.  

The essence of this wine is that it comes in two forms; sweet and dry. Having mastered the art of creating both from a single white grape, the Pinot Gris is truly unique and special.

This ability relies on the fermentation process. The sweet wine requires a shorter process thus retaining residual sugar and the dry one entails a longer one resulting in less sugar.  

To offer you a guide to an exquisite-feeling palate, here is what we simply recommend: If you’re seeking a honeyed, floral taste then you should aim for the sweet Pinot Gris. Whereas if your taste buds are looking to be nicely refreshed and beautifully attacked then the dry Pinot Gris is definitely the way to go.

 
Chateau Khoury
Chateau Khoury

Take your pick depending on your mood but it is guaranteed that won’t be disappointed either way. Pop open your favorite bottle from Chateau Khoury coming to you straight from the lovely city of Zahlé.

PS: Pinot Gris is splendidly paired well with Lebanese Food.

 

 

May 19, 2022 — Operations 209
JUN GIN!

JUN GIN!

Jun is about happiness! 

It starts with sweet aromas of mastic, blending with the wonderful smells of locally grown rosemary, orange, and lemon that linger on your lips at the first sip.

The finish is spicy and tastes of ginger, galangal, coriander and bay leaves, while the wild Juniper excelsa from the Bekaa mountains, signs off with the distinct kiss of nostalgic native flavors

Taste the cheerfulness HERE!
March 10, 2022 — Operations 209
GET YOUR HANDS ON A BLANKA ARAK BOTTLE!

GET YOUR HANDS ON A BLANKA ARAK BOTTLE!

 

A Premium Artisanal Arak, fermented from a special mixture of Merwah & Obeidi Grapes; flavored by the exquisite Heena Aniseed, distilled & purified through an authentic copper steel distiller. 

It is Aged and matured in specialized Jars to extend its unique, extra premium complexity and taste.

Each piece is filled in these wonderful handmade porcelain vessels that come in three elegant colors: Orange, Olive Green and Royal Blue!

PICK YOUR COLOR HERE!
March 02, 2022 — Operations 209
SPOTLIGHT ON: Riesling from Chateau Qanafar

SPOTLIGHT ON: Riesling from Chateau Qanafar

From Chateau Qanafar’s small half a hectare vineyard grown at an altitude of 1200m on limestone soils, this single vineyard, single varietal Riesling exhibits an elegant expression of this ancient grape.  On the nose it reveals notes of Asian pear, pineapple and citrus peel.  It excites the palate with a grassy minerality and a cheerful acidity reminiscent of cider apples, quince and bitter citrus.
Known to be the wine expert’s favorite grape, Riesling is believed to be the greatest white grape in the world!

Riesling needs a long and slow ripening season as well as low yields to achieve a perfect balance and truly capture the identity of its terroir.
It takes a special soil to produce such a special wine, and guess what? Lebanon has it!

That’s is why we wanted to showcase this wine today - It’s a wine that makes us proud of our land, our expertise and our passion!

Discover it HERE!

November 22, 2021 — Faye Hechme
International Tempranillo Day

International Tempranillo Day

Today is #TempranilloDay!

Celebrated every year on the second Thursday of November, this day pays tribute to the beloved thick-skinned red grape native to the region of Rioja in Spain.

In Spanish, “temprano” means “Early” and references how the Tempranillo grape ripens earlier than most! It produces deep-colored red and rose wines with a wide range of aromas, ranging from red fruits such as strawberries, blackcurrants and cherries to prunes, chocolate, leather and tobacco.

It’s a complex grape with layers of flavors that start at the first sip and last till the end.

Celebrate with a bottle of Lebanese Tempranillo HERE.

November 11, 2021 — 209 Lebanese Wine
SPOTLIGHT ON: Petit Verdot de LATOURBA

SPOTLIGHT ON: Petit Verdot de LATOURBA

This week is all about the exquisite Petit Verdot from LATOURBA!

Petit Verdot is a full-bodied red wine commonly used in blends for its rich color, structured tannins and plentiful aromas!
That’s why a single-varietal Petit Verdot is rare to find, but a Lebanese one?
Well it makes things even more exciting for us!

We love this wine as it combines the unique aromas of leather, prune, dark forest fruits and tobacco.
Aged for 12 month in French Oak barrels with an earthy texture, it moves with vibrant acidity and powerful, well-structured tannins.

Discover more from LATOURBA!
 
November 09, 2021 — 209 Lebanese Wine
LEBANESE VEGAN WINES

LEBANESE VEGAN WINES

Happy #WorldVeganDay!

Since wine is made from grapes and yeast, people tend to assume that all wines are vegan-friendly. However, during winemaking, most wines are clarified in a process called “fining” which helps winemakers obtain a clearer looking wine; and it’s often the traditional fining agents employed that make a wine unsuitable for vegans.


Animal-based products such as egg whites, casein (a protein found in milk) or isinglass (a fish byproduct) have often been used to fine the wine and remove these tiny particles you see in a bottle that makes it look “hazy”.

Today, with the world moving towards a more mindful way of living and consuming, winemakers have started to either leave the particles to sink naturally to the bottom of the bottle, or use non-animal fining products such as Carbon, bentonite clay, limestone, kaolin clay, plant casein, silica gel, or vegetable plaques.

So, if a wine has not been fined, filtered or has not come into contact with anything derived from an animal or dairy source, it is considered vegan.

A big number of Lebanese wineries have gone the vegan route, and we’ve gathered them all for you HERE!
November 01, 2021 — 209 Lebanese Wine
Let's Celebrate 'World Heart Day' with Wine!

Let's Celebrate 'World Heart Day' with Wine!

HEALTH BENEFITS OF WINE
“Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance” - Benjamin Franklin - 
 
Wine is the only living beverage and fermentation, a natural process is behind this beneficial drink. It is loaded in antioxidants and when consumed moderately, can strengthen your immune system, promotes a longer life span, protects against certain cancers, improves mental health, provides benefits to the heart, reduces the risk of depression specially when paired with the right foods and music, it could make you instantaneously more relaxed. Within a balanced diet plan, wine could curb your sugar cravings and assist weight loss.
 
 
Heart Healthy
  • Wine dilates arteries and increases blood flow thus lowering the risk of the kind of clots that cut off blood supply and damage heart muscles.
  • Drinking wine in moderation could lower bad cholesterol levels and increase good ones (HDL). Phenols found in wine limit the oxidation of LDL’S making them less capable of damaging the lining of arteries thus reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
  • Phenols also play an important role in slowing the growth of some cancer cells and Resveratrol (an antioxidant) in wine has specifically been found to slow the growth of liver cancer cells.
  • A glass of red wine has been found to curb sugar cravings and increase levels of the good cholesterol (HDL). Moreover, a Harvard University study of 20.000 women found that those who drank half a bottle of wine a day had a 70% reduced risk of obesity compared to nondrinkers!
  • Red wine is loaded with antioxidants and Resveratrol- “an ingredient that increases gene expression that enhances the oxidation of dietary fats so the body won’t be overloaded. Resveratrol converts white fat into beige fat which burns lipids off as heat, helping to keep the body in balance and prevents obesity and metabolic dysfunction”
 
Avoid drinking if you’re under 18 Years old!
Your body will be less well equipped to cope with the effects of alcohol, physically and emotionally; your liver is not fully developed and neither is

your brain!
 
- Dietitian Nicole Maftoum
September 29, 2021 — 209 Lebanese Wine