209 Hot Stories
Where do wine aromas come from?
Wine drinking is a multidimensional experience, and is savored by all our senses. The ability to identify the subtlest of flavors and aromas takes a bit of practice but only adds to the pleasure with time. The physical pleasures of the flavor and aroma of wine do also carry a psychological element. In fact, scents that are experienced with wine carry a science that falls back on your archived scents, a fact that renders the ability to identify aromas to be quite relative. The volatile compounds that you sense are similarly found in other fruits or foods that you’ve previously experienced. Interestingly enough, the aromas you identify in a glass of wine might not be the same ones someone else would first pick up from that same bottle.
The aromatic complex coming from wine is mainly due to the grape variety, terroir, and oak. Young wines are generally known to exhibit primary aromas that mainly come from the fruit; such as notes of berry and black cherry. When it comes to white wine, the primary aromas range between citrus to tropical fruits. Additionally, floral and licorice notes are also sensed in a young wine. Coffee, vanilla, or chocolate notes that come from oak are generally considered secondary aromas that come with the aging process.
A great way to pick favorites when it comes to wine is to know a few categories that are based on aroma (setting aside taste, body and color). One way is to identify whether the aroma you’ve identified is off a black or red fruit (in the case of red wine) or, in the case of white wine, a citrus or tree fruit. Based on the notes that you prefer, you can make your selection from the wines that are famous for carrying that specific aroma.
The aroma, though complex, is only part of the entire wine experience, and with time will only serve to enhance it. Keep this in mind with your next selection of wine from 209, and enjoy the discovery!
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! .
Here is your choice of Wine coolers
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.
A Wine affair… Pairing herbs with wine
5 things to completely avoid on a wine date!
It really doesn’t take much to enjoy a wine date. Make the effort to be in a comfortable setting, pay attention to what you really need to, and the rest comes down to how well you bring out the best you.
Pairing Lebanese Wine and Lebanese Food
Il y a les repas du dimanche. Des grandes tablées, pas mal de bruit au restaurant ou à la maison, des enfants, des vieux, des jeunes et des adultes, toutes les générations réunies. Il y a peut-être même des amis de la famille, des cousins qui sont venus de l’étranger, c’est souvent le cas au Liban.
On va manger. Des mezzés froids et chauds, des grillades, beaucoup de crudités, du citron, de l’ail, de l’oignon, de la coriandre, des épices douces, des abats, des viandes blanches et rouges, crues et cuites, du poisson, des farcis, des frites, des laitages, et j’en oublie sûrement… Les goûts et les couleurs ne se discutent pas, ils se mangent, et c’est là toute la diversité de la cuisine libanaise.
Et le vin dans tout ça ? Qu’est ce qu’on boit ?
D’aucun vous diront de la bière, de l’arak ou du whisky, par habitude, ou parce que finalement le repas traditionnel libanais ressemble surtout à un apéritif géant.
D’autres, et c’est la tendance, opteront pour le vin libanais, parce que c’est plus raffiné, parce qu’il y a un véritable engouement des producteurs et des consommateurs pour nos vins de montagne, pour leur fraîcheur caractéristique, leur fruité tellement gourmand, leurs épices et leur finale d’encens. Parce que c’est de chez nous, et surtout parce que c’est Bon !
Comment résister à la vivacité de nos rosés, avec leur belle acidité sur les tabboulés, les fattouches, les salades d’aubergine, l’huile d’olive relevée par l’ail et le citron. Quel meilleur accord pourrait-on donner à ces mezzés agrémentés de mélasse de grenadine, de coriandre, de crème de sésame, qu’un blanc libanais, ample, gras et complexe comme le sont nos chardonnays et nos sauvignons. Enfin comment mieux sublimer nos grillades et nos ragoûts de viandes qu’avec ces rouges levantins puissants, chargés d’épices orientales et qui ont cette pointe de minéralité en fin de bouche qui les rend tellement fins et élégants.
209 Lebanese Wine vous donne l’opportunité de redécouvrir la gastronomie libanaise à travers tous ses vins, de comprendre la diversité du Liban par son terroir, de vous lancer dans des accords que vous n’auriez pas osés. Essayez d’accorder de la Boutargue sur un Obeideh et vous verrez comment la puissance des œufs de poissons est arrondie par la vivacité de ce cépage d’exception. Proposez à vos hôtes un rosé de Cinsault sur des feuilles de vignes à l’huile, ou une belle syrah bien violette sur des côtelettes d’agneau grillées. Vous pourrez même pousser le vice à glacer un vin doux de grenache bien rouge de nos monastères sur des biscuits aux loukoums… Divin !
Allez, que la Fête commence !
Salim Heleiwa est né en 1973 à Beyrouth et a passé la plupart de sa jeunesse entre la France et le Liban. Après des études commerciales à Nice, il se dédie aux métiers de bouche, dans l’hôtellerie et la restauration. Il sera successivement acheteur de vins fins et spiritueux, sommelier, commercial, restaurateur, glacier artisanal. Il vit aujourd’hui au Liban avec sa famille et s’occupe à temps plein de The Malt Gallery, une boutique à Achrafieh de plus de 2000 références de vins fins.
209 partners with CXC to take you on an exclusive journey
Food amateurs and wine lovers, the below is for you!
What a good idea to blend two passions: gastronomy and wine. Then, how to transform this cool idea into a fantastic one? Add a pinch of Lebanese heritage, terroir spirit and easy-to-use structure.
We, at 209, are very happy and excited to announce our new collaboration with ChefXChange. To make your holiday season more memorable, ChefXChange and 209 will be bringing you the best of both worlds; food and drink!
First, let us introduce you to our partner, ChefXChange.
ChefXChange is an online platform where anyone can book a chef in just a few clicks. They’re on a mission to define the culinary experience of tomorrow, for anyone looking to host, learn, or entertain, in the comfort of their chosen venue. They provide them with a curated service and personal interaction with the chef making it hassle free, exclusive, and at restaurant competitive prices. Chefs take care of everything from ingredient buying to cleaning up after the event. They are present in Beirut, New York City, Washington DC, London, Dubai and the GCC, along with many travelling Chefs who can visit you wherever you may be in the world.
Through an exclusive alliance with ChefXChange, 209 – the online marketplace where you can find a big selection of Lebanese wines – will put a perfectly paired choice of wines on your table and send a connoisseur to help enhance your guests’ wine-drinking experience. Run by passionate and knowledgeable wine experts who store, deliver and serve wine under optimal conditions, guaranteeing you enjoy only the very best, 209 will take you into a journey deep inside the Lebanese heritage and spirit.
From tips on how to pair Lebanese wine with food, to explanations about the quality, gender and brand of the wine you are drinking, the collaboration between the 2 platforms will be both culturally enriching, and tasty and pleasant. More than only a gustative experience, your dinner will become an informative and dynamic moment.
For this special occasion, we, at 209, will be granting you 10% discount on your first purchase, valid till January 31st of 2017. You just need to enter this code: 209-CXC-f8s9428s
Visit the ChefXChange website and book a private dinner using the promotional code CXC209 to avail of a USD 25 discount on all your bookings worth USD 100, valid till January 31st of 2017.
*Offer valid in Lebanon till January 31st, 2017.
A Note from The President of UVL
The Lebanese winemaking industry has been relatively active in the recent past, with a current count exceeding 40 wineries compared to just 5 in the early 1990s, and a current annual production of more than 8 million bottles. There’s also been an increased interest in wine culture in Lebanon as wineries have been reporting greater numbers of visitors.
Most Lebanon’s wineries are considered small-to-medium-sized and are known to place great emphasis on the quality of wine, thereby resulting in somewhat conservative quantities being produced.
In realizing that potential, 209 was created as an opportunity to further advance the awareness and consumption of Lebanese wine. As an innovative concept, 209 harnesses the power of modern-day connectivity by creating an omnichannel platform that generates remarkable exposure for Lebanese wines, to the Lebanese public and beyond, said Zafer Chaoui, President of Union Vinicole du Liban (UVL), whose objective is to consolidate and build on Lebanon’s image as a wine producing country by highlighting its proud history and promoting its potential.”
Wine production in Lebanon did take several hits in the past, but has managed to withstand and overcome those difficulties. Today it is poised to enjoy a bright future. It is only through investing in the winemaking sector in Lebanon that we will be able to make Lebanon a bigger contender on the international wine-producing scene.
Welcome to the 209 Blog!
Thanks for joining us on 209lebanesewine.com – the home of Lebanese wine.
209 is an all-new, all-Lebanese concept dedicated to bringing together a community of Lebanese wine lovers.