As a wine lover, I try to take every opportunity to try local wines anywhere I travel. I bicycled around some wine districts in New Zealand sampling some of their excellent wines. I partook in Chile and Argentina. I ran through Europe quickly… just to avoid getting bogged down for weeks drinking great wine, though one night I partook of much wine and reminisced about previous travels. I’ve even written a specific post on my first excellent wine.
Suffice it to say that I take every opportunity to partake.
But I did not expect to be sampling excellent wines during this trip to the Middle East. It has turned out to be one of the many things that I have been pleasantly surprised by in this part of the world.
Domaine des Tourelles was one of the three wineries that I toured in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon. Is it the oldest wine merchant in Lebanon, with wine sales going back to the 1860s and production shortly after.
Domaine des Tourelles produces about 200,000 bottles of wine and the same number of arak (the liquor of Lebanon) at this wonderful winery. They have produced wine through the Lebanese Civil War and during the latest brush up of conflict in 2006. I was quite impressed.
I tasted a number of their wines — the 2010 rose and white options and the 2008 red wine under their general winery label – but want to specifically mention one that struck me as completely excellent and truly worth the effort to go out and find, wherever you are: the 2007 Marquis des Beys.
It was a full-bodied red, rich, and full of cherry and plum flavor. It is a Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah blend with a touch of tannin to it. It would age incredibly well, but even at its young age, it was a truly fabulous wine. First class — as was the entire tasting.
For my foodie friends and chocolate lovers… at the end of the wine tasting was this little charm. Oranjanine Triple Sec… in a white chocolate cup.