WINE… a four letter word that have one meaning: an alcoholic beverage that comes in different colors and tastes. But when the word wine is mentioned, it doesn’t have the same impact on everyone who hears it. Each person could understand it in a different way, depending on their age, religion, citizenship, even on social and financial status.
– Age : for kids it is a forbidden bitter beverage allowed only for adults, who should drink it in moderation. While for adults it is the essential drink that should be part of every dinner or gathering.
– Religion: for Muslims, alcohol is forbidden, for Christians, wine is blessed, as Jesus made his first miracle with wine.
– Citizenship: countries that have lot of wineries would produce more wine, therefore they consume more wine.
– Social status and financial status: this will allow people to have access to the expensive wines, and have the chance to visit local and international wineries.
Lebanon is one of the oldest sites of wine production in the world. The Israelite prophet Hosea (780–725 B.C.) is said to have urged his followers to return to Yahweh so that “they will blossom as the vine, and their fragrance will be like the wine of Lebanon”.
What could be more blessed and symbolic than Jesus making his first miracle in Qana Lebanon, by changing the water to the most delicious wine? Jesus also included wine in the sacred sacrament of the Holy Communion, as His own blood. Wine has been mentioned many times in the bible, in the old and the New Testament. “Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.” Ecclesiastes 9:7
Wine sector in Lebanon has been witnessing a huge growth, the number of wineries went from 5 in 1998 to over 30 nowadays. The coastal Lebanese strip helped the Phoenicians spread wine and viticulture throughout the Mediterranean in ancient times.
Between 1550 BC and 300 BC, the Phoenicians developed a maritime trading culture that expanded their influence from the Levant to the world. Through contact and trade, they spread not only their alphabet but also their knowledge of viticulture and wine making, including the propagation of several ancestral varieties of the Vitis vinifera species of wine grapes.
Despite the many conflicts of the region, the country has an annual production of about 600,000 cases of wine. Lebanon exports big quantities of wine, but the local consumption could be much more important.
The question is, why don’t we consume more in Lebanon?
A special campaign should be launched to promote Lebanese wine as essential to our Lebanese Cuisine and Mezzeh.
Why wine is so expensive in Lebanese restaurants? A bottle of local wine is bought from source around 10$, at the restaurant it is sold sometimes as much as 40$ and even more.
Maybe government or even the owners of the Lebanese wineries should put some regulations about it, in a way to encourage people to consume more the Lebanese wine. ‘
Whenever there is Lebanese mezzeh/cuisine, arak is present on the table. Why not wine?
For more details about Lebanese wine and wineries, you can check the following links :