Fresh and lively - wines from Lebanon

Sami Ghosn. Picrture: Fiona Taylor

Sami Ghosn. Picrture: Fiona Taylor - Credit: Archant

Fiona Taylor, of Christopher Piper Wines, discusses Massaya wines from Lebanon.

Massaya Rose. Picrture: Fiona Taylor

Massaya Rose. Picrture: Fiona Taylor - Credit: Archant

Coming out of winter, I sometimes long for a wine as bright and uplifting as the tulips now gracing the supermarkets and florists windows.

Something fruity, light and refreshing, in fact the complete opposite to the heavy reds I’ve been drinking for the last few months with local rabbit (a la moutarde – delicious, ask me for the recipe) and pheasant.

So, along with the ubiquitous arrival of Valentine’s Day, I’m going all out and suggesting Lebanese Rosé from Massaya.

I have mentioned rosés before, but this is from the Beqaa Valley, a region more commonly associated as a refuge or war zone rather than a celebrated wine region.

Massaya Arak. Picrture: Fiona Taylor

Massaya Arak. Picrture: Fiona Taylor - Credit: Archant

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The Ghosn family bought the Tanaïl Estate, in the Beqaa Valley, in the early 1970s and after having to leave during the civil war, returned to the farm in 1992, launching a very successful Arak distillery.

The two brothers, Sami and Ramzi Ghosn, started the Massaya wine estate and in 1998, with the help of the Bruniers, from Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Vieux Télégraphe) and Dominique Hébrard (St Emilion), they launched Massaya, named after the time of day when twilight sets on the vineyard and the sky turns purple as the sun sets behind Mount-Lebanon

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Massaya Rosé is deliciously perfumed with strawberry aromas and a touch of spice. Peachy coloured, it’s also very versatile and brilliant with food.

Made to be consumed when it’s fresh and lively with persistent red berries – it’s a real reminder of summer. It was voted into the Top 30 ‘Food Friendly Rosés in Decanter Magazine just over a year ago and the judges commentated on its appealing delicate and creamy flavours.

On an interesting note, Massaya also produce the most delicious Arak; an aniseed spirit traditionally rested in traditional clay amphorae specially commissioned from the potters of the Mount Lebanon village of Beit Chebab.

These are just porous enough to absorb some of the liquid and allow it to breathe.

This traditional Arak from Lebanon is bottled in the Lebanon’s traditional blue bottles.

Both of course (and Massaya’s red range of wines) available through Christopher Piper Wines, online and in our shop in Ottery St Mary.

To read more features from East Devon Resident, click on here.

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