When we opted for Middle Eastern wines, the choice of Fra Giuseppe as a venue was always going to play an important part, and the unique rustic setting tied in perfectly with our own way of doing things differently. As Michela ran into through a brief TNB history, the guests were able to drink in the setting of a 300-year old house and appreciate the gift the good Fra left us along with a delectable selection of food to match the theme.
Getting people into the mood to start conversing across the room would not take long, especially since each wine had a decent enough percentage of alcohol content, but the truth is that there were also plenty of people who really wanted to delve into this old world with a kind of “new-world” style of wine aging.
We opted to start with the Bargylus Blanc, a Syrian wine that immediately put a smile on people’s faces, with its aromatic freshness and hints of peach and apricots. Being low in acidity meant that it’s a lot more “drinkable” so to say, and as the sips went down, the chatter until then had not really picked up, but by the time we were readying the second wine, Bargylus had us loosening up just a little.
Blanc de Blancs, a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon split opinion, as the majority seemed to prefer the Bargylus, there were still some guests who leaned slightly towards this Lebanese option; with subtle hints of nuts, fruit and possibly herbs, there’s every chance this wine will appeal to some if not all your taste buds. At this stage, much as we were having fun and enjoying the food (divine, as expected and in theme), the moment called for the reds to make their way onto the scene.
If you think we decided to play it safe in going for Har’el Merlot, you might be right…but the truth is that this wine is too good to ignore for a Middle Eastern themed wine night. Intense in colour; long in the finish. Powerful on the nose; rounded on the palate. Elegant, with all the right notes of Mediterranean herbs, if you find this bottle available, pair it perfectly with red meat and enjoy your dose of Israeli heaven: you’ve earned it.
Heading back to Lebanon, our guests were warned that when tasting this wine, they may need to brace themselves for the aftertaste, and it proved to be one of the night’s all-round favourites. The B-Qa’s French oak cask aging, hints of plum and spice on the nose, whilst the long finish of both peppers and fruits, the proverbial cherry on top of a nigh-on-perfect blend of grapes.
To close off our session, we opted for a Moroccan (we’ve checked our geography and it does form part of the Middle East) red – the Kahima 2010, a Syrah-Grenache blend, and comes from the Gerrouane region which has a 2,000 year backstory of wine making, so we’re pretty sure they’ve got some clue of what they’re doing. Smooth and suave on the finish, some guests actually thought they picked up a hint of smokiness, whilst some of the more-versed suggested it had hints of Spanish wines, owing to the 40% Grenache blend.
With that, another successful night was brought to a close: great food and wine enjoyed in a stylish setting and with better company. Though March will be another silent month for us, do stay tuned to our social media pages, where we’ll announce our next event! Until then however, stay safe, drink well and wash your hands carefully.
Cheers and love,