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Snooth User: VeniVidiVini

Around the World in a Glass

Posted by VeniVidiVini, Nov 6, 2007.

I was drawn to wine because I was looking for cheap flights around the world.

I love that in a $20 bottle of Chablis I can taste limestone and minerals from northern Burgundy. I have never been to Spain, but I've gulped Rioja till 4AM at a West Village tapas bar and paid for it dearly with mad, mad hangovers the next day (and night). I tasted Malagousia long before my toes touched Greek soil. And I was so charmed by Umbria's Sagrantino di Montefalco and Tuscany's Vin Santo that I spent a summer working on a Tuscan farm and studied the Italian language for six months when I returned home.

Wine has been my compass, language teacher, and soul mate. It's a political statement (remember 2003, when Americans poured French wine down their drains?), and a geography lesson - did you know that India, China, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Malta and so many other unlikely faraway places produce wine? I didn't.

I can't say that I'm dying to go to Lebanon, but I'll never turn down a glass of Lebanon's Chateau Musar . The concept of terroi r , the now overused French term for geographical authenticity, is exactly what you get in a beautiful glass of wine. Maybe the best things in life aren't free... but they certainly need not be outrageously expensive.

Replies

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Reply by Purplebarrel, Jan 7, 2010.

I totally agree with your comments and the way you commit and link wine to your daily life. However, concerning the wines of Lebanon my favorite is Massaya and not Musar. The Silver Selection from Massaya is my favorite. I got the chance to taste vintage 2000, 2001, 2002 Silver Selection and it was complex with at the same time softness and tannins...Musar sometimes is inconsistent and disappointing. Sorry not to agree with you on this one.

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Reply by penguinoid, Jan 8, 2010.

This certainly one of the main things -- perhaps even THE main thing -- that got me really interested in wine. One of the first times I realised that you could get this in wine was from trying an Italian pinot grigio from Venetto -- I was (pleasantly) surprised by the minerality of the wine, and equally surprised to know that you could get this impression of place from wine. I've not had as much luck with Italian pinot grigio since, but it's led me to lots of other interesting wines. The Loire is another interesting region for minerally white wines, especially nicely aged Savennières (a chance find on eBay for me).

I'm hoping I'll get to try Lebanese wines at some point. Ch Musar is the only one I've seen in shops here, but sadly it's more than I tend to pay for wine. Eventually, maybe. (This is the downside of being a university student -- money is something that happens to other people ;-) ).

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Reply by amour, Jan 8, 2010.

At last !......Some great commentary on some of my favourite topics...
VIN SANTO
WINES OF LEBANON
MASSAYA (FROM LEBANON) MASSAYA ...TOOK PARIS BY STORM.......They adore it in PARIS !
AND, OF COURSE, MY BURGUNDY,........THANKS VENI VIDI VINI PURPLEBARREL

THE THING WITH CHATEAU MUSAR...is that odour at first....but it quickly disappears.
There are a few schools of thought on why it is as it is.
The grapes of CHATEAU MUSAR are actually transported some 30 miles from the vineyards before they get to the actual winery. WHAT GREAT WINE.
Lindy and I have discussed it openly......I suggested drinking the 1997 MUSAR now as
they do need at least 10 years in the bottle to unfold !

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Reply by Purplebarrel, Jan 9, 2010.

Indeed, the Massaya is doing great in Paris and France because this winery has among the partners, the Brunier family (Vieux Telegraphe) and Hebrard family (former owners of Cheval Blanc). I had the chance of meeting Ramzi Ghosn the wine maker of Massaya lately and he told me that the wines are doing great in the UK and in the USA too....I suggest you try the Gold Reserve 2004 it is very powerful and refined at the same time, full bodied wine with oriental hints... Otherwise, if you like the matured wines I suggest the Silver Selection 2001 from Massaya it is also very aromatic and exuberant...
I was very lucky recently and invited to a tasting of +-50 bottles of Lebanese wines (that is how I met this fabulous guy) including Tourelles, Saint Thomas, Ksara, Massaya, Kefraya...and I will try to import them to snooth, hopes it works so you become more familliar with the labels and the wine personality of the Lebanon.

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Reply by amour, Jan 9, 2010.

Thanks purplebarrel !
The vineyards of MUSAR are at an altitude of over 3,000 feet in the lovely BEKAA VALLEY which is frost-free and disease-free, with long mild summers and rainy winters.

DID YOU OBSERVE, OVER TIME, HOW MUSAR varies from one year to the next ....
different character and even identity........just as the limestone base's composition varies.

I have had the MUSAR whites too...quite unique.....with the native grapes OBEIDEH and MERWAH blend.
IT IS SAID THAT THOSE NATIVE GRAPES OF LEBANON ARE possibly ancestors of CHARDONNAY AND SEMILLON.

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Reply by amour, Jan 9, 2010.

1995 was an excellent harvest year for MUSAR....a short harvest.
IT IS THE COMPLEXITY AND THE AROMATICS THAT I SO DELIGHT IN !!
THE PRICE IS ALSO FAIR.

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Reply by amour, Jan 9, 2010.

VIN SANTO is sort of SHERRY-LIKE....(A DESSERT WINE...it is)
MADE FROM DRIED WHITE GRAPES....TREBBIANO and MALVASIA.
The best TUSCANY-MADE VIN SANTO could well be the one made by MONTEPULCIANO producer AVIGNONESI....the 1987 AVIGNONESI VIN SANTO costs about $110. per half bottle.

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Reply by dmcker, Jan 9, 2010.

Amour, check this thread for an earlier discussion on Avignonesi (and their best Vin Santo, which is made from the red sangiovese):
http://www.snooth.com/talk/topic/vi...

A couple more threads on vin santo. The first is more general, while the second mentions a Felsina version (after talking about several other wines) that is also quite good:
http://www.snooth.com/talk/topic/vi...
http://www.snooth.com/talk/topic/th...

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Reply by amour, Jan 9, 2010.

THANKS dmcker !
I JUST THIS MINUTE TOLD EVERYONE I WAS HAVING VIN SANTO WITH ITALLIAN COOKIES !!! ON ANOTHER THREAD...an old one about CHOICE with PHILIP.....CHECK IT OUT! How prescient dmcker......

By the way, I am currently in MIAMI dressed in furs.......so happy for the ideal opportunity to drink a MOREY ST-DENIS...! CHEERS!

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Reply by zufrieden, Jan 9, 2010.

I hate to digress from the intrepid efforts of Musar to concoct those unfiltered Provençal-style wines (the main side-issue in the thread) in the Bekaa Valley (I rather like the slightly soupy Hochar offerings), but I want to get back to the original thesis of the forum - just for a moment. I like the romantic idea of world travel through wine and while travel is recommended to some point of optimality based on personality, you can certainly cruise the world through wine and other vehicles (literature, for example).

I want to give a resounding yes to the connectivity that comes through wine appreciation; like all other cultural cross-over, it brings people together in a most convivial way and encourages a certain understanding. Nice story!

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Reply by amour, Jan 10, 2010.

THREE CHEERS zufrieden !!!! Not only for steering the SNOOTH SHIP back on course but also delivering the warranted praise to the writer Veni Vidi Vini.

My wine poems trace my life...around the world, in wine selecting and drinking....purely as a hobby , before people were making videos so popularly. Not being a show-off , I never promoted my findings ....but through my poetry, I am now able to share the love of wine
and positively influence new and sometimes very young wine-lovers.

One of my poems is written for DIDIER DAGUENEAU....he sadly passed on recently..
nearly a year and a half ago.......I intend to take the poem (MOUNTED) to his daughter CHARLOTTE and son LOUIS BENJAMIN....he is now in charge.......

DIDIER made the sweetest JURANCON...HIS PUR SANG and SILEX were to die for...
The LOIRE VALLEY COULD NEVER BE THE SAME WTHOUT HIM.
HIS ,LES JARDINS DE BABYLONE, WOULD NEVER BE SEEN AGAIN IN A HURRY.

When I set up a pottery in MARAKECH, MOROCCO....I discovered the MEKNES region and their lovely wines....as lovely as the people of North Africa !
LA MAMOUNIA,TISHKA, SEMERAMIS....were the 3 hotels which I frequented,
sometimes accompanied by another English wine-lover....Peter......we both tasted many of the wines there and great they were! TISHKA WINE DINNERS WERE VERY ROMANTIC....nearly as romantic
as my private wine evenings in TAIWAN at the SUN AND MOON LAKE.

Let us all on this thread, encourage other travellers to chip in, even a few lines would
be most welcome, connecting travel to wine. OR WHATEVER SUITS SNOOTH FAMILY
MEMBERS !
Thank you all!
CHEERS....GRAPPA IN MY LITTLE GLASS!

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Jan 12, 2010.

There are so many places I want to visit.

One of the biggest problems though is that wine people are so firendly that you quickly develop relationships.

Instead of visiting a new region every yeart I find myself wanting to return to Italy and revisit some old friends while making new friends. It's a vicious cycle.

I would love to visit South Africa, Australia, Portugal, Spain, Argentina, and Oregon, which is on the list for July of this year.

And of course I can't wait to return to italy as soon as possible!

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Reply by amour, Jan 12, 2010.

GREGORY, ENTER YOUNG ISLAND ON YOUR LIST!!
YOU HAVE AN INVITATION FROM ME!!

OUR CELLAR IS NOT EXCEPTIONAL BUT WE WILL IMPROVE IT FOR YOU!!!


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