I am an open-minded taster. My motto is to try all types of wine. However, I am also mindful of wasting time, mine and other people's, so if I get a request for an appointment to taste wine that I know won't fit in at The Wine House, I'll decline the offer. A vendor who I like to do business with because he is a one-man operation who has the same enthusiasm for wine as I do, sent me a appointment request for a winery from Lebanon. I was intrigued, but it was a busy time, and for what ever reason, I forgot to respond. This vendor did not take "no", or more like a non-response, as an answer and called me on the phone to persuade me to taste the wine. I said "yes" as I had time in the day to do so.

That is how I met Naji Boutros of Chateau Belle-Vue and was introduced to his wines. The tasting portion of our meeting was short, as he only had two wines to present, but the conversation quickly went from wine to deeper, more philosophical musings. I was impressed by the wines at first taste. I have had wine from Lebanon before, I even had the privilege of tasting through several flights of wine from Chateau Musar with the legendary Serge Hochar. The wines of Chateau Belle-Vue are very different from Musar, as they should be, for the varietals they use are different as is the terroir. Chateau Belle-Vue is located less than 20 miles east of Beirut on Mount Lebanon at elevations ranging from 3,000 to nearly 4,000 feet.

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