August 13, 2019

How do you choose a wine? Whether it tastes good and how much it costs are the basic criteria of any wine purchase. Beyond that, how do you whittle down the choices?

How about a wine made by Abdullah Richi, a Syrian refugee dreaming of restoring his country’s wine traditions? Richi trucks indigenous Syrian grapes grown in conflict-ridden areas of his homeland across the border to his Dar Richi winery in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley and dreams of someday reviving Syria’s wine traditions.

Or Cremisan wines, made in an ancient monastery near Jerusalem with grapes trucked across security checkpoints from vineyards in Palestinian territory?

Or a Bolivian tannat, grown in some of the highest vineyards of the world, whose profits will help lift some of South America’s poorest farmers out of poverty?

According to Maria Bastasch, beverage director for Compass Rose and Maydan restaurants, “If you have a chance to buy a wine made in Syria using indigenous Syrian grapes made by actual Syrians, your purchase makes a connection with Syria and its people that goes beyond war and the images in the news.”

And that connection may take you beyond the simple calculation of price and taste that initiates what wine you choose. So why not choose a wine with a story and a cause? Take a stand while you pull a cork.

SOURCE: Washington Post Food, 5/8/19