The Grapevine

Happy New Year and Unhappy News from Lebanon

January 5th, 2015

Happy New Year and welcome back! We hope the crazy and chaotic holiday season was both profitable and enjoyable. Enjoy your well-deserved exhale. [level-members]

News outlets are relatively quiet during the holidays, which is just as well. Who has time for anything but restocking shelves and welcoming new customers through the doors? We’re particularly sorry to start the year off on a negative note, with news of the passing of Serge Hochar, a champion of Lebanese wine in the form of his own Chateau Musar.

An indefatigable traveler, he circled the globe in his (successful) efforts to put Lebanese wines on the map. Much coverage is available online, including a nice piece on

From our perspective, the most interesting thing about Chateau Musar, Lebanese wines in general, and other wines regions outside of the usual suspects (Burgudy, Bordeaux, Italy, Spain, California, etc.) is the opportunity they afford small wine shops to create a personality for themselves and avoid the price wars that often accompany high-volume, mass-market brand selling.

Our shops can and should be looking to these kinds of brands to sustain them and help separate themselves from the competition. For that alone, we owe a debt of gratitude to wine champions like Serge Hochar.