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B for Bacchus

B for Bacchus

By Farrah Berrou
Wine stories from the Fertile Crescent.
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BEIRUT BLASTS - Conversation with Who Run the World

B for Bacchus

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Season Two Coming Soon
A quick update from Farrah on the status of the podcast, Patreon, and the upcoming Season Two. Translation of "Li Beirut" taken from Why must every Lebanese generation endure violent chaos—and its aftermath? by Rania Abouzeid
03:00
September 4, 2020
BEIRUT BLASTS - Conversation with Who Run the World
On Tuesday, an explosion of 2750 TONS of ammonium nitrate shattered the entire country (and neighboring ones). Rhea, Marilyn, and Farrah had planned this crossover episode before the tragedy. Instead of rescheduling, they decided to talk about where they're heads are at 36 hours after the blasts. To donate: Lebanese Red Cross Impact Lebanon Arcenciel Offre Joie More here.
43:43
August 8, 2020
20. JUST A DROP - The Lost Glass and Cigarette
JUST A DROP: Less than 10 minutes about a wine topic, some news, and updates. Once again, Farrah went a little over the 10-minute mark for this one. After stumbling upon 1924's lost silent film "WINE," Farrah investigated if there are any wine films from this side of the world and she visited Abboudi Abou Jaoude for some help. This is what she discovered. Most of America's Silent Films Are Lost Forever Who was the original It girl? ABBOUDI ABOU JAOUDÉ AND THE FORGOTTEN ERA OF ARAB CINEMA 1955's "A Glass and a Cigarette" - dubbed in Russian Blogpost on Smash-Up & A Glass and a Cigarette ‘Made in Egypt?’ Egyptian films seen as knock-offs of Western productions Translation of the clip of Azza's dialogue: "You made her go back to alcohol. Don't forget that Hoda was an artist. Don't forget that she was the light of the stage. The day she married you, she was the most famous woman in Egypt. Why would she give all that up to live between 4 walls? Because she loves you."
13:26
June 29, 2020
19. JUST A DROP - The Middle Yeast
JUST A DROP: Less than 10 minutes about a wine topic, some news, and updates. This one's about the microbe that gives us so many of our favorite foods & drinks: Yeast. Farrah talks about the fermentation process and the significance of yeast in winemaking.  Yeast Fermentation and the Making of Beer Synthetic Yeast & Designer Yeast Jancis Robinson's Take on Yeast Forbes: Secret Life of Yeast The Science of Winemaking Yeasts Watch COOKED on NETFLIX
10:06
June 1, 2020
18. JUST A DROP - Wine of the Bean
JUST A DROP: Less than 10 minutes about a wine topic, some news, and updates. Disclaimer - this one’s a little over 10 minutes but it’s worth it! In this short episode, Farrah goes over the origins of coffee and why it was called “the wine of the Arabs.” Support B for Bacchus on Patreon References: Hammam Radio Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 1991, Harlan Walker Paradise Dictionary - Dictionary of English words of Arabic etymology part II- Mohannad Al Fallouji, PhD Coffee and Qahwa: How a drink for Arab mystics went global Coffee and Coffeehouses: The Origins of a Social Beverage in the Medieval Near East, Ralph S. Hattox Port of Mokha coffee + Serious Jolt on Kerning Cultures Coffee's Mysterious Origins How Coffee Went from a Mystical Sacrament to an Everyday Drink The Etymology of "Coffee": The Dark Brew, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Alan S. Kaye All about Coffee, William Harrison Ukers Coffee as a Social Drug, Steven Topik
12:06
May 14, 2020
17. JUST A DROP - Corona Borealis
JUST A DROP: Less than 10 minutes about a wine topic, some news, and updates. Back with another short episode this week on the story of Bacchus' wife, Ariadne, and the Corona Borealis. Support B for Bacchus on Patreon
08:01
April 23, 2020
16. LEBANON - For people to try your product, you have to give them a reason
RECORDED BEFORE CORONAVIRUS. Farrah speaks to Joe Saade of Terre Joie, the home of vineyards that sit on the vertex of 3 tectonic plates in the Bekaa Valley. From Saddam Hussein to Amal Clooney, this episode is jam-packed with info on what makes the wines of Lebanon so special and what needs to be done so people all around the world know that. Joe's blog Michel Basbous
1:00:24
April 10, 2020
15. JUST A DROP - The Levant Fault System
JUST A DROP: Less than 10 minutes about a wine topic, some news, and updates. The Levant Fault System, or the Dead Sea Transform, is a network of fault lines that lie under and through Lebanon. The 3 main ones have caused catastrophic earthquakes in the past but they also gave Lebanon rich topography and soils great for grape-growing. Farrah talks about it all in under 8 minutes so make sure to listen to last week's episode to know the background on Lebanon's seismology studies.  Sources: "The historical earthquakes of Syria: an analysis of large and moderate earthquakes from 1365 B.C. to 1900 A.D.," Sbeinati, Darawcheh, and Mouty "Short notice on earthquake hazard in Lebanon," Ata Elias (many of his publications were helpful in this research) "Active thrusting offshore Mount Lebanon: Source of the tsunamigenic A.D. 551 Beirut-Tripoli earthquake," multiple authors The Geology of Lebanon, C.D. Walley Lebanon's National Center for Geophysics
07:20
March 26, 2020
14. LEBANON - Competition pushes you to pay attention to what you’re producing
RECORDED BEFORE CORONAVIRUS. Elie Maamari, export manager of Chateau Ksara, Lebanon’s oldest and largest winery, talks to Farrah about his 40-year career in wine. From winemaker to pushing Ksara wines abroad, they discuss making wine during the war, opportunities in the market, and memories of the Ksara Observatory. WSJ: A Winery Survives in Lebanon Ksara Observatory Records Nikula Shahin Weather Station Books - Jesuit Contribution to Science: A History by Augustin Udias - Searching the Heavens and the Earth: the History of Jesuit Observatories by Augustin Udias - Mapping Empires: Colonial Cartographies of Land and Sea: 7th International Symposium of the ICA Commission on the History of Cartography, 2018
52:19
March 18, 2020
13. JUST A DROP - Obeidy vs. Merwah
JUST A DROP: Less than 10 minutes about a wine topic, some news, and updates. Obeidy (also spelled Obaideh, Obeideh, Obeidi - you get the point) and Merwah are two indigenous white grapes of Lebanon but how do they differ? Farrah breaks it down in a short clip. Phylloxera makes a cameo too.
07:00
March 5, 2020
12. LEBANON - People flooded to Baalbeck because of water
Farrah talks to Alia Fares, a German-Lebanese archaeologist & tour guide who’s very, very familiar with the ancient UNESCO World Heritage Site of Baalbeck, home to the Temple of Bacchus. Alia breaks down the architecture and historical significance of the temple complex and the city itself. German Archeological Institute The Myth of the Megalith - The New Yorker Kerning Cultures: Collateral Damage A Better Beirut with Alia Fares
1:03:50
February 28, 2020
11. BONUS - Don’t leave me far from Al Ferzol
We're back with Alex Rowell again for a bonus clip on Abu Nuwas' work and whether or not he ever wrote about Lebanon. In this short episode, we talk about Al Ferzol, the Mu'allaqat, and how wine descriptors have evolved.  
11:10
February 20, 2020
10. LEVANT - Wine has always been a part of this
Our first episode of 2020 is with Alex Rowell, author of Vintage Humor: The Islamic Wine Poetry of Abu Nuwas. Farrah talks to Alex about who Abu Nuwas was and what his poetry meant to Arabic literature, Islam, and wine. Don't miss the announcements at the end. Encyclopedia Britannica: Arabic Literature The Trip Podcast
42:48
February 11, 2020
9. LEBANON - Through resilience, through believing, in the end we can persist
SPECIAL NYE RELEASE: Today marks the 5th anniversary of Serge Hochar’s passing. This episode is dedicated to the wine legend. Farrah speaks to his son, Marc Hochar, about the philosophy of Chateau Musar and what it means to believe. GQ: A Wine Worth Fighting For Decanter: Remembering Serge NYTimes: Eric Asimov on Chateau Musar
33:39
December 31, 2019
8. PALESTINE - Use what you have in your own country, in your own lands
For a special Christmas release, B for Bacchus leaves Lebanon for the first time and talks to Fadi Batarseh of Cremisan, a West Bank winery near Bethlehem. Farrah asks Fadi about his thesis on the area’s indigenous grapes and what it’s like to be part of the first winery in Palestine. Grapevine training & pruning, illustrated Haaretz 2014 article: Italy’s Vintners to the Rescue of Cremisan Monks SommSelect’s Master Sommelier, Ian Cauble, tries Cremisan wines
33:03
December 25, 2019
7. LEBANON - Siblings Part 2: Be proud of your local production
Part 2 of 2 episodes where Farrah talks to brother-sister duos from two Bekaa Valley wineries. In both episodes/wineries, the older sister handles marketing & sales while the younger brother is in charge of winemaking. They've got a lot in common but the main similarity for both teams is that they came back to Lebanon for one thing: to build a winery together. Part 2 features Eddy & Eva Naim of Chateau Qanafar.
41:40
December 24, 2019
6. LEBANON - Siblings Part 1: We're the transition between the bottle and the vines
Part 1 of 2 episodes where Farrah talks to brother-sister duos from two Bekaa Valley wineries. In both episodes/wineries, the older sister handles marketing & sales while the younger brother is in charge of winemaking. They've got a lot in common but the main similarity for both teams is that they came back to Lebanon for one thing: to build a winery together. Part 1 features Peter & Aida Skaff of Reserve Ammiq.
33:34
December 19, 2019
5. LEBANON - To-Do Lists and Arak at 3pm
A special 3-in-1 this time around: Thouraya Karam of Karam Wines, Joanna Gerges of Chateau Cana, and Andrea Geara of Aurora Winery. Each of these three young women represents a family-run winery in a different region of Lebanon and they are each important members of their wineries' 2nd generation. Over a bottle of Karam's Arcenciel rosé, the ladies share what all of that means.  A for Arak by Oliver Weinfeld Mashrou' Leila Tracks: Inni Mnih Marrikh - Live at AUB Assembly Hall Radio Romance Cavalry
56:47
December 2, 2019
4. LEBANON - Why can't we dream?
Maher Harb, the winemaker at the young Sept Winery in the small Batroun village of Nahla, is the only biodynamic winemaker in Lebanon. Farrah talks to him to find out what that means and what it took to start Sept, a project that's a tribute to his late father.  Sept Winery Sept on Instagram
48:54
November 20, 2019
3. LEBANON - We need to make a much bigger cake
Farrah talks to Hady Kahale, wine consultant, manager of Batroun's Atibaia, and husband of Episode 2's guest, Jennifer Massoud. Hady is the co-founder of Ixsir Winery, which is now one of the big names in Lebanon, and he also happens to be the only Lebanese MW candidate. We talk to him about the nature of the wine industry in Lebanon and what still needs to be done for everyone to succeed together.  Read Hady's article in the October issue of Executive Magazine here.
36:38
November 5, 2019
2. LEBANON - I was baptized in wine
Farrah sits down with Jennifer Massoud of Atibaia winery in Batroun, a wine region north of Beirut. As one of the smallest, if not THE smallest, boutique wineries in a tiny country, business isn't done like a commercial winery with massive output. Luckily, wine isn't something new to her & her family. Jennifer discusses what came before Atibaia by talking about what was in the pages that led to this new chapter.
31:07
October 21, 2019
1. LEBANON - Our savior is the vines
In the very FIRST episode of the B for Bacchus podcast, Farrah talks to Eddie Chami from Couvent Rouge, a winery in the Bekaa Valley's Deir el Ahmar. This particular area is known for its (illegal) fields of cannabis. Eddie talks about the region's gradual transition from cannabis to wine, what Couvent Rouge has been trying to do after so many farmers made the switch, and the potential of Lebanon's neighbors when it comes to wine.  Get tickets to visit Couvent Rouge on Nov 23rd here. 
51:23
October 7, 2019
Trailer
Introducing a podcast about wine in the Levant, Eastern Mediterranean, and the Caucasus. Hosted by Farrah Berrou
01:55
September 18, 2019