An excerpt from an OUPblog article published on Tuesday 7th December 2015, written by Adam Montefiore, a contributor to the fourth edition of The Oxford Companion to Wine.
'The Eastern Mediterranean, comprising Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Lebanon, and Turkey, is politically one of the most divisive regions in the world ... These are the only wine regions in the world divided by borders of war and religion.
However, there are similarities that unite them culturally as being part of the Eastern Mediterranean. Visit a restaurant in any of these countries and you will find mezze being served on small plates. They will more often than not be accompanied by the indigenous spirit, Arak, Raki, or Ouzo. The whole area also has a well-established coffee culture too ... Another common factor is wine. This area was the cradle of the grape, that gave wine culture to the world, long before the vine reached the rest of Europe. The history, archaeology, literature, religious ritual, and folklore bear witness to a very advanced wine industry, which was a mainstay of the economy and an important part of the lifestyle.'
Discover more: Read the rest of the article on the OUPblog.