Thanks for being here.

A quick introduction.

Hi! I’m Farrah Berrou. I’m a Lebanese-American with a degree in Biology, a degree in Graphic Design, and a couple of wine certifications. I’ve worked in advertising, design, and FMCG retail before coming to wine as a writer and observer.

A quick summary.

In 2012, I started writing online under the name, Bambi’s Soapbox. I was involved in lots of different community-building initiatives and then, in 2018, I co-hosted a podcast called, A Better Beirut.

I launched B for Bacchus in 2019.
Then there was a revolution, a collapse, and the city exploded.

It was quite a time. I had started the B for Bacchus podcast just before protests in Beirut kicked off. In the midst of Lebanon imploding and the global pandemic beginning, I started working with NYC-based The Wine Zine as a writer and then contributing editor. This is when I began to explore writing for other publications like Tim Atkin MW and Tribe Photo Magazine.

In 2021, I went to California for 2 years.

Cynthia Bifani’s gorgeous illustration for my Eater article in 2021

While in Los Angeles, I wrote an article for Eater and launched the print Aanab Newspaper. I self-published 4 issues and sold merch while working part-time at a wine shop.

I wrote “diary entries” on my blog. You can better understand the emotions of leaving by reading the series: before I left, a few months after landing, and about a year after that.

For more about me, here’s an interview on the B for Bacchus podcast. You can also read my Lift Collective feature.

And then I came back to Beirut, Lebanon.

In April 2023, I returned to Beirut and for now, it feels right to be here.

Although I can, I don’t write reviews or tasting notes about wine.

I’m more interested in how wine can be a device to unpack deeper things about places and how we exist in them.

This newsletter is where I write what I feel is important. I don’t have to jump through the hoops of pitching (where someone else decides if a story about Lebanon is worthy) and editing (which may take anywhere from 3 to 6 months or more).

Because Aanab News is reader-funded, it is able to cover topics that bigger publications can’t or won’t for whatever reasons.

I publish four newsletters per month: two public and two paywalled (Unfiltered & Grapevine).

Unfiltered is a quick study of the latest short I’m working on. It’s a behind-the-scenes of my work-in-progress. Inspirations, the idea I’m trying to capture, maybe even the rough script I’m playing with. It could feature clips that are beautiful but won’t make the final cut. It’s the process.

Grapevine is a monthly list of recommended things to read (books not links), think about, experience, or see (mostly in Lebanon) including art exhibits, films, performances, or anything that I found inspiring. Think of it as a curated moodboard of micro-utopias that is up-to-date and focuses more on the physical rather than the digital. I understand that this may not be of interest to those who are abroad but 1) it won’t be entirely Lebanon-specific and 2) even when it is, it can help you plan your visits and is a way to be plugged in on what goes on over here from wherever you are.

Paid subscribers get access to these extra newsletters AND the full archive. All posts are paywalled 1 month after being published. They also get my gratitude because subscriptions keep this newsletter independent and free from sponsorships, advertising money, or corporate funding via a desk job that would crush my soul.

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If you’d like to follow my work, subscribe to this newsletter or follow along on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

And if you need to, you can get in touch here.

Love & olives,


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Stories from Lebanon and beyond, through the lens of wine and culture


Wine nerd and creator who's worked in design, advertising, retail, and audio.