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|Born||1 May 1965|
|Occupation||Writer, Journalist, Communication Consultant|
|Genre||Lebanese- and wine-related topics|
|Notable works||Michael Karam's Lebanese Wines 2011; Wines of Lebanon; Arak and Mezze: the taste of Lebanon; Life's like that; Life's even more like that, Tears of Bacchus:A history of winemaking in the Middle East and Beyond, Wine and War|
|Spouse||Rula Murtada (Two children)|
Michael Ramzi Karam (born 1 May 1965 in London, England) is an English-born, Lebanese author, journalist, wine writer and communication consultant. He is notably the author of Wines of Lebanon', Arak and Mezze: the taste of Lebanon; Life's like that; Life's even more like that. He edited and contributed to Tears of Bacchus: A history of winemaking in the Middle East and Beyond, and was involved in the production of the feature-length documentary, Wine and War.
Michael Karam began his career as a journalist in Beirut. He founded the listings magazine What's On in 1996 before moving to the Beirut Daily Star in early 1998 as Features editor. He left the Daily star in 2000. Between 2002 and 2007, he was the editor of Executive, a Lebanese business magazine, before moving into political and corporate PR and eventually wine communication of behalf of the Union Vinicole du Liban and various independent wineries.
In 2007, he was appointed executive director of New Opinion Workshop and NowLebanon, a post he held until March 2009. His writings on politics, business, war and wine have appeared in "The Spectator", "The Times", "Esquire", "Decanter", "Harpers Wine and Spirits weekly" and "Monocle".
In 2005, his first book Wines of Lebanon, which won the 2005 Gourmand Award for best book on New World Wine. Norbert Schiller was the photographer. His second book, Arak And Mezze: The Taste Of Lebanon is about Lebanon's national drink and what best to eat with it, was shortlisted for the Gourmand award for Best Food and Travel Book 2007. Norbert Schiller was also the photographer.
He is a contributor to the "Oxford Companion to Wine", "The World Atlas of Wine", Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book and the Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia.
He has also written "Château Ksara: 150 years of wine making 1957-2007" and in October 2010, he published Michael Karam's Lebanese Wines 2011, a pocket paperback and first comprehensive guide to all the Lebanese wines currently on the market.
In 2011, he began working with Dr Patrick McGovern from University of Pennsylvania and other experts to compile "Tears of Bacchus: A history of winemaking in the Middle East and Beyond", which was published in October 2018.
Karam is currently putting the finishing touches to "Wine and War", a feature documentary about the entrepreneurial spirit in times of war seen through the lens of Lebanon and its winemakers. The film looks at the challenges of making wine in a region that has always witnessed upheaval and yet one which around 3,500 years ago, via the Phoenician traders, gave the gift of wine to the world. The documentary charts this historical journey, focussing mainly on testimonies from winemakers and other Lebanese from latter part of the 20th Century, in particular those who endured the 1975-91 civil war and the 2006 Summer war and who continue to be affected by the ongoing conflict in neighbouring Syria and the political instability that defines Lebanon and the wider Middle East. Their astonishing stories tell of bravery, determination, and survival and how wine can be a unifier and a metaphor for life, hospitality, civilization, and above all a force for good in a region defined by turmoil and animosity.
He is married and has two children. He now lives in the UK.
- Smith, Lee (16 October 2005). "NEXT STOP: BEKAA VALLEY; Where Conflict Raged, Lebanon Now Tends Its Vineyards". New York Times. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
- iLoubnan | Michael Karam's Lebanese Wines 2011: A Comprehensive Guide