Wine industry

French food, Israeli wine

French food and Israeli wine are not a common combination. After all, when people think Israeli wine they often (wrongly) associate it only with kosher food – thus barring wine and food combinations like mahi in a shrimp sauce with Barkan’s chardonnay. Yet, one French restaurant — TriBeCa’s Capsouto Frères is making just such a pair.

Capsouto "Very few restaurants pair French foods with Israeli wines. That’s what’s so special, it’s a unique experience," says Jacques Capsouto, co-owner of Capsouto Freres.

Yet, as part of the Zagat Presents series, they showcased just this earlier this month. But, even though that event is over, you can still find fine French fare with the unique pairing of Israeli wine year-round at this upscale New York French restaurant. This unique French restaurant has wine not only from America and, of course, France, but also features Israeli wine from Dalton, Binyamina, Margalit, Yarden, Galil Mountain, Carmel, Yatir, Castel, Recanati, and Clos de Gat on their wine list.

What are some of the recommendations?

For vegetarian bistro fare like terrine Provençal, Capsouto suggests Yarden’s Sauvignon Blanc.

The restaurateur says buyers should look for a nice fruity flavor up front, with clean and crisp textures and strong acidity.

For seafood dishes like mahi served in a shrimp sauce, Capsouto recommends Barkan’s brand chardonnay.

"Very fruity, appley. Pear, nice fruit up front, a little bit of oak, nice with the sauce," says Capsouto.

Braised meats bring medium body merlots. Capsouto praises the Benyamina winery for its fruit-forward, partially-oaked varietal and pairs it with his shoulder of beef.

For dessert, the classic apple tart tartin meets Yarden’s white Muscat from Israel’s Golan Heights.

Capsouto calls the Muscat elegant with a nice balance of acidity. He says the orange blossom, apricot and peach flavors in the wine pairs wonderfully with the fruit in the dessert.

According to the Zagat Restaurant guide, Capsouto Frères is "worth seeking out" for "classic" French bistro fare, including "sublime" soufflés." Patrons praise "friendly" staffers and a "quiet," "beautifully unstuffy room."

If you’re in New York, or never tried Israeli wine, why not try it at TriBeCa’s Capsouto Frères?

There’a  great video on the website – sorry, I can’t embed it.

  • Tzvi

    I prefer baron rothschild wine with my falafel.
    On the other hand no Israeli or french wine can compare with the aroma, texture and pleasing taste to the palate as a bottle of maneshivitz Concord grape wine made bottled feb/2009

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