The Jerusalem Post has published an edited version of my article Wine Recommendations for Rosh Hashana.
Read the article in the Jerusalem Post.
Below is an excerpt from the article:
What’s good in Israel? Israeli wine! Wine recommendations for Rosh Hashanah
By Avi Hein, Editor-in-Chief: HaKerem: The Israeli Wine Blog
It’s not a Jewish holiday without wine. While the traditional Rosh Hashanah greeting is for a sweet new year, there’s no reason to settle for sweet wines (unless, of course, you’re pairing your wine with some sweet food like a honey cake or ice cream).
The religious commandment is to enjoy and feast. In order to truly fulfill this commandment, one should not drink any grape beverage but rather sanctify themselves with world-class wine that brings enjoyment to the drinkers.
Yatir Viognier — Yatir, one of Israel’s finest wineries, partially owned by Carmel Winery, recently received three to four stars in Hugh Johnson’s 2012 Pocket Wine Book. The Viognier is a fresh, white wine, which has tinges of autumn fruits, including citrus. The best Israeli Viognier. Yatir’s parent winery, Carmel, also makes a great Viognier in the Carmel Appellation series, a close second to Yatir’s take. NIS 75
Yatir Cabernet-Merlot-Shiraz – This blended red is full bodied and elegant. Royal purple, with deep tannins and hints of plums, berry, and cherry. Not meant to be drunk quickly but rather sipped and savored slowly, with a long finish. NIS 95
Tzora Neve Ilan –Tzora is a boutique winery in the Judean Hills, outside of Jerusalem. According to Mark Squires, who writes about wine for The Wine Advocate, “The Judean Hills is one of the most underrated wine regions in the world.” The Tzora Shoresh is also highly recommended. Both are complex and reflect the terroir-driven approach of the winemakers. NIS 134
Saslove Aviv –Saslove Winery was established in 1998 by Canadian immigrant Barry Saslove. Highly recommended include the Saslove Aviv “April,” which is a blend of 40% Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Nebiolo, 40% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and the Saslove “Marriage,” which is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Shiraz, as well as Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Nebbiolo. Saslove is kosher as of the 2010 vintage and also made a line of kosher wines under the ‘Sagol’ label. The Aviv wines retail for about 79 NIS.
Recanati Sauvignon Blanc — Recanati is one of Israel’s top value wines, with options at any level and budget. A short drive from Ra’anana and Kfar Saba, Recanati is straw in color with hints of citrus and grassy tinges, refreshing for a light meal or holiday lunch. NIS 50
The Derekh HaYayin (Wine Route) chain also has a Red and White “Special Edition” which are well recommended for about 60NIS/bottle.
Segal Dovev Argaman Red – While Argaman was the failed experiment of the Israeli wine industry, this varietal, developed by Professor Roy Spiegel in the early 1990s, Segal’s Dovev Argaman is anything but a failure and Segal’s winemaker has shown that great wine can come from this grape. The 2007 vintage won the equivalent of a Gold Medal at ‘Les Citadelles du Vins’ Competition held in Bordeaux, France. NIS 90
Barkan Superieur Cabernet Sauvignon – Varying in quality from year to year, Barkan’s Superier Cabernet Sauvignon is dark, royal purple, firm, and concentrated, with a mineral finish. NIS 180
Barkan Altitude +720 – Barkan’s Altitude is composed of grapes from a variety of altitudes in Israel, from Mitzpeh Ramon in the south to Dovev on the Lebanese border. NIS 109
Teperberg Silver Sangiovese – the only mevushal wine on this list, Teperberg is one of Israel’s oldest wineries that began making worthy table wines in the past decade. The Sangiovese, a traditional Italian grape, is perfect with pastas, brisket, and foods with deep red sauces. NIS 45
Teperberg Late Harvest Riesling – Not for Kiddush at the main meal, but rather to enjoy as an aperitif or dessert, this wine will go great with an apple and honey cake, especially if you manage to make it a la mode. Teperberg also makes a white and red moscato, for a more simple dessert wine, and the only mevushal sparkling wine in Israel. NIS 50
Best Value Wines:
Young Value Wines: Don’t want to burst your budget or just need to make it to the nearest supermarket? At or under 40NIS, try Segal Fusion series, or the Carmel Private Collection or, for a sparkling wine, Carmel’s Selected Brut. Carmel has made an amazing turn around in the past few years and the Private Collection series provides some of the best quality-for-price.
A Holiday Bonus:
Rimon Winery – not a traditional grape wine, but rather a pomegranate fruit wine. As a pomegranate is one of the major symbols of Rosh Hashanah, Rimon (which means pomegranate in Hebrew) Winery makes several dessert wines and a unique sparkling wine as well. It’s a fitting addition to any Rosh Hashanah table. NIS 66 – NIS 75
Read the rest in the Jerusalem Post