Title: The Kosher Grapevine: Exploring the World of Wine
Author: Irving Langer
Amusing as it is to read a book about wine from a publisher named Gefen, The Kosher Grapevine: Exploring the World of Wine warrants attention.
Many kosher wine drinkers lack what wine connoisseurs know: a knowledge of the history of grapes, how they’re grown, and the seasons best for buying them. It’s not enough to stick with the same old stuff you’ve always enjoyed or simply to buy what someone recommends. Knowledge lets wine drinkers explore and buy wine on their own.
An overview to the kosher wine-making industry’s information is presented by the late Daniel Rogov, in the introduction. Kosher Grapevine’s author Irving Langer augments the education with his own look at wine making plus the nature of the storage barrels used to age wines for taste perfection. Langer also teaches the surprisingly little-known but only correct technique for holding a glass of wine. He didn’t expound, though, on the meaning of a given wine bottle’s appearance. The color, neck, shoulders and shape of the bottle indicate the nature of a particular wine, cluing purchasers in to its sensory potentials.
The rest of the book holds historic tales of Jewish facts, figures and history, a few jokes and lovely photographs, plus advice on how to pair wines with specific foods. Non-Jewish and new-to-observant Judaism adherents can benefit from the Hebrew/English glossary that clues readers in to tenets of Jewish life and law.
Gedalya Persky, a co-owner of Israel’s HaMartaf shop that sells wines, whiskies and beers, comments, “The section on how to taste wines is well done. Facts about the Gemara and minhagim (Jewish customs) round out the book. It’s a nice start for beginners.”
The Kosher Grapevine: Exploring the World of Wine will enhance a reader’s growing appreciation for wine-making’s technicalities. Add this hardcover coffee table-sized book to your reading list and see what it does for your wine-drinking experience.
Yocheved Golani is the author of “It’s MY Crisis! And I’ll Cry If I Need To: EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge.”