Latest update: November 14th, 2011
Several new wines have arrived stateside just in time for Sukkot.
There are so many wonderful things about wine. People have different palates and, therefore, prefer different wines. Each new year brings a new vintage of wines, giving the wine lover an opportunity to taste the latest version of their favorite wine. But among the most exciting occurrences for any wine lover is sampling a brand new wine.
5771 is here and with it arrive new wines from Australia, Italy, France and, of course, Israel, not to mention California in the USA.
Australia is famous for their Shiraz (elsewhere often known as Syrah). Yet for many years the kosher varieties of Shiraz available in the U.S. have typically been “value” wines, those that are nice table wines but do not quite qualify as premium and rarely garner high scores from the critics. Harkham winery is looking to change that with their Harkham Shiraz, new to the U.S. market. Keep your eyes out for this densely colored, with rich fruity and spice flavors in the bottle with the slick black and silver label.
Italy has a long history of making great wines, especially wines that go well with food. Despite this history, only a few of the best kosher Italian wines have ever found their way to the USA. Recently, however, new wineries have been contracted to produce kosher wines and the results have been clean, fresh and affordable wines that wonderfully complement cuisine.
Recently released for the first time is the Ovadia line of Italian wines. The Ovadia Chianti, priced at about $15 is a very nice example of an Italian village wine. The Ovadia Barbera d’Alba is a few dollars more and has appealing berry notes. Finally, the Ovadia Morellino di Scansano presents a wine from a lesser-known region that with its juicy fruit and fresh acidity is a great complement to meat, chicken or fish.
When people think of French wines the great Bordeaux usually come to mind. There is certainly no shortage of great red wines hailing from France, but sometimes an unexpected pleasure can be derived from wine from an unexpected source. In this case, from the Rhone region of France comes the Beaumes de Venise Muscat, a white wine that adds complexity and food friendliness to your everyday Moscato. Its balance between sweetness and acidity make the Beaumes de Venise a great pairing for salad, gefilte fish or even spicy food such as Moroccan fish or Chinese food. It of course can also be enjoyed with or in place of dessert.
Israel has been a prime player in the quality kosher wine revolution. But most of the best Israeli wines have been Cabernet Sauvignon based wines. While “Cab is king,” a little variety is always nice. Domaine Netofa is a new winery founded by the traveling kosher winemaker Pierre Miodownick. The first wine released by Netofa is a blend of Syrah and Mourvedre – a fruity, food friendly winner. Rose’ is a great Sukkos wine, given that is has the flavors to hold up to lots of food and is intended to be served chilled – perfect for an afternoon in the sukkah.
From the Yogev line is the new Malbec/Carignan Rose’ with its deep pink color and expressive notes of red berries and lavender. Barkan has released a new blend, the Barkan Classic Merlot/Argaman. Argaman is indigenous to Israel and Israeli vintners are figuring out the best way to use the grape. This is a medium bodied blend and a welcome addition to the well-priced Barkan Classic line. Finally Shiloh, a boutique winery that has previously released the cult favorite “Secret” Cabernet, come two new 100 percent varietal wines. The Shiloh Barbera has expressive fruit and a mouth-watering acidity while the Shiloh Petite Sirah is a dark wine with gripping tannins and a full body.
Not to be left out of the New Wine Party, California wineries are also constantly looking to keep “Cali”wine lovers happy with new and exciting products. Recently released is the Baron Herzog Pinot Grigio, Herzog Wine Cellars answer to the easy drinking white wine made famous in Italy. My sources tell me, however, that many new exciting wines are on the horizon as Herzog Reserve is getting ready to add to its already impressive line of premium wines with a new To Kalon wine from Sonoma’s famed Trestle Glen Vineyard, and a wine from Napa’s famed Mount Veeder.
Whatever the country and no matter the grape, this Yom Tov season make sure to take advantage of the bounty of new wines available on the market. Your taste buds won’t be disappointed.
Gary Landsman, aka the “Wine Tasting Guy,” makes, sells, writes about and, of course, tastes wine. He is presently doing PR/marketing for Royal Wine. You can contact him with any wine-related question at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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