Wine Talk

Snooth User: amour

Kosher Wines Anyone?

Posted by amour, May 23, 2012.

Just got introduced to Rogov's Guide To Israeli and World Kosher Wines.

Rogov is well respected and wrote for Halaretz, a leading Jewish newspaper.

The book was suggested by Serena Sutcliffe, Director of Sotheby's Wine Department.

Just wanted to share the book with Snoothers and to encourage a discussion on

the best of the best in Kosher wines at the moment, in particular Israeli wines.

Because I appreciate the sweet in wine, I am a great fan of  some common Kosher wines,

when appropriately paired with charred meats.

Any really mouth-watering experiences out there?



Reply by outthere, May 23, 2012.

Any really mouth-watering experiences outthere?

Many but I have not had a kosher wine before ;-)

Reply by dmcker, May 23, 2012.

Don't worry, outthere, we'e not talking Mogen David!


Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, May 23, 2012.

Nice to see Amour!

It's been very long. Nice to see you back here. Can't help much with Kosher wines, but Rogov knows his stuff. And about that pairing, I just commented in today's newsletter about pairing charry wines with sweetish reds. A fine pairing indeed.

Reply by amour, May 24, 2012.

Thanks!  I am sure that this thread will move beyond MAD DOG 20/20!

Gregory, I honestly think that you and your team have done/are doing many exciting things to the site.

I love my Snooth outings!

Reply by amour, May 24, 2012.

Segal, unfiltered Cabernet Sauvignon 2007....I have been told that this is great for cellaring a few more years.

I tasted sweet blackberry, some spicy oak and rich dark chocolate.

If you are looking for very full-bodied Kosher...this is it!

Reply by Richard Foxall, May 30, 2012.

Timing is kind of off:  Kosher wine season is Passover, when Jews have to drink four cups of wine at Seder.  My mother in law keeps kosher (I'm a goy, married in, not converted and my wife doesn't keep kosher at all), so when she came, we kept as kosher as we could.  We actually did our research here at Snooth--GdP, don't you remeber writing that?--but availability was an issue. Kosher wines have been pretty dreadful until recently, and even now the selection is spotty.

We had a good, dry white from Sion Creek, from grapes grown in the Golan Heights.  I would drink it again if it was offered, but there are better deals in non-Kosher wine, so not likely I would re-purchase.

Of course, wine does NOT have to be grown in Israel to be Kosher and we had a kosher Rioja as well.  It was not bad, but easily the blandest Rioja I have ever had and not a good value. My wife did not like it a bit.

One general piece of advice:  Avoid wines that are Mevushal--that means they have been boiled and unless you are ultra Orthodox or very concerned about idolaters handling your wine, it's not important. Boiling, we can agree, is not good for wine.

Final story:  We went to visit my mother in law one time and she knows I like wine.  She does not drink at all except for religious purposes. Even then, I think she doesn't actually drink it, only holds the glass up to her lips. She pointed out several bottles of wine--mostly Chianti Classicos for some reason--that people had given her and said I should avail myself of them during the visit.  She said, "These were given to me by people who came over.  They knew I keep kosher.  I don't know why they gave me these non-kosher wines."  I said under my breath, "Because they like you."  Then I shrugged, thanked her for the wine, and enjoyed some pretty decent vino for the rest of the trip. Later I found bottles of wine from when her husband was alive--he died in 1987--down in the basement.  Some pretty decent bottles of white from the Loire were among them.  I cannot imagine any of them are drinkable now, given the storage conditions, but I may get the courage to try them next time I'm there.  If I do, I'll post with photos.

Reply by dmcker, May 30, 2012.

Definitely dig into that cellar. Might find some shiny nuggets! Always love that type of find--the kind of experience that makes wine prospecting so much fun...

Reply by Richard Foxall, May 31, 2012.

Wouldn't call it a cellar.  My wife's father, by her account, was a hot dog and a beer guy.  More like a cardboard box that was neglected.  It's possible that the temps down there have not cooked the wine--none of the corks were pushed out, and I recall the fill levels looked okay.  It's an old fashioned, Levittown-style house with a semi-finished basement.  Probably never got too cold, but not air conditioned in the summer (the living areas are, so maybe a little cold settled in).

It's sad kosher wine has taken so long to progress even to the point it has reached now, which is better but far from where it could be.  There's really no good reason except market expectations and the fact that, like many forms of protected commerce, it's hard to break the stranglehold of mediocrity or worse. Since we don't keep kosher, and hardly anyone we know does (even the few who do make an exception for wine the rest of the time), the incentive to make good wine continues to drop.  My wife and I have no plans to visit Israel, but I would be interested to hear what kinds of wine are available there, kosher or not?  No reason Israel can't produce good wine--after all, Chateau Musar in Lebanon produces terrific wines.  (Served at Commis in Oakland, which is where I've had them.)

Reply by dmcker, May 31, 2012.

Sounds like some of those wines in your mother-in-law's basement may be just fine. Definitely put them through their paces and don't let them laze around down their much longer, forgotten and neglected!

In another thread I mentioned the Yarden label of the Golan Heights Winery. I've had kosher chards and merlots and syrahs from them that were far more than merely drinkable. Won't break the bank, either. Last I knew they had a CA-born winemaker, who trained at Davis and later Mondavi.

From the Galilee up into the Golan Heights is utterly gorgeous. Leaving aside political issues, it and Jerusalem and even the coast around Tel Aviv (and the diving down around Eilat) are well worth a visit some time.

Reply by Zaffiro, May 31, 2012.

FYI, Daniel Rogov passed away last year.

Reply by amour, Jun 1, 2012.

dmcker, thanks for your offering....what would a thread be sans your involvement!

I was hoping that someone would discuss CLAY FILTRATION. Does anyone have a comment on that point?

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