When the weather (finally!) turns warm, we start to think about—and drink—rosé. Combining the refreshing qualities of a white wine with the fruity flavors found in red wine, rosés are remarkably food friendly, typically pairing well with spring and summer fare. Most rosés are light and easy drinking, best served when young and very chilled. But when we’re in the mood for a more complex and richer rosé, we often reach for one from Tavel.
Carmel, the award-winning Israeli winery founded in 1882, has brought its popular line of Carmel Selected mevushal wines to the U.S. Already Israel’s biggest-selling brand, the line is available in three varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon; Sauvignon Blanc; and a Riesling/Chenin Blanc Blend. Priced at $10.99 and under, the bottles are also a budget-friendly offering.
For the kosher wine industry, the lead-up to Passover is what the run-up to New Year’s Eve is for the sparkling wine industry — a time of big sales and bigger hype. Not surprisingly, this is also the time of year when the greatest number of new kosher wines hit the market.
It’s sometimes said that the first person to eat a tomato was the bravest person in culinary history: same goes for the first person to milk a cow, and the first to chow down on raw fish. In the world of wine, there’s a similar origin myth: the first winemaker to use grapes infected by fungus. No one knows for sure when the practice first began, but the first clear mention of wine made from fungus-infected grapes dates to around 1576.
One question we get asked about wine is, “Is it worth the money?”
Worth, like beauty, is subjective. Indeed, asking the “worth” question is really another way of asking, “Is it worth it to you?” It’s clear, though, that what people really mean when they ask this question is, “Do you think this is worth it to me?” So how does one begin to answer that?
When it comes to victory celebrations, the ubiquitous wine of choice is Champagne, that almost magical sparkler from Northern France. At sporting events, winners drink Champagne from trophies. Ship captains launch their vessels by smashing a bottle on the prow. In military messes, officers have long quaffed the bubbly to celebrate victories old, new and not yet won.
Pinot noir can drive winemakers mad. It’s difficult to grow and vinify, temperamental in the barrel and prone to closing down in the bottle for years before becoming drinkable again. But these challenges seem to inspire, rather than inhibit, winemakers who consider crafting a pinot noir the pinnacle of their profession.
One of the more difficult aspects of winemaking is creating a blend. It requires the ability to predict how a very young wine will evolve, as well as knowing which additional varietals will enhance the finished product. Since the bottle might not be ready to drink for years after the vintage is harvested, a finely crafted blended wine is a true testimony to a winemaker’s skill and experience.
Chanukah and Thanksgiving are both holidays in which food — latkes for Chanukah and roast turkey for Thanksgiving — is a significant part of the celebration. For the first time in 115 years, and for only the third time since President Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863, Thanksgiving will occur during the eight days of Chanukah. So for many American Jews, a meal combining fried latkes and “turkey with all the fixin’s” will be an absolute must for dinner on Thursday, Nov. 28.