Tasting notes from the JW's oenophile, Gamliel Kronemer.

Eight (New Wines) Is Enough

'Tis the season for new kosher wines.

03/23/2015 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The best time of year for kosher wine is upon us.  It’s the two-month period when, due to Purim and Passover, demand for kosher wine is at its highest. And when young wines that were produced during the last harvest are finally ready and available. Over the past several weeks I’ve had the opportunity to taste numerous new kosher wines, and below are eight of the most interesting recent releases that should be in stores now or very soon. Prix Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, Weir Family Vineyard, MJT Block, 2009: Made by Ernie Weir of Hagafen Cellars, this very-full-boded, inky dark-garnet colored Cabernet is a blockbuster of a wine. The nose is rich and complex, with elements of cherries, cassis, plums, Seville oranges, lemon verbena and espresso. Look for flavors of cherries, cassis, plums and raspberries at the front of the palate moving to notes of mocha, Seville oranges, and cedar at the back of the palate. Well made, with good mineral content and silky tannins, this wine is ready to drink now and for the next eight years, or perhaps longer.
Score A/A- ($70. Available direct from the winery, [888] 424-2336,

New kosher wine selections are recommended choices for a seder meal.

The Great Bruts

Nine kosher sparklers for a festive season.

12/09/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

In 1904, British and French diplomats signed a series of treaties known as the Entente Cordiale. The result of years of negotiations, the pacts were meant to bring those two countries — with a centuries-long history of enmity — together into a lasting friendship. They worked. Britain and France became, and have remained, the closest of allies.

A ‘Sideways’ View Of American Pinot Noir

A decade after the Paul Giamatti film helped catapult the varietal, a sampling of five kosher versions good for the Thanksgiving table.

11/11/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Ten years ago last month, Fox Searchlight Pictures released an art house film that almost overnight became a blockbuster success (grossing $110 million, in ticket sales). The film, “Sideways,” is the story of two middle-aged men on a stag weekend in California wine country.

New Wines, Outside

Toast the harvest holiday of Sukkot with flair by laying in a stock of these new kosher wines.

09/30/2014 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

With festive eating aplenty in the offing, including as many as 22 square meals in the sukkah, what more opportune time to explore some of the new wines hitting the kosher market?

Psagot Edom 2011

A Second Temple period wine press inspires a winemaker.

06/24/2014 - 20:00
Jewish Week Online Columnists

Given the importance of wine in ancient times, it is not surprising that the writing on a clay jug fragment found in Jerusalem dating from the time of King Solomon is actually part of a wine label. University of Haifa Professor Gershon Galil believes the inscription indicated the vintage and appellation as well as quality of the wine contained within.

Psagot Edom 2011. Courtesy of Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon

Celebrate Burgundy

Drink an Israeli Chardonnay to toast Burgundy's UNESCO nod.

06/17/2014 - 20:00
Jewish Week Online Columnists

Led by the owners of two of the region’s most renowned vineyards, France’s Burgundy region has applied to become a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site. A principal aspect of their application is their long history of winemaking, which dates to the Middles Ages. Beginning in the year 910, monks classified, subdivided and named their vineyards depending upon the quality and character of the grapes and resulting wines.

Domaine du Castel “C” Chardonnay 2012

Quality Israeli Wines

Excellent vintages are showing up all over.

06/01/2014 - 20:00
Jewish Week Online Columnists

A recent visit to Israel has reaffirmed our enthusiasm for the Holy Land’s developing wine culture. New wineries seem to crop up every week, and there is a palpable sense that enjoying wine is becoming as fundamental to Israelis as their love of coffee.

While wine bars are not yet as numerous as the coffee shops, they’re certainly growing more crowded. Wine lists at restaurants are likewise ever more thoughtful, with an improving range and better alignment with chefs’ cuisine. Even wine selections in supermarkets have grown.

Courtesy of Golan Heights Winery

High-Tech Mevushal Wine

A flash-heat technology preserves grape flavor.

05/26/2014 - 20:00
Jewish Week Online Columnists

One trend that’s on an uptick in the world of kosher wines released on the US market is “mevushal,” or “cooked,” wines. These are wines that have been thermally processed in accordance with religious strictures so as to inoculate the wine from being rendered not-kosher by the handling of non-Jew or a non-Sabbath observant Jew.

Courtesy of Wally Wine

New Blend, Ancient Winery

The royal line of Abarbanel continues.

05/20/2014 - 20:00
Jewish Week Online Columnists

The Abarbanel Wine Company traces its family roots from the biblical King David to Don Isaac Abarbanel, the leader of Spanish Jewry at the time of the 1492 expulsion. Born in Lisbon, Don Isaac was a scholar, philosopher and prodigious author who also served as treasurer for the Portuguese King Alfonso V, and subsequently for the Spanish royal family. He lent large sums to the Spanish throne during their battles with the Moors, and their reluctance to repay him likely contributed to their decision to expel the Jews at the war’s end.

Courtesy of Abarbanel Wines
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