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New Kosher Wines for the New Jewish Year

Several new wines have arrived stateside just in time for Rosh Hashana & Succot.

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 a
brand new wine to sample.

5771 is almost here and with it arrives new wines from Australia, Italy, France
and of course Israel, not to mention California.

Australia is famous for their Shiraz (elsewhere often known as Syrah). Yet for
many years the kosher Shiraz available in the US 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 US market. Densely colored with rich
fruit flavors and spice, keep your eye out for this 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 stateside. Recently however new wineries have been contracted
to produce kosher wines and the results have been clean, fresh and affordable
wines that wonderfully compliment 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 characteristics. 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 compliment 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 where one least
expects it. 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 every day 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 Succos 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 succah.
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% 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,
a wine from Sonoma’s famed Trestle Glen Vineyard, and a wine from Napa’s
famed Mt 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. Presently doing PR/Marketing work for Royal Wines, you can contact Gary with any wine
related questions at