Posts Tagged ‘Passover wine’

Best Bet Passover Wines – Vol 2.1

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

Ahhh…Israeli wines.  A combination of two things I most cherish (along with my wife & family of course) in this world; Israel & wine.

Working in the wine industry has afforded me many opportunities to taste wines.  In recent years however it has also prevented me from participating in wine events (such as the Gotham Kosher wine Extravaganza) in the role of wine writer as I had in previous years.  As such there may be wines I will write about strictly on how I remember them (probably previous vintages) or based recommendation from respected friends.  And further, there may be wines that I omit, as negative feelings following a break up (professional) prevents me from speaking nicely about an Ex.

Many of my favorite Israeli wines (more…)

Best Bet Passover Wines – Vol 2.0

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

I’ve been writing this blog for about 2 1/2 years now.  And the most popular post I’ve written was the Best Bet Kosher Israeli wines for Passover post in March of 2008.  since that post I’ve gained 2 years of wine wisdom and there are many new kosher wines on the market.  So with Passover a short 25 days away, I thought what better time to update this most popular of posts.

Though the Zionist in me is partial to Israeli wines, the reality is that there are some sub-par Israeli wines and some excellent wines being produced in other regions of the world.  So we’ll expand this version to include the best kosher wines from throughout the world.

Lets start in Argentina, where Baron Benjamin Rothschild is producing Malbec under the Flechas de Los Andes label.  There is a non-kosher version of this wine that is very popular and can be found in stores all over.  The kosher version ($25-30) was made in much smaller quantities and is (more…)

“Mevushal” or Flash pasteurized wine

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Working with Israeli wines, most of them kosher certified, I often hear the question; “what makes a wine kosher?”.

Without getting into too many of the details, I explain that it can not contain an ingredient (gelatin or isinglass) sometimes used in the fining (removing particles) of wine.  And it must be made (actually handled) by a sabbath observant Jew.

Another question that inevitably arises relates to a process known as “mevushal” or flash pasteurized.  This is a process whereby the wine (or often the juice pre- fermentation) is quickly brought up in temperature to around 180 degrees F and then (usually) quickly cooled.

Wines that have gone through this process can be handled by Jew & Gentile alike and still maintain their kosher status, whereas non-mevushal wines can not be handled by non-Jews lest they risk losing their status as kosher.  I find this practice to be highly offensive and will refrain from further comment.  Amongst the reasons for said practice dates back to pagan rituals/libations done over wine, but only wine that had NOT been boiled.  As such the rabbi’s decreed that all kosher wine be boiled so that Jews would not use pagan wine for their own sacramental purposes.

Many of the better kosher wines today do NOT undergo this flash pasteurization for fear of damaging the wine.  And many wine critics believe that the heating of the wine leads to cooked fruit flavors (rather than fresh fruit flavors) and also prevents the wine from aging gracefully as many “mevushal” wines tend to deteriorate within a few years of their vintage date.

I bring this up as I learned something new about flash pasteurized wine today.  I found an article written by Bill Zacharkiw in The Montreal Gazette whereby Zacharkiw states “The first time I came across the technique of “flash pasteurization” was when I talked with Tomas Perrin of Château Beaucastel, whose Châteauneuf-du-Pape … (is) considered by many … as … the world’s best.

Beaucastel wines undergo a heating process similar to mevushal wines.

Perrin…believes that by quickly heating and then cooling the grapes, the delicate flavors and aromas are more easily extracted from the grape skins, without all the astringent tannins. Also, this type of pasteurization helps protect the wine from premature oxidation, which means fewer sulphites need to be used.”

Interesting huh?

Happy (dare I say) mevushal wine tasting!


Passover wines article

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

My first article about Passover wine recommendations has been posted.  I wrote this article for the Jewish Press and it focuses on blends, or wines made from more than 1 varietal.  You can go to the article here.

I will write my annual Pessach/Passover wine recommendations piece this week.  Stay tuned…

Happy pre-Passover wine tasting (while you clean)…


pre-Passover wine tastings

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

So the blog header is NEW!  What do you think?  I have been encouraged to further tweak it, but I kinda like it…

I want to write REAL QUICKLY today about the madness that has become pre-Passover wine shopping.  It is said that over 50% of kosher wines consumed throughout the entire year is purchased in the 2-3 weeks leading up to Passover.  What wines should you drink this holiday?

Yeah, of course it would be nice if we could all drink Katzrin.  Sadly the $150 Katzrin Red, a Bordeux style blend, is out of the price range for most of us.

I WILL be putting together my Wines for Passover post within the next few days (to supplement an article I recently wrote for a paper about Passover wines).  But what I want to write about tonight is something I feel strongly that more of YOU should be doing.  You should be attending one of  the amazing FREE or VERY reasonable priced wine tastings taking place this month.  I have already poured wine at several such events and my schedule for the next 2 weeks (leading up to the first seder) is NUTS.  I have a different tasting throughout NYC (and Brooklyn) nearly EVERY NIGHT.

PLEEEASE, feel free to send me a note and ask about a tasting in your area.  I’ll be happy to tell you about one I’ll be pouring at or direct you to another I may be aware of.

I state this so emphatically as; the best way to BUY wine is to first TRY wine.

I can tell you about wines that I like but you may not like the same wines.

Again, for those of you who are OH SO BUSY and can not attend a FUN and educational event, I will be writing a post with some suggestions.  But for the rest of you, GO ATTEND a pre-Passover wine tasting.  You will have fun and learn something too.  And the best part, is that you will be assured to find a wine that you will enjoy at your Passover seder.

Happy pre-Passover Wine Tasting!