Kosher Wine For Passover

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the PR folks for Galil Mountain Winery

Passover is just around the corner and I’m happy to have a Kosher wine recommendation for anyone who many still be looking for wines to serve. I’ve only had a few Kosher wines over my time as a [Wannabe] wino, but I understand from some of my friends that it can be difficult to find ones that are worth drinking. I believe I’ve had a few bottles from Galil Mountain Winery, and I can easily recommend that you check them out if you are in the market for either Kosher wines, or just looking to expand your wine knowledge by trying wines from Israel. We tried the 2008 Galil Mountain Viognier with our baked tilapia the other night. It retails for around $12, has a real cork closure, and clocks in at 15% alcohol by volume.

On the nose I got pear, spice, spiced pear, oak, caramel notes, and apple. But mostly pear. Lots and lots of pear. Which is kind of interesting considering on the palate I got lots and lots of apple. As well as pear, spice, toffee notes, and baking spice. The wine had crisp, clean fruit notes with the oak lending an overall creaminess to the wine and rounding out the structure nicely with the spice and toffee/caramel notes.


WBW #56 Fine Kosher Wine

That time of the month crept up on us again: Wine Blogging Wednesday! Our host this month is the Cork Dork, who chose the theme “Fine Kosher Wines” for WBW #56 in honor of Passover.  Basically, our assignment was to find any decent Kosher wine and report back by April 15, Tax Day!  You can read all the details here.  Now, up to this point, my experience with Kosher wine was limited to an affair or two with some Manischevitz! I enlisted the help of my friend Loweeel who kindly ordered and took delivery of the wine for me as I was a touch concerned about ordering it and actually being home to accept it then drink it in time for WBW with our vacation being this week!

Loweeel chose the 2005 Galil Mountain Yiron for me for this WBW. I have no idea where he got it, but with shipping and all it came to just shy of $23, had a real cork closure, and clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume. The wine hails from Galilee and is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 4% Syrah, and 2% Petit Verdot.  This is the 3rd wine I’ve ever had from Israel.

I first noted how aromatic this wine was.  I poured it into glasses about an hour before we were going to drink it, and I think it really benefited from the air time.  On the nose I found blueberries, blackberries, spice, anise, dusty chocolate, oak, flowery perfume, strawberry, and black fruit. The nose kept developing as I drank.  In the mouth I got flavors of blackberry, tart fruit, raspberry, black fruit, black plum, black cherry, pepper, and a bit of spice.

As opposed to the nose, the mouth showed almost all fruit, and none of the chocolate and anise I found on the nose.  The wine had some tannins to spare, so it’s likely this would be drinking very well in a few years, though it was very good right now!  I’d easily recommend this one.

Many thanks to Cork Dork for hosting and for picking a theme that once again got me out of my comfort zone.  I always enjoy trying new wines, which is part of the appeal of WBW to me!  As always, a virtual tip of the hat to Lenn of Lenndevours, our founding father.

Tacos and Wine=Not Good

Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Israeli Wine Direct.

Tonight I pulled out a bottle of 2006 Flam Classico from Israel that I received as a sample from Israeli Wine Direct. The wine is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot. It has a real cork closure, clocks in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, and can be purchased from Israeli Wine Direct for $24.99.

I will be the first to admit that this was not an inspired match. I served tacos for dinner, topped with sharp cheddar cheese and fresh tomatoes from my garden. So I would guess it’s probably a good thing that this wine actually needed a ton of time to open up, and I didn’t have to experience what I knew in my head was going to be a not very good food and wine pairing. I would certainly suggest opening this wine at least 2 hours before you intend to serve it and probably decanting it as well.

My first thought on sniffing this wine was funky. After two hours, it was still there, but it’s not a bad thing, it’s the funky nose I associate with Cabernet Sauvignon and a long time ago, it was something that put me off from red wines, I didn’t understand that Cabernet Sauvignon was supposed to (or could) smell that way. The nose was eucalyptus, horsey, tack room, earthy, leathery funk. It smelled like Vick’s Vapor Rub, mint, band aid, dark fruit, berries, cherries, spice, and pine tree. It’s the nose that I now really love about a Cabernet Sauvignon.

In the mouth I found cherries, plums, big juicy berries, oak, vanilla, pine tree, bitter chocolate/coffee (sometimes I have trouble distinguishing the two in wine), and black cherries. The plums stood out more than anything else in the mouth for me. Overall, the wine had a very firm structure and plenty of tannins to spare. Serve it with a big juicy steak!

Wine from Israel

*Disclaimer: I received this bottle as a sample from Israeli Wine Direct.

A trend has formed here at Wannabe Wino. In the last 20+ days I’ve only reviewed one bottle of red wine. But the weather has changed slightly and it’s not so sweltering, so in the last week, we’ve actually had 3 big red wines, a Malbec and two red blends. So fear not dear readers, I have not abandoned red wines!

However, the wine for the night was a white, a 2007 Pelter Sauvignon Blanc. The wine came from Israeli Wine Direct, a fairly new company whose mission is to import boutique wines from Israel and introduce them to US consumers. It had a real cork closure, clocked in at 13.1% alcohol by volume, and can be purchased from Israeli Wine Direct for $23.99. The winery is located in the Golan Heights, is family owned and operated, and produces about 30,000 cases of wine a year.

On the nose I found wet stone, grass, lemon grass, lemon custard, lemon drops, herbs, green apple, and peach. I realize that it sounds strange to pick out all those different lemon flavors, but I promise, they were there, and each was distinct. And my lemon drops, I mean those little yellow hard candies that used to come in tins….does anyone make those anymore? In the mouth I got flavors of lemon, green apple, peach, and pineapple. The green apple was particularly strong. I also noticed minerality running through the wine, perhaps connected to the wet stone I found on the nose.

Overall, this wine had nice acidity and good structure. It’s a completely different kind of Sauvignon Blanc than the ones I drink from New Zealand. If I had to compare it, it tastes like some of the excellent Sauvignon Blanc coming out of CA. I served the wine with fresh snow crab legs, drawn butter, and fresh lemon. A perfect match! I love Sauvignon Blanc with sea food, and this bottle had the acidity to cut through the butter and the citrus that pairs so nicely with sweet crab. I’d never had a bottle of wine from Israel before, so I was very excited to get to try this!