Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fine Kosher Wine from Israel – Wine Blogging Wednesday #56

Welcome to the next Wine Blogging Wednesday installment! Our host today is The Cork Dork who has chosen Fine Kosher Wine for Passover. The challenge is to find a fine kosher wine to report back on.

This is an easier challenge than most people think. Easier for me since I know the PR people for Yarden Inc. but I still think that it would be hard to find a few good bottles of delicious kosher wine.

As my mother would say, what about wine is not kosher? In order to be considered kosher, a Sabbath-observant Jew, starting at the harvest of the grapes and continuing throughout the entire winemaking process, must handle the wine.

There is another process of making a wine kosher called mevushal, which means, “cooked” or “boiled.” Literally, the wines are flash pasteurized, causing the juice of the grapes to simmer or boil. The process is not supposed to have an effect on the flavor of the wine, but most wine drinkers do not particularly care for the results. I honestly cannot weight in since I cannot remember having a wine that was made mevushal.

My choice for this WBW was the 2006 Galil Mountain Barbera from the Upper Galilee in Israel. The mountains of the Upper Galilee rise to heights over 3,000 feet, allowing for cooler temperatures in what would otherwise be an area too hot for grape-growing.

Galil Mountain Winery is a joint venture of Golan Heights Winery and Kibbutz Yiron. The winery has five vineyards in the Upper Galilee Mountains, each with a different microclimate determined by the soil and their elevation on the mountain. With so many different climates available, the winery can make a large variety of grapes.

The wine was great! Even after the few years that I have been tasting wines and armed with the knowledge that you need to taste a wine before writing it off, I was still really surprised by how much I enjoyed this wine. It had that wonderful easy drinking quality that I love from a Barbera, while still showing plenty of flavor. The color was a light ruby. There was liveliness to it that I cannot really describe, with great bursts of cherry and rich wildberries. So bright and juicy that I would have felt more than comfortable opening this wine at an outdoor picnic.

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