It seems like a daunting task, choosing a bottle of wine. What variety? Which region? What food to pair with your choice? And can you get something good for a reasonable price?
Buying kosher wine makes all of this even more complicated, as many stores have a limited selection and lack knowledge of quality kosher wines. Kosher wines tend to be expensive, especially from Israel where land and water are pricy, most equipment is imported and extra staff is hired to ensure that the wine is kosher.
I love to enjoy expensive kosher wines at tasting but it’s not really realistic to buy these bottles on a regular basis. (Hey, a girl can dream!) But there are still plenty of great bottles of red, white and sparkling kosher wine under $20. Here are some favorites from around the globe and what to pair with them.
Cantina Gabriele Chianti 2008
Made from Sangiovese grapes in Italy, this Chianti has an intense aroma of the earth that makes you feel like you are sitting in a villa in Tuscany. It goes perfectly with classic Italian dishes like gnocchi and ravioli and pairs surprisingly well with BBQ. It’s quite aromatic and has hints of cherry and blackberry. $14.99
Elvi Adar Brut Cava
This sparkling dry wine is from Spain and is very bubbly. It’s perfect for a special occasion toast. It carries flavors of strawberry and citrus on the palate and is produced from three local varieties: Perellada, Macabeo and Xarel-lo. It’s best to enjoy this on its own, save the mimosas for another day. $15.99
Carmel Shaal Late Harvest Gewurztraminer 2007
The grapes for this wine come from the exceptional vineyards of Shaal in the Northern Golan Heights. It is a juicy dessert wine that you can bite into and smell the litchi, ripe peaches and pineapple. Once you open the bottle, the wine will last for a couple of months in the refrigerator. Enjoy this wine dribbled on top of chocolate soufflé with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. $19.99
Teperberg Meritage 2009
This wine is a Bordeaux style blend (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc) and is ready to drink now! It holds characteristics of red berries and a bit of spice, but has a smooth finish to it. Perfect for a Shabbat dinner with friends, it pairs best with lamb, beef or a nice piece of dark chicken. $16.99
Clos de Nouys Vouvray Moelleux 2008
This wine is produced from Chenin Blanc grapes in the Vouvray region of the Loire Valley in France using sustainable agriculture techniques. A semi-sweet summer wine, it pairs well with lots of tropical fruits and can be enjoyed as an aperitif or with dessert. $18.85
Ella Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc grapes, this wine hails from the Jerusalem Hills region. It is a refreshing wine that is easy to drink but has a hint of complexity to it that makes it sing in your mouth. It’s a great accompaniment to a vegetarian meal or cheese and nuts. $19.99
Weinstock Cellar Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
This wine has a richness to it because of the late harvest in California. It holds flavors resembling black berries and tobacco and is the perfect wine to enjoy with a juicy steak or Pasta Bolognese. It’s also a great Winter wine to be enjoyed by the fire. $18.99
Barkan Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
The grapes in this wine are grown in the superb terrior of the Upper Galilee and the wine is ready to drink tonight with dinner. It was oaked for 20 months in French barrels, which brings out the dark chocolate and tobacco flavors. Enjoy it with a pasta, salmon or chicken dish. $18.99
Galil Mountain Avivim 2007
This blend of Viognier and Chardonnay grapes has a great nose of fresh pineapple and is excellent to drink on a warm summer’s day sitting on the porch or paired with a fish dish anytime during the year. The wine was fermented and aged in French barrels for nine months so it has complexity and a creaminess to it but still holds a crisp and refreshing taste. $20.99
Five Stones Shiraz 2007
This wine is from the superb area of the Margaret River region in Western Australia. It was aged in both American and French barrels so it has a balance of bold and a round tastes in your mouth. This Shiraz holds the typical pepper spice with fine tannins and red fruits. Enjoy this wine with an all BBQ fiesta! $18.49