White Wines for the Holidays

"Another one of my favorites is Tzora’s “Or” dessert wine, try serving it with a ripe peach tart and see if your feelings towards dessert wine remain the same…." Yonatan Sternberg guides us through the best Israeli white's for every pocketbook.

If I thought that last weeks article might encourage fewer phone calls from people seeking wine recommendations, boy was I wrong. With the phone still ringing off the hook and my blood pressure rising, I decided that it was time to turn off my cell phone, uncork a chilled bottle of white and prepare this week’s article.

As I mentioned last week, budget is often a salient factor when going wine shopping. Many can't afford to splurge on a bottle of Chablis when they are in the mood for a good bottle of wine. To this end, this week's white wine recommendations are listed by price range.

33-48 NIS
Dalton, Reserve, Marom Galil, Sauvignon Blanc, 2007
Light straw with golden and green reflections, this white is showing typical Sauvignon Blanc characteristics including: refreshing tropical fruits, grassy aromas and a hint of lemon zest.

Golan Heights, Yarden, Sauvignon Blanc, 2006
This refreshing white offers lovely floral and fruity aromas, particularly: green apple and lemon. Similar to other typical Sauvignon Blanc’s, the wine is also showing plenty of spices and a touch of grass.

48-70 NIS
Golan Heights, Yarden, Odem Organic Vineyard, Chardonnay, 2005
Medium to full bodied and offering a creamy almost buttery sensation on the palate, this Chardonnay is showing white floral aromas along with pears, citrus zest and a touch of spice, all leading to a long and satisfying finish.

Yatir, Viognier, 2007
This refreshing white is of medium body and gives off lovely aromas and flavors of white flowers, ripe pears and a touch of green melon leading to a well balanced finish.

70-100 NIS
At this price range, I would recommend trying a quality dessert wine. Most people feel that a sweet dessert wine isn’t really considered a wine, but rather some other alcoholic beverage.

Personally I feel that a glass of dessert wine is always a great way to end the meal. Among my favorite Israeli wines are Carmel’s Single Vineyard Sha’al, Gewurztraminer, Late Harvest or the excellent “Heights Wine” by Yarden. Another one of my favorites is Tzora’s “Or” dessert wine, try serving it with a ripe peach tart and see if your feelings towards dessert wine remain the same.

100 + NIS
At these prices one can choose from excellent imported wine or indulge on the top whites offered by Israeli wineries. One of my favorite top range Israeli white's is:

Castel, “C”, Chardonnay, 2006
Bright gold and full bodied, this Chardonnay is showing concentrated aromas of pears, apples spices and wood (due to the 12 months in French oak). This well balanced wine offers a long and satisfying finish leaving a pleasant creamy sensation on the palate.