Holiday Vinos

Choosing the right wine to serve at the holiday meal can often be a tricky task. Year after year wineries and beverage stores bombard us with specials that are hard to resist, dozens of new wines are released to the market and the selection of imported wines is also on the rise.

Following are several holiday red wine suggestions which will hopefully meet every pocket and every palate:

Galilee Mountain, Shiraz, 2009 – Produced from 100% Shiraz grapes from vineyards in the Upper Galilee, the wine is bright purple in color, offering aromas of dark berry fruits, plums and slight earthy notes. The winery recommends serving this Shiraz alongside grilled cuts of beef and grilled kebabs. ~ NIS 35 -40.

Recanati, Shiraz, 2009 – Medium-bodied with soft tannins, the wine offers pleasant aromas of purple flowers followed by ripe black berry fruit, dark chocolate and a touch of vanilla. The winery recommends serving the wine alongside roasted meat dishes or piquant cheese. ~ NIS 55.

Barkan, Pinotage, Reserve, 2008 – One of the few varietal Pinotage ( a South African grape variety transplanted to Israel) wines produced by an Israeli winery, the wine is medium to full-bodied, offering concentrated aromas of ripe red and black berry fruits, roasted coffee and vanilla. ~ NIS 55

Yaffo Winery, Merlot - Syrah, 2008 – A blend of 70% Merlot from vineyards in the Ella Valley and 30% Syrah from vineyards situated adjacent to the Shoresh Moshav, the wine was aged for 13 months in both French and American oak barrels. Medium bodied, with a pleasant balancing acidity, the wine suggests aromas of both red and black berry fruits, flowers, herbs and mild oak all leading to a long finish. In my opinion, it can go well with soft goat cheeses or a juicy sirloin steak. ~ NIS 110.

Bravdo, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008 – Produced using 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot grapes; the wine was aged for 12 months in both French and American oak barrels. Full bodied, the Bravdo Cab offers generous aromas of black berry fruit, sweet oak and ripe plums followed by slight peppery notes, herbs and dark chocolate. ~ NIS 120

Golan Heights, Cabernet Sauvignon, Yarden, 2007 – A staple in the Golan Heights' portfolio, this is the 25th consecutive year in which the Yarden Cabernet Sauvignon has been produced. Using 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and aged for 18 months in barriques, the wine is medium to full bodied, and while still firm, offers layered aromas of black berry fruits, ripe cherries, plums and touch of herbs all leading to a long finish. The winery suggests serving the Yarden Cab alongside roasted lamb dishes or classic Beef bourguignon. ~ NIS 120.

L'chaim and Chag Sameac