Pairing Suggestions for the Holiday

The following wines are all selling for NIS 85 or less

Choosing the right wine for a festive holiday meal is often a tricky task. Which wine goes with which dish? Sure there are rules of thumb but at the end of the day it is a matter of personal taste. Personally, when hosting a big meal, after the first round of tasting the wines, I try to leave 2 or 3 different bottles of wine on the table allowing each guest to mix and match as they choose.

When shopping for wine, price and the constant search for wines that offer “value for money” are often important, if not salient factors. With this in mind, the following wines are all selling for NIS 85 or less, and some of the wine stores that I have visited have very attractive sales.

Golan Heights, Gamla Hashmura, Rose, 2013 – produced from Syrah, this is a dry and refreshing rose with pleasant notes of red berry fruits, apples and blood orange leading to a clean finish. The wine will pair well with piquant ceviche or a more traditional Moroccan fish in red sauce. NIS 59

Teperberg, Reserve, Chardonnay, 2013 – 100% Chardonnay grapes from the Ayalon valley, light gold in color, the wine is medium bodied suggesting aromas of green melons, apples and lemon zest followed by notes of vanilla and toasted oak leading to a medium-long finish . Pair with roasted chicken or turkey or fish in butter and herb sauce. NIS 59

Galilee Mountain, Ela, 2012 - The Ela is a red blend with Syrah as the back-bone and the balance made up of Barbera and Petit Verdot grapes. Dark ruby in color, generous slightly jammy aromas and flavors of red berry fruits, cherries and plums followed by notes of toasted oak and black pepper leading to a pleasant finish. Pair with grilled well-seasoned lamb dishes or pasts with ragu. NIS 65

Barkan, Assemblage, Tzafit, 2011 – an off the beaten track blend of Marselan, Pinotage, Caladoc and Carignan grapes of varying proportions. The result is a medium bodied wine, bright ruby in color suggesting very pleasant aromas and flavors that bring to mind ripe red and black fruits, warm spices, flowers, roasted coffee and fresh herbs coming together nicely and leading to a long finish. Pair with a goat cheese quiche or grilled lean cuts of meat. NIS 85

Carmel Winery, Carmel Vineyards, Petite Sirah, 2010 – not sure if Carmel is using the same vineyards that were used to produce the Petite Sirah from the winery’s appellation label (which was one of my favorites) but the result here is very enjoyable as well. A full bodied wine with notes of dark berry fruits, anise, leather and black pepper leading to a pleasant finish. Serve with meat based cold cuts, grilled sausage or rich stew with meat and root vegetables. NIS 85