As I write this, the war is still going on. Klal Yisrael has responded with an outpouring of support — including drinking and eating more Israeli wine and food products.
Adam Montefiore, the wine writer for “The Jerusalem Post,” recently published a letter calling for support for Israeli wineries; Israelis aren’t drinking much wine in these difficult times.
This Chanukah, we need to warm up our soul and mood. In our tradition, wine symbolizes celebration for the Jewish people. But the Torah also tells us that wine gladdens our hearts, triggering us to feel happy.
May these wines chase away the darkness and contribute to a joyous celebration of Chanukah!
Razi’el, Blanc de Blancs, Brut, NV: For over 25 years, the Ben Zaken family has been producing excellent Bordeaux-style reds and Burgundy-style Chardonnay from grapes grown in their Judean Hills vineyards. Razi’el, the family’s new winery, explores different styles of wine, also inspired by French regions. This Blanc de Blancs is a complex Champagne-method sparkling wine, with a medium-to-full body and deep flavors of fresh brioche, lemon zest, and green apple.
Yatir, Creek White, 2020: This dry white blend highlights the amazing potential the Yatir Forest terroir has created for grape growing. Medium in body and with refreshing acidity, it shows nice viscosity with notes of pear, lime, quince, and almonds.
Herzog, Special Reserve, Quartet, 2021: This blend of four grape varieties that changes every vintage displays the harmony achieved in the California wine country. The Petite Sirah takes the lead, with flavors of ripe blueberries, roasted herbs, and freshly cracked pepper, alongside notes of baker’s chocolate on the finish.
Shiloh, Secret Reserve, Cabernet Franc, 2020: Made with ripe Cabernet Franc grapes from the Judean Hills by the great Amichai Lurie, Shiloh’s general manager and winemaker, in collaboration with famed singer Gad Elbaz. The nose shows distinct aromas of ripe plums, black cherries, vanilla, and toasted oak. Medium to full-bodied, showing mouth-filling flavors of sweet blackberries and cherries, hints of oak, and vanilla with touches of roasted coffee beans.
Bin Nun, Cuvée, 2020: From Bin Nun, a charming boutique winery near Modi’in, this classic Merlot-based Bordeaux-style blend with deep ruby color has notes of ripe blackberry and raspberry, and hints of vanilla and pine needles. It is ripe, concentrated, and full-flavored, with medium acidity and nearly sweet, gripping tannins.
Chag Chanukah sameach.