One of my favorite things about wine tasting events or exhibitions is the fact that I get a chance to sample a variety of wines before actually purchasing them. Another advantage of attending these events is the chance one receives to meet leading winemakers, industry professionals and other wine enthusiasts, hearing first hand about new developments on the local wine scene.
Once every two years leading culinary magazines, the Israel Export Promotion Center, Haim Gan (AKA the Grape Man), The Israel Trade Fair Center and others, join forces and organize the biggest wine and alcohol event in the country (9-11 February).
What to look for at the show………
*Boutique wineries Chilag and Sea Horse have joined hands and created a special blend called "60/60" which will be launched at the exhibition. The blend consists of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Mourvedre and 5% Syrah grapes.
Since the bottled wines are still in the "bottle shock" stage, at the show visitors will be able to enjoy barrel tastings of the vino.
*Guided wine tasting sessions with Grape Man – Haim Gan. On the 10th and 11th Haim Gan and leading Israeli wine makers will guide you through the fascinating world of wine and wine tasting. For registration, please see official exhibition web site.
*Stop by the Golan Heights Winery's booth and if you're lucky, they will be pouring the recently launched Gamla Nebbiolo 2006. This is the first varietal Nebbiolo wine produced as part of the Gamla series, and while still firm it should develop nicely over the next few years. Nebbiolo - a noble Italian grape variety is used in to produce Italy's top vinos in the Piedmont and Lombardia regions.
*Carmel Winery will be launching a new blended wine at the show – Mediterranean 2007. A blend of Shiraz, Carignan, Petit Verdot, Petite Sirah and some Viognier, the wine has received excellent reviews from leading wine critic Daniel Rogov (advance tasting) and will be positioned parallel to the winery’s Limited Edition wines.
*At the Barkan booth, look for the recently launched Shiraz 07 and Pinotage 07 of the winery's reserve series. Pintoage – a South African grape variety is very versatile and is showing excellent results in Israel. Also keep your eyes open for the winery’s Altitude and Superior series.
*Binyamina's recent offerings include three reds from the winery's Avnei Hachoshen series all from the 06 vintage as well as a light and refreshing Muscato wine produced from Muscat of Alexandria grapes – nothing fancy but when served chilled on a warm afternoon – it really hits the spot.
*The Cave, a boutique winery owned by Binyamina recently launched the Cave 2006 a Bordeaux style blend of 65% Cabernet sauvignon, 33% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot. Reflecting the 24 months spent in French oak, the wine is full bodied and firm showing a variety of red & blackberry fruits, plums, dark chocolate and a hint of vanilla.
*In the import section don't pass on the Scottish Company's booth. The company imports a wide variety of excellent sparkling, red and white wines from Europe and other countries. The company also offers small bottles of Pommery Champagne (200 Ml.), an ideal solution for a romantic evening.
*Excellent value for money South African, Italian and Spanish wines can be found at Hacarem Spirits' booth. Ask for the Chardonnay – Pinot Noir from the Boschendal Wine Estate – a combination commonly seen in production of sparkling wines results in a pretty unique white wine.
*Hashaked is both an importer as well as a major distribution company of Israeli wines. Ask for the Shoresh, Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 from the Tzora Winery, 85% Cab and 15% Syrah. At a recent show, I also had a pretty good Amarone at Haskaed’s booth as well as couple of excellent Italian vinos.
Another option is the Special Reserve 2006 from Recanati (the 05 is very good as well). The Special Reserve 06 will officially be launched a few days after the event – but, hopefully we will be able to have a sneak preview.
Please note that on the 9th, the event will only be open to the professional crowd (wine stores, bars, restaurants etc.) while on the following 2 days the event will be open to the public.
For registration, tickets and additional information, please visit: http://israwinexpo-en.fairs.co.il/