Festive holiday meals are always excellent opportunities to sample a variety of wines. Traditionally, Shavuot is considered as the ‘dairy’ holiday and most people prefer to serve creative dairy meals with fish, quiches, pasta and cheeses being the bon ton. As such, and with the warm weather that usually comes about this time of year, chilled white wines are often served on this holiday. Nevertheless, you do not have to limit yourself to white or rose vinos alone. Light, fruity red wines will do the trick as well, and depending on the cheese or sauce used in the dish, they may even be a better pick than the white counterpart.
Following are several Shavuot wine suggestions:
Tabor, Adama-Gir, Sauvignon Blanc, 2011 – over the past few years, Tabor’s Sauvignon Blanc Gir has been one of the better wines in its category. Light, fresh, crisp with generous aromas and flavors of tropical fruits, lemon, yellow grapefruit all coming together nicely and leading to a clean finish.
Assaf Winery, Sauvignon Blanc, 2011 – 100% Sauvignon Blanc grapes, deep straw with golden reflection, on the nose and palate pleasant notes of citrus zest, freshly cut grass, green melon and tropical fruit, good balancing acidity and a clean finish. Overall, a very enjoyable wine.
Golan Heights, Yarden, Gewürztraminer, 2011 – 100% Gewürztraminer grapes from vineyards situated in the Golan Heights, the wine is showing generous typical varietal aromas and flavors, including white flowers, lychee, tangy passion fruit and warm spices leading to a pleasant finish. Serve chilled, and if you leave the bottle out, use an ice bucket, as the wine warms up in the glass and a slight alcoholic sensation becomes evident.
Dalton, 'D', Fume Blanc – 100% Sauvignon Blanc originating from five different plots in the Ben Zimra and Safsufa area (Upper Galilee). With some of the wine developing in oak and the balance in stainless steel vats, the result is quite interesting. Medium bodied, with good fruit (pears, melon, lemon zest) and pleasant hints of toasted oak all leading to a clean finish. Very different when compared to the winery’s ‘regular’ Sauvignon Blanc, and in my opinion definitely worth a try.
Teperberg, Reserve, Chardonnay, 2009 – Over the past couple of years, Teperberg has been offering very enjoyable wines in all price categories, with very good quality particularly in their Reserve and Terra labels. 100% Chardonnay grapes, deep gold in color, medium bodied, a bit creamy on the palate suggesting generous notes of green apples, melon, pineapples and warm spices (cloves came to mind) leading to a long finish.
Faustino, Rioja, Crianza, 2008 – Rioja wines are known for their fruity character but are also considered as wines that often offer very good value for money ratio. Faustino, imported to Israel by the Shaked Brothers is one of the most important and well known wineries in the region. During the month of May, the Shaked Brothers will be offering various specials on Faustino vinos. I recently sampled the Crianza 08 and found it quite enjoyable. Based on 100% Tempranillo grapes the wine is medium bodied with generous, slightly jammy black berry fruits, plums, followed by dry herbs and toasted oak leading to a medium length finish. The winery’s Faustino VII is now selling at 3 for NIS 100 and also offers pretty good value for money. Both aren’t ‘big wines’ but are quite enjoyable table wines. – Not Kosher
Galil Mountain, Galil, Alon, 2009 –The Alon blend comprises Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot grapes. Bright purple in color, full bodied, the wine is rather fruit forward, opening in the glass with concentrated slightly jammy aromas and flavors of red cherries, ripe plums and blueberries followed by notes of dried herbs, sweet coffee, cloves and toasted oak leading to a mouth-filling finish.