While many people still associate fish and dairy dishes with white wine, these preconceptions and pairing preferences are constantly changing.
For me, it isn’t only about the specific dish I am eating but also about the setting of the meal, the ambient temperature (a hot summer afternoon or a cool evening), the humidity levels (a hot summer afternoon in Tel Aviv or a cool spring evening in Jerusalem), the style of the meal, the spiciness of the food and more. Another factor that comes into play, especially when trying to find a single bottle to accompany the meal, is to find a wine that can be more versatile and pair with several dishes.
Many considerations can impact your wine selection but the most important ones are your personal taste preference and your budget.
Following are several wine and pairing suggestions for the upcoming holiday.
Dalton, ‘D’, Pinot Gris, 2014 – one of the few, if not the only example of an Israeli varietal Pinot Gris (or Pinot Grigio as it is known in Italy) and the result is quite impressive. Aromatic (flowers, cantaloupe, peaches and warm spices come to mind), good supporting acidity and structure on the palate, come together nicely for a long and well balanced finish. The winery suggests pairing with fish or pasta in cream sauce or Mediterranean salads.
Elvi Wines, Vina Encina, Rose, 2014 – I recently came across Elvi Wines which offers kosher wines from various Spanish wine regions. This rose vino is produced from 100% Tempranillo grapes, light and clear color, suggesting notes of flowers, red apples, strawberries and a touch of spice. Try serving with bruschetta topped with grilled vegetables and olive tapenade.
Tulip Winery, White Franc, 2014 – this wine has become a cult-vino in my house and it is one of my wife’s favorites. A semi-dry blend of red and white grapes - Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc; easy drinking with only 12.7% alcohol. The wine suggests aromas and flavors of red berry fruits, strawberries, dried apples and flowers leading to a pleasant finish. Serve with fruit infused ceviche or lightly fried starters.
Golan Heights, Yarden, Odem Organic Vineyard, Chardonnay, 2012- straw with golden reflections, medium to full bodied, good texture on the palate, this Chardonnay suggests pleasant notes of melon, apples, citrus zest and a touch of spice and oak, all leading to a long and satisfying finish. The winery suggests serving with pasta in cream sauce or roasted fish with a nut-her crust.
MAIA, Mare Red, 2013 – a medium bodied blend of Carignan, Mourvedre and Syrah grapes the wine suggests aromas of ripe plums and berry fruits followed by black pepper and dry herbs all leading to clean finish. Will pair well with mushroom quiche, mushroom soup or mild goat cheeses.