Summer is upon us and unless I am sitting in an air-conditioned room or in my garden in the Judean Hills, enjoying a cool evening breeze, my wine of choice for this season will usually be white or pink and well chilled. Depending on the mood and style of the meal, I might opt for a cold beer, a refreshing shpritz or a tangy cocktail but when it is 30 degrees Celsius outside, drinking a heavy red wine simply doesn’t sound appealing. While we are seeing an increase in consumption of white wines in Israel, rose vinos are less popular and tend to be looked over by many wine consumers. In my opinion, wrongfully so.
Following are several Israeli Rose wines of different styles. These wines may not be complex and sophisticated but when serve chilled on a warm summer afternoon, they really hit the spot.
Ramat Negev, Kadesh Barnea, Rose, 2014 – 100% Cabernet Franc from the Nitzana vineyard near the border with Egypt, practically in the middle of the dessert! Off-dry, with pleasant aromas and flavors of red berry fruits, nectarines and citrus leading to a clean finish. It always amazes me that people can grow grapes in such harsh climates and also produce fine wines.
Bravdo, Rose, 2014 – 100% Merlot grapes from vineyards in Karmei Yosef, slightly watery on the palate, this Rose suggest aromas and flavors of red apples, berry fruits and a touch of black pepper on the finish.
Tabor Mountain, Adama, Rose, 2014 – produced entirely from Barbera grapes from vineyards in the western Galilee, the wine is very aromatic with pleasant notes of red berry fruits, plums and flowers with a slightly sweet after taste. On the 23rd of July at 19:30 the Tabor Mountain winery will be organizing a special culinary event with Chef Duhul Safadi of the Diana restaurant in Nazareth. Chef Safadi will prepare traditional and innovative dishes to be paired with different Tabor Mountain wines.
Dalton, Rose, 2014 - comprising Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Barbera of varying proportions, this is a semi-dry wine suggesting pleasant notes strawberries, red grapefruit and honeysuckle coming together nicely and leading to a clean well balanced finish.
Ella valley Vineyards, Ever Red, Rose, 2014 – a blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes, the wine suggests notes of red berry fruits, sour cherries, citrus and flowers coming together nicely and leading to refreshing finish.
Over the past couple of weeks, several new restaurants have opened in the Tel Area but one that I am looking forward to is Lima-Nipo that will open its doors beginning of August. Situated at 6 Rabi Tanchum by the Jaffa flea market, Lima-Nipo’s culinary style will feature an interesting combination of Peruvian and Japanese cuisines. Chef Chris Golding, formerly a Sous-Chef at the celebrated Nobu restaurant in London was brought over to build the menu and will serve as Lima-Nipo’s Executive Chef. I recently had a sneak preview to some of the dishes and many of them were delicious. Bright colors, bold flavors, excellent produce and interesting combinations of texture that provide both contrast and balance to the dishes – my favorites included a tuna tataki with a tangy citrus vinaigrette, black cod in miso (which is also one of the best sellers at Nobu), beef tataki with Japanese mustard and a black truffle mayo and seared salmon with a soy, ginger, chili marinade and glaze.
L’Chain and bon apetit!