The 2019-2020 kosher wine tasting event season is upon us!
When most people think of seasons – they think of either the 4 environmental seasons, or the holiday seasons (Jewish or otherwise), and then there are the more obscure – seasons, like the kosher wine tasting season. Yes, it is a once a year season and it starts in December and goes through late March. The exact dates are mostly set now, but a few are still missing, as they depend on the Jewish Lunar calendar with the start of Passover. Yup! Passover drives the entire kosher wine tasting season – and that makes sense since 40 to 50% of ALL kosher wine sold, happens in the month around and before Passover! That is totally crazy!
Now last year I forgot to add in the Long Island Kosher Wine Expo until it was too late. They are now the start of the wine tasting season, and this year looks even better!
So, with that in mind let the festivities begin! As stated above, the first tasting is the Long Island Kosher Wine Expo, followed by the KFWE Miami, and as of last year, it has finally been “officially” added to the KFWE calendar. The KFWE family has officially expanded and subsumed what was already really KFWE events (including Israel and Miami) and now just made it official. The TRUE shocker this year is that KFWE Miami will not be held during Hannukah! Here I thought it was an actual requirement from the folks down under in Miami, I guess I must be mistaken!
KFWE – Kosher Food and Wine Experience
KFWE has been around since 2007 in NYC, and it keeps evolving and growing. Originally, the Los Angeles version was called International Food and Wine festival (IFWF) it started in 2008. It is not the oldest kosher wine tasting event, that would be the now-defunct Gotham Kosher Wine Extravaganza. Sadly, they stopped hosting those tastings, such is life, their first one was in 2004, and it ran until 2014. In 2015, the first year that the IFWF became the west coast KFWE, David Whittemore, and the gang from Herzog Winery pulled out all the stops and created what I still think was the best ever KFWE, with the first-ever VIP session, which has been copied in almost every KFWE version, and hey “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. Well, this year I hope the L.A. KFWE is back in Hollywood, at the world-famous Hollywood Palladium, a true slice of Hollywood nostalgia if there ever was one. According to Wikipedia, it is a theater located at 6215 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California. It was built in a Streamline Moderne, Art Deco style and includes an 11,200 square foot dance floor including a mezzanine and a floor level with room for up to 5,000 people. There will be little to no dancing going on or performances from world-class musicians, which is normally what happens at the venue, but instead, it will have even a larger number of wines and food options. Last year I was sad to see the L.A. KFWE move from the Petersen Automotive Museum, where it has been for two years, 2016 and 2017. However, the 2018 KFWE L.A. at the Palladium was freaking EPIC and I expect more greatness!
As I have pounded on and on in these virtual pages, we need more wine education and the wine education leader, IMHO, is also the kosher wine 800-pound guerilla, Royal Wines. Recently I did a quick check-in my mind of the top kosher wineries or kosher wine runs from around the world, and Royal probably imports about 90+% of them. Sure, there are tons of wineries that they do not import, but they are also not wines that I particularly buy and covet. It is just a very interesting fact IMHO, somewhat scary but also very telling. Here are a wine distributor and importer that gets what sells and what does not, and has successfully found the better options out there and keeps adding more.
Cross distributor tastings
The Long Island Kosher Wine Expo is actually the first of many cross-distributor wine events, and as stated above will kickoff the wine tasting season. It will showcase many wineries that do not come to other shows, like Jonathan Jadu’s wines, and a few other boutique Israeli wineries, along with many other wineries and wines from around the world!
Besides the Royal wine events – AKA KFWE, there are events in Israel, namely Sommelier, the only wine event in Israel publicizing Israel’s diverse wine culture. That happens every year in and around the month of January, as stated earlier exact dates for any of these events are only locked down a few months in advance and the date changes every year.
Israel wines may be going off the deep end, in terms of date juice and all, but Sommelier continues to do a wonderful job of keeping a continuous focus on Israel and its potential in the wine world. Bravo to them!
There is also the Bokobsa event in Paris, which I went to last year, which is NOT officially part of the KFWE family, but Royal wines are represented there as are other wineries that Bokobsa imports into France.
Royal wine imports many Bokobsa wines into the USA, but Bokobsa itself makes kosher wines (like the fantastic 2007 and 2012 Sancerre Chavignol, and the lovely 2017/2018 Fume Blanc and the unimported 2017 Pascal Bouchard Chablis, Premier Cru (wish they made a new Sancerre already), and imports wines into France as well, and they are Royal’s distributors in France. The whole kosher wine import game is what drives these events. These are importers/winemakers that need to sell product and they need to advertise what they are selling, so these events are a win-win for us all!
Besides, Sommelier, there are a couple of wine events that happen closer to Passover that is not about a single importer but rather about kosher wine options overall. These events are not as deep as the Royal or Bokobsa wine events, which will showcase almost every single wine these importers make/import. Rather, it is a curated and diverse set of wines that span across multiple importers and distributors. So, Yarden, Rashbi, and others are at these events and it gives the chance to taste other wines outside of the deep vertical shows like KFWE.
One of them is The Grapevine Wines & Spirits Grand Kosher Wine Tasting, sadly, it was called off for this year. After 7 years of this event, they will not be hosting their 8th. I hope it returns next year!
The last event of the season is always the biggest of this style, the Jewish Week Grand Wine Tasting, they will be celebrating their 11th year this coming 2020, impressive staying power indeed! Please note – that the Jewish Week Grand Wine Tasting will be taking place in a new venue this year – so please MAKE SURE to take notice of that!
Wine events happening all the time
So there you have a quick history of the wine events that are coming up. There are also a few one-off events going on in NYC (nothing happens in LA or Norcal other than KFWE). Keep an eye open for them!
I will keep updating this page – so bookmark it and I will try my best to keep it up to date!
Kosher wine tasting events this season – in chronological order:
Name: Long Island Kosher Wine Expo
When: December 3rd, 2019
Time: 6:39 PM to 9:30 PM
Where: Cradle of Aviation Museum. Garden City, New York
26 Bridge St
Brooklyn, NY 11201 United States
Link to signup or for more information: https://likosherwineexpo.com
Admission Options: $95 early bird special (until November 18th), $125 after that. The VIP is $150 (Early Bird VIP ends November 18th), after that, it is $195.
Name: KFWE Miami
When: December 11th, 2019
Time: 7 PM to 10 PM (6 PM VIP access)
Where: Turnberry Isle Miami
19999 W Country Club Dr, Aventura, FL 33180
Link to signup or for more information: http://www.kosherfoodandwinemiami.com/
Use the code elc2019 and get a $50 discount off general admission tickets.
Name: KFWE Tel Aviv
When: February 4th, 2020
Time: 4 PM until 10 PM
Where: Trask Hall, Tel Aviv, Israel
Yosef Yekuti’eli 6, תל אביב יפו
Link to signup or for more information: https://tickchak.co.il/9182
When: February 10th and 11th, 2020
Time: 11:30 AM to 6 PM Trade and 6:00 PM to 9:30 PM public
Where: Heichal HaTarbut
Huberman St 1, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
Link to more information: http://www.sommelier.co.il/sommelier/
Sign up link: https://reg.eventact.com/form?Event=imX4&c=iPQ&Form=iPnQ
Name: Bokobsa Dégustation de Vins Cachers
When: February 11th, 2020 (yes the same day as Sommelier’s second day)
Time: Trade is from 4:00 PM until 9:30 PM (public starts at 5:30 PM)
Where: Pavillon des Princes
69 Avenue de la Porte d’Auteuil, 75016 Paris, France
Link to signup or for more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/565358194031238/
Name: KFWE London
When: February 10th, 2020 (yes the same day as Sommelier’s first day)
Time: 1:00 PM to 4:30 PM for trade and 6:30 PM until 10 PM for public
Where: Sheraton Grand London Park Lane
Piccadilly, London W1J 7BX, United Kingdom
Link to signup or for more information: https://www.kfwelondon.com/
Name: KFWE NYC
When: February 17th, 2020
Time: 12PM to 4 PM trade, 5:30 PM – 9:30 PM EST (VIP is 5:30 PM, G.A. is 6:30 PM)
Where: Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers, New York, NY
Link to signup or for more information: http://thekfwe.com/ (Tickets start 12/1/2019)
Use the code RACCAH and get a $15 discount off general admission tickets and VIP
Name: KFWE LA
When: February 19th, 2020
Time: 1PM to 4PM Trade, 6:00 PM – 9:30 PM PST
Where: Hollywood Palladium (6215 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028)|
Link to signup or for more information: https://thekfwe.com/tickets-la/
Use the code MUSINGS and get a $20 discount off general admission tickets and VIP
Name: Grand Wine Tasting and Kosher Wine Guide
When: March 16th, 2020
Time: 5:00 PM for premium tasting, 6 PM to 9 PM for general admission
Where: Green Fig, at 42nd and 10th Avenue, part of Yotel NY (NOTE new location!!)
Link to signup or for more information: https://jewishweek.timesofisrael.com/wine-tasting/
Posted on November 11, 2019, in Israeli Wine, Kosher Wine, Wine, Wine Industry, Wine Tasting and tagged Bokobsa, Jewish week Grand Wine Tasting, KFWE, KFWELA, London, Long Island Kosher Wine Expo, The Grand Kosher Wine Tasting. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.