2019 kosher wine year in review, Taxes, Tariffs, and more
Well, it is another Gregorian year and though there have been many new things going on in the world of the kosher wine world, with European Wine Tariffs maybe being the biggest of them. Still, maybe even bigger, is that for ONCE we have finally had some movement on my yearly and unchanged list of issues in the kosher wine industry. Maybe someone is listening.
First, let us do a quick recap of last year’s issues and the state of them, and then a few new things to think about as well!
We have too much wine out there for the official kosher wine buying populace. How do I know this? Because the amount of wine being dumped on the non-kosher market for a pittance in countries that no one visits is absurd! Wine is being dumped all over the place, and it is not going to get better anytime soon. Why? Because wineries are still popping up all over the place, and they are making really average wine at best!
Which brings me to the same issue, but in more detail. We have lots of horrible wine out there. Yes, I know I am a broken record, get over it. The kosher wine market in Israel and California needs to get better at making wines for a decent price. But I would be happy with just good wine – for a not decent price.
Again, besides the price, the overall quality of the wines is just not acceptable. The good news is we have lots of wine, but sadly the quality is not there. We need to raise the quality and then work on lowering the price.
State after 2019 of the Economics of kosher wine
Nothing has changed here. Israel is even worse than it was in 2017. Red wines from Israel were undrinkable last year, (with maybe one exception), and the white wines were boring for the vast majority, including roses. Truly, the 2018 vintage for Israel was a major bust, other than the few good wineries.
I will say that Herzog has stepped up its game. While 2015 Herzog Cabernets were boring, 2016 Herzogs were really nice. Four Gates is always the same – mostly great wines with a mix of a few misses. Shirah Winery and Hajdu Winery have both moved to the darker side, with riper and more fruit-forward wines that are not as unique as they used to be, making them less interesting to me. Thankfully, Shirah made some great white wines last year that was nice! Hagafen Winery continues to make the lovely Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and sparkling wines, but all the red wines are a waste of time. Covenant Winery has been making Cabernet Sauvignon for 17 years now, and Chardonnay for 12 years and they are consistently on my list of top best wines for Passover, the hits keep coming! Still, overall even within California, there is a lot of work to be done in regard to improving the quality and the prices.
Personally, California is backsliding, mostly because Shirah and Hajdu have not been making the same level of red wines as they have in the past. Throw in Hagafen’s total disregard for anything red and well all you have left is a few nice Herzog Cabernets, Four Gates, and Covenant Cabernets as well. Though, Kos Yeshuos is helping.
Europe is mostly a push. There are tons of bad wines coming from France, Italy, Spain, and elsewhere. In the past few years, I have been saying France needs no help, but that is not true! France is pumping out loads of useless garbage, we are just blessed with having the famous French wines that are really nice. Look at the disastrous tasting I had with Nathan Grandjean and Avi Davidowitz last year, and you can see that France is also not doing great, and those were handpicked wines!
Italy could use better options outside of Terra de Seta! Sadly, Capcanes has gone to the dark side as well. There is a new winemaker, and so far the wines are clearly riper, and less balanced than previous vintages. 2015, 2016. 2017, and 2018 vintages all show a wine style that is in your face and so foreign to what Capcanes was until 2015. A truly huge loss for the kosher wine market, IMHO. Thankfully, we have Elvi Wines, which is showing far more control and I am waiting to taste the new wines. Personally, Terra Di Seta may well be the best winery out of Europe. They have consistently delivered quality wines, at incredibly reasonable prices. Bravo guys!!!!
In the end, there are far too many wines out there. Far too many that are not worth the price, and worse many that are so old on shelves, that they do not deserve the glass they are in. The issue has improved slightly, but in the end, there are still too many older roses lying around, and far too many white wines that have two more vintages ahead of them.
Essentially, there is too much garbage out there. If the roses do not move within a year, it is upon the importer and stores to work out a deal and get rid of the stock. If white wines like average Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gris, and so on, are still around after two years, get rid of them. None of these older vintages sitting on shelves is helping the wineries, importers, or stores! The longer bad stuff lies around the more people think white wines are not good. It is not like dropping the wine to 4 dollars will help. Rip the bandaid off and move on.
Which takes us to the next subject – QPR (Quality to Price Ratio). I am more than happy to extol when there is a new good wine that is worthy of the QPR moniker. I wrote about this in my yearly review of QPR wines of 2018 and a few times this year in my QPR posts.
To be fair, quality is improving, but with the ever-growing list of kosher wines in the wild, the QPR options are shrinking in comparison. The top line wines in 2018 shrunk, in comparison to the epic top wines of 2017 and 2016, mostly because 2014/2015 French wine stalwarts are showing better right now than the 2016 French Superstars, at this moment.
Still, there were many high-quality wines in 2018, the issue lies in the price! The prices are getting out of control. That along, with the poor quality of Israeli wines is shocking.
I hear it all the time, people think I am too hard of Israeli wineries, that I do not understand the public interest for simpler wines. So, let me be 100% clear again – Israeli wineries are not creating anything unique. The wines they do create are all similar in style. Take an average Carignan, Cabernet, Merlot, and Syrah, varietals that are created by almost any winery in Israel, and taste them blind. Take the wines out of their bottles put them into similar bottles, and try to pick out the Cab, the Merlot, the Syrah, DO IT! If you are honest, you will find these wines do not taste like Cab or Merlot, or Carignan. They do NOT! They all taste the same, too much oak, too much fruit, and nothing unique.
The Israeli wine landscape is NOT a new issue. This is what France went through in the 80s. Their wines were not overly ripe, in the 70s, they built balanced wines, with maybe a bit of greenness that could have used a bit of more time on the vines. But those days, that was not in vogue, so wineries built the wines as they had for centuries. Along comes Parker in 83 and all of a sudden, a warm year turns France into a Parker nation. This is old news, I am not adding anything here, but Parker’s palate drove a generation or two of winemakers to create alcohol bombs. Now, the non-kosher market is pushing back, they are demanding balance, they are demanding more control and less fruit-forward wines.
Time will come when winemakers will wake up and all of a sudden, flabby, unbalanced, sweet, and over-oaked wines will fall out of favor. At that time, all of those that chased the golden ring will regret it. Their names will be associated with wines people do not want. Until then, Israel, enjoy the date-juice, enjoy the overripe, out of balance, and 100% not unique wines. Sell to the masses, but realize there is always a cost to selling out, sadly it comes when you least realize it.
I want to stress this over and over, take for example Terra Gratia, a nice enough wine from the famous Marciano Estate winery. I bought one bottle of the 2014 vintage, and even that I regret. Look at the price! It is somewhere at 130 dollars retail, maybe 110 wholesale? For the money, it is not even close to logical! Same for many other crazy new French wines being imported – BEFORE the Tariff conversations! It is nuts! When you can have a wine like 2017 Chateau Royaumont, Lalande de Pomerol or the 2017 Les Roches de Yon-Figeac, Saint-Emilion, Grand Cru for half to less than half of that price, and both are better in every way than the 2013/2014/2015 Terra Gratia, you have to ask – WHY??? Come on, I hate picking on the obvious – but really? 250 dollars for 2016 Herzog Special Reserve Oak Knoll Cabernet Sauvignon Generation VIII? That wine screams Napa Cabernet specially made for Robert Parker and Michel Rolland all at once!
I get it, prices are set by what can be sold. If there are enough people out there willing to plonk down 225 dollars for a 2016 Herzog Special Reserve Oak Knoll Cabernet Sauvignon Generation VIII, then good for Herzog! Now, if you want a Herzog wine that was worth 225 dollars – all day and all night, that was the 2006 Herzog, Generation VIII, Cabernet Sauvignon, To Kalon, a year before there was such a thing as single-vineyard Herzog Cabernet Sauvignons. It was worth 225 dollars back in 2006 and it is worth far more than that now!
French wine costs
This issue is not new. I posted about this when I traveled through Bordeaux with Menahem Israelievitch. I have also spoken about this issue here, and not much fallout is visible yet, so far so good. That was late 2016, and the kosher 2014 vintage was just released. The prices on the 2014 vintage were high, but in a zone that worked and there was even a QPR or two, like the 2014 Chateau Montviel and the 2014 Les Roches de Yon Figeac.
I told people to buy LOTS of 2014 because while 2015 and 2016 were being hyped up like crazy, the 2014 prices were far more reasonable. Also, the 2014 vintage will show, in the future to be a more controlled and fruit-focused vintage, in comparison to the hotter 2015 and 2016 vintages. Still, no matter how much I warned people, and myself, by the way, I am still shocked at the 2016 vintage pricing.
The 2016 wines have come and gone and most are sold out already, from Royal Wine’s side anyway. They were all very expensive and that was before the 25% Tariff was dropped on October 18th, 2019.
The 2017 prices are seemingly inline with the 2015 prices, which were a bit below the 2016 prices, but higher than the 2015 prices. From the little data we have now, the 2018 prices look to be at or higher than the 2016 prices! Still, none of this will matter if Trump drops the 100% Tariff on European wines.
Also, within France, the pricing for kosher French wines makes no sense. If you want to talk about imports and all of those shenanigans like I have in the past, you can read about what I explained in regards to kosher wine costs for Bordeaux in my post on my visit to Bordeaux. However, within France, these prices make ZERO sense. Why does a Lafon Rochet, in France, cost 95 Euro? You can buy a CASE of the non-kosher Lafon Rochet, in London, for 409 dollars, that is 35 bucks a pop. Double it, and you get to 70 dollars. Triple, inside France? Why? These are questions I hope can be explained to me. Within France, the normal Négociant and store costs exist for the non-kosher as they do for the kosher. The only difference now is the kosher supervision, which is a dollar per bottle max, and the extra cost they must pay the winery to live with kosher wine in their midsts, which I hope is not 60 dollars a bottle! More on this I hope soon!
The economy of kosher French wine
I touched on this in my article on the new Vignobles K wines that were made kosher.
Still, the fact that Cedev made only two runs of Vignobles K wines, is not good for the kosher wine business, respectfully. Look, you cannot make one or two one-off vintages from a winery and expect people to buy that? In the world of product, consistency breeds respect, and respect breeds purchases. Sure, I will buy a one-off, but I will not stock up on it. Why? Because that is more of a curiosity than a desire to see how the wine evolves.
Kosher wine producers need to build a consistent pipeline of wines, because even more than what I THINK, than what the average consumer thinks, what REALLY matters, is what the winery thinks! The more kosher wine producers create a respectable product, the more kosher wine we will see from other wineries. Wineries already see kosher as a headache, but they do it for many reasons, chief among them being the desire to work with people they respect, the very Jews that work to make kosher wine. That, along with the extra bump that kosher wine producers need to pay, above the primeur cost, call it the kosher tax.
So, given the basic tension that already exists between kosher wine producers and famous Chateau in Bordeaux and France, consistency tells the Chateau that these folks are serious. They are here for the long haul. Still, the scariest part is when a Chateau sees their 2015 or 2016 wines selling for less than they sell it! That can happen if the wine producers are hard up for cash and do not have the cash flow or network to sell these wines.
I am not talking about ANY kosher wine producer, I truly have ZERO ideas about any kosher wine producer’s finances or capacities. I am only bringing up the issue because even Royal, in the early years of 2nd Millenium, was looking at walls of kosher French wine and they had really no ability to move it. Thankfully, they had the ability to hold the line, and now we have great wines again. Will others have the ability to sell all of the 2015 and 2016 kosher French wine out there?? Will they have the cash flow? Only time will tell. Will there be enough people willing to buy the 2016 vintage given the primeur prices and the kosher wine tax?? Time will tell!
Kosher wine consumer and their choice
As stated, there are thousands of kosher wines released every year into the market – and while we do not all get to taste all of them, the majority of them are not for polite company – to say it nicely. Still, when the consumer walks into the store – he/she continue to be inundated with wall-upon-wall of these wines and the knowledge is not there for these wine buyers.
Nothing has changed in that fact since the passing of Daniel Rogov in 2011, and while many have tried no one can take his place, IMHO. In his stead – the wine shop owner now is in charge of helping or pushing his/her wines onto the consumer.
I have been having conversations with wineries more and more, and as they talk to me about their wines, along with how the wines are distributed (more on that below), they all come back around to the issue of education. Of course, they bring it up as a way to separate themselves from the crowd and to let their wines shine more – against a wall of competing wines. However, I find the idea a MUST-have for wineries going forward, educating the world about their wines, and allowing the consumer to see if they like their wines and why. Wineries need to go out and visit wine stores and wine events and talk about why their wines are unique, special, tasty, and different. I can pick on Israel and their wines all day, but the one thing they do correctly, is they get out there, and SELL! I see them at wine stores in Israel, France, and the USA. My Facebook page is filled with Israeli winemakers in all countries selling their wares.
Distributors and Wine access in Chicago and West Coast
Well, the fact that Royal Wine Corp. is the biggest Gorilla stomping around in what can almost feel like an ant farm when describing the tens of other small kosher wine importers, is hilarious.
Most ask who cares who imports the wine? The answer SHOULD be no one! Sadly, and this has been a consistent rant for years now, Royal and distributors continue to short sell areas where there is a large Jewish and kosher food presence. Gabriel Geller has made it his mission to improve Chicago, and over this past year, in many ways in spite of what Royal is doing in Chicago! Chicago, is a wasteland, in regards to kosher wine selection. Walk the aisles and it is clear, Royal and many others, do not care about Chicago. What is interesting, and the proof is derived from online merchants, Chicago is a solid place to sell kosher wine! Sadly, Royal and others have ignored it in spite of themselves. Further proof has been Geller’s success in the past year! Combine these facts and you can still not buy wines that Royal sells elsewhere, even when it sells very well on Onlinekosherwine.com and Kosherwine.com! Why would Royal continue this practice is beyond me. Thankfully, I have not been in need of wine in Chicago, as I either have the wine sent in advance from online merchants or bring my own. Still, I will keep pounding on this table! This is absolutely illogical, in regards to Chicago!
Like last year, my friend in Chicago continues to try to buy cases of the lovely 2017 Pacifica Riesling, a very nice wine, and a wine that would sell GREAT in Chicago, especially at its price point and the fact that it is Mevushal. He can STILL NOT buy it, PERIOD! He went to a well-respected wine store, that sells 95% non-kosher wine, Binny’s, and he asked them to get him a case of the wine. They tried and could not buy it. To make matters worse, Binny’s can get the other wines from Pacifica, just not the Riesling! It is this kind of arbitrary coverage of wines that really drives people crazy.
The same story goes for Los Angeles. The wine coverage there is actually worse than in Chicago if that is even possible to imagine! And that goes for Royal and all the other importers. In the end, the only real options we have are kosherwine.com and onlinekosherwine.com. The other wine stores on my blog ship, but the overall cost of the wine is cheaper with Kosherwine and Onlinekosherwine, as they have no storefront, and their shipping is either free or discounted.
Now, when you control supply how can you truly gauge demand? When I talk with Kosherwine and others, there is a LOT of demand from California, and I guess that is the only real way to play it out here. Sadly, the idea of going to a wine shop in LA does not really exist. The bright light is The Cask in Los Angeles. The pricing has changed and is now far more competitive, though the selection while nice, is really limited. Glatt Mart is essentially dead, it has little to nothing going on there. While, Western Kosher, has a nice selection, the wines there clearly do not move well. So, is the lack of wine selection and movement because people do not buy wine at stores in LA? I do not think so, when I was in those stores the word was, we want more, we want to have NYC like wine stores. I replied, support the Cask, support Western, prove you want it, and maybe it will happen. Until then, there is Kosherwine and OnlineKosherWine.
In the end, I have NO issues with what Royal is doing, and so far I have seen no real issue at all. The only aspect that annoys me is the lack of access to certain wines in the Chicagoland and Los Angeles areas, but that is something we can all work around, thankfully.
Online Taxation evens the playing field with stores and extra Tariffs are on hold
A simple follow-on from the previous discussion of online merchants like Onlinekosherwine and Kosherwine is taxation. On June 21st, 2018 the Supreme Court ruled in favor of retail establishments. In the majority opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Supreme Court said times have changed to such a degree that online retailers no longer qualify for “an arbitrary advantage over their competitors who collect state sales taxes” by claiming they don’t have a physical presence in a state.
So, why do I bring this up? Well, Kosherwine is already charging me California tax on my orders, and I am sure other online establishments will be joining them soon enough. When that occurs, it will go farther towards evening the playing field with brick and mortar merchants, and maybe they will have a chance to compete. Still, online merchants do not have storefronts. Time will tell if it helps with the war between online merchants and brick and mortar merchants for the souls and dollars of kosher wine buyers.
Now Tariffs are a different story. Currently, we in the USA live under a haze of 25% Tariffs from all European wines that are UNDER 14% ABV (alcohol By Volume) and Italy and Portugal have been spared from this initial Tariff that went into place on October 18th, 2019. Still, for the wines that are below 14% ABV and they are sourced from France, which are not that many, like say the 2016 Rothschild Benjamin, which clocks in at 13.5% ABV, that wine would have a 25% Tariff, but I think that wine has been state-side for a long time already, same with the 2018 Chateau Riganes, which clocks in at 13% ABV. Sadly, much of 2017s are under 14% ABV, as it was not a smoking hot year, temperature-wise. Even the Giscours, Gazin, Crock, Moulin Riche, and Leoville Pyferre are under 14% ABV in 2017, so OUCH! So, that means that someone is going to have to eat this 25% Tariff if it sticks around. For now, most of the wineries are eating a part of it along with the distributors, as it says in the post above, but I have no idea what the kosher wine distributors are doing.
There was talk of a 100% tariff on European wines, in retaliation to France’s e-Tax. Thankfully, for NOW, that has been put on hold for now, but only God knows where this will finally fall. If the 100% Tariff were ever to happen, it would be a death knell to almost all the kosher wine importers, period! Not even Royal would eat that. Further, we would not pay DOUBLE what we kosher consumers ALREADY pay for kosher wine. So yeah, if that ever happens, kiss French wine goodbye, other than the crazy cheap QPR wines.
White and Rose wines – simply put 2019 was a disaster!!!
Excepting for Europe, Netofa, Vitkin, and Yaakov Oryah’s wines, 2018 was a DISASTER for white and rose wines. Total and utter disaster. It was so bad that I bought none of the usual suspects. I tasted tons of them, like 100+ wines, but bought none of them throughout 2019, very sad, again besides those listed above! New Zealand had two nice wines, but different vintages. The 2018 O’dwyers Creek was a mess, like the rest of the 2018 white wines. The 2017 vintage, however, is still alive and quite lovely! O’Dwyers Creek also brought in other wines, like Chardonnay and a Pinot Noir, they are a mess as well. The Goose Bay continues its impressive track record of making very nice wines, with this vintage being no different.
Still, besides those exceptions, it was truly the worst vintage, rose and white wise, in more than a decade. 2018 rose vintage was truly an embarrassment for the kosher wine industry, either each winery gave up caring, or they felt that quality is not the standard anymore, all that mattered was a product and pink color. I personally bought/drank NO rose this past year. I tasted loads of them and drank a few of the ones I bought for the tasting. However, I bought NONE after that. I hope that is telling given that I really like Rose! Very sad!
Thankfully, we have some real winners from Yarden’s and Gamla/Gilgal Sparkling wines (not a white wine per se), Ramon Cardova Albarino, Chateau Riganes White, Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc, Domaine Netofa White, Herzog Lineage Chardonnay 2017, Koenig Brut, Pacifica Riesling 2017, Koenig Riesling 2017/2018, and Elvi Cava. All of those can be had for 20 dollars or less here in the USA. Throw in the Vitkin whites, Yaacov Oryah’s mad Orange and white lab/Factory, Kos Yeshuos wines, along with 2017/2018 Joseph Mellot Sancerre, 2018 Chateau Gazin Rocquencourt, Blanc, 2018 Les Marronniers Chablis, and Premier Cru, 2018 Clos des Lunes Lune D’Argent, 2013 Eccelenza, Bianco Umbria (though IMHO drink up!), and 2018 Jean-Pierre Bailly Pouilly-Fume, Sauvignon Blanc.
A nice list of wines for sure, but in comparison to what is out there it was a disaster. This after we saw a very clear uptick in white and rose wine interest. It is a true shame that there was so much garbage there waiting to greet the newly minted white wine drinkers. I hope they followed mine and Gabriel Geller’s list of white/QPR wines to enjoy.
Also, I was sickened to see Rose wines appearing on the shelves in June 2019! Guys Rose needs to be in stock and on shelves in March! No later. Thankfully! Thankfully, we are seeing loads of pictures and videos all over Facebook showing the bottlings of Rose. Heck! Recanati had an image of the 2019 Recanati Rose, Gris de Marselan in 2019! That was cool! NOW!! We need that darn wines in the store shelves in the USA!!! Please!! get the wines here ASAP and on the shelves!!!
Cabernet continues to be king
Well, another year and nothing has changed. The number one selling wine varietal in the kosher wine world – is the king of wine – Cabernet Sauvignon. Really? There is ZERO originality here. People will buy the wine as long as it has a high price, nice label, and good kosher supervision! The product or quality is not important. How do I know? I stood at KFWE for many years pouring wine, and watched people ignore Elvi’s wonderful wines (I was pouring for Elvi in LA) and go instead to drink UNDRINKABLE and UNSPEAKABLE wines – because they were Cabernet Sauvignon!
They would come by the table and ask – what is the most expensive Cabernet you have? Not what is good? Not what is special? Just the highest priced Cabernet Sauvignon!
Now, who is to blame here? The NYC kosher wine drinker and every drug dealing distributor that pushes these wines! A cab here or there is one thing – but Herzog itself sells maybe 18 or 20 Cabernet Sauvignon by itself!
The same goes for many large wineries, the number of Cabernet is absurd and non-proportional to what is good for the trade. In the end, wineries make what sells, and as I stated before, and especially for red wines like Cabernet if the public changes its mind – that is a lot of cabs to sell!
Fads work great until they do not! Bell bottom jeans, pet rocks, come on we were stupid enough to buy ROCKS and drag them around! This too will change and it will be painful for the one holding all those wines.
Good enough versus wines I would buy
My wine scores are defined here and while some think wine scores are useless – I cannot agree. To me, there are so many wines out there that even if I score them an 89 or even a 90, they would not be wines I would buy!
Again, that is clear as day in my scoring. So, when I say, man, this sucks, there are truly few wineries in Israel from whom I would buy their wines, means that while some make some good wines, none are worth my time for real. It means that they are not special, they are not something I need or want. They are OK wines – they are just not really interesting or unique in any way, as I stated above.
More and more, wines of Israel are just that – boring, uniform, all the same, searing and burning tannin, oak juice that makes me want to spit out splinters, and fruit so over the top that nothing could survive tasting it.
Nothing elegant, nothing desirable, nothing special – just a copycat of the winery next door, just with another month of oak so that they can say they left the wine in oak longer!
Sure, this may sound like my previous statement of how badly Israel is making kosher wines, but I wanted to stress that while some may actually be making OK wines – they are just that! OK! That is not what I buy and it is not what I hope most wineries aspire to. How long can a country continue to make oak and date juice and think it will work? I guess time will tell!
I am so happy! Truly I am! More and more I am seeing people use DIAM corks for wines that will last 10 years or more, NOT just the 1-year wines, like the 2015 Haut Condissas that uses a DIAM cork. Then you have IDIOTS who use REAL corks for a rose or a simple Sauvignon Blanc! WHY!!! Why push your luck? NO ONE CARES!!!
I am sick and tired of people talking about the romance of a cork. People, this is wine, and wine is meant to be enjoyed. The cork is irrelevant! Surveys show people do care for the POP sound, but that sound is irrelevant on a sub 20 dollar bottle of wine. PERIOD! Use DIAM or better use screwtops, or use glass stoppers. They are all FAR BETTER options for anything other than maybe Lafon Rochet, Malartic or Leoville Poyferre.
Please I beg you to stop putting in real cork into a simple wine bottle. When I buy roses and whites for a tasting I have to buy 2 bottles because at least ONE or more of the wines are corked. THIS IS MADNESS!! Insanity! Why? These wines will be dead by the end of the summer and here I am, and others I am sure, throwing out a wine because the marketing manager swears by cork. Get a new marketing manager!! NO ONE CARES about wines that are 1-3 year wines. Stop wasting money and move on! Please! We will all be happier for it!
Domaine Netofa is BACK in the USA!
This may be the biggest story of the year. Yes bigger than the Tariffs! We have Domaine Netofa back in the USA! More, IT IS SELLING!!! Yes! Domaine Netofa has finally been appreciated for what many of us in the kosher wine world have been Kveling about for a DECADE!
It was a combined deal to bring in the wines between Royal Wines and kosherwine.com! My many thanks for this, I can now save my limited baggage space for Yaccov Oryah wines!
Sparkling wines are blasting off
Sparkling wine is not a thing that you press, bottle, and ship. Unless we are talking about the DISGUSTING cheese and cabbage flavored Pet-Nat, real sparkling wines take time to produce. Anywhere from 2 years (after you add in shipping and resting time) and many more for vintage sparkling wines, like the Yarden Sparkling wines.
Most distributors that had Champagne or even simpler sparkling wines sold through their wines quickly. Sadly, unless they have tons left still in France or Spain, there is none left for the USA.
Personally, I do not care, I love Yarden’s sparkling wines and I think they are a far better deal and a far better representation of what I am looking for in sparkling wines. Throw in the price and availability and it is a slamdunk.
For those seeking the Real McCoy, I would stick with the Laurent Perrier.
So where are we after another year in the world of kosher wine? The answer, nowhere good in regards to Israel’s wine quality, and slight improvements in regards to the distribution issues that still exist.
In regards to the wines, I bought last year, overall it is better. There are more options available, and more unique wines out there from different regions and different wineries.
Sadly, to me, the overall issue that is still a major problem in the world of kosher wine is pricing. Yes, there have been some strides made, but they are few and far between. We need more reasonably priced wines and we need some control over the ever-rising prices of the French Bordeaux wines, after three years of solid to epic vintages.
My hope for next year is the same as it was last year, and the year before that, which is, more great wines for under 10 to 20 dollars – RETAIL! Bravo to the QPR winners of 2019 – I just wish the list was longer. Next, we need to get kosher wines to the midwest and the west coast – in larger quantities. I also hope we find a way to work out the Shmita issues for 2022. Enough is enough – we have another 3 solid years to finally get the Hareidi community behind a real shmita option. The last one I think is the biggest pipe dream of them all, but one can always dream!
Thanks for reading this blog and here is to another great Gregorian year to you all, filled with success, health, and the financial wherewithal to pay for the crazily priced wines that are thankfully growing in number out there!
Posted on January 29, 2020, in Israeli Wine, Kosher French Wine, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher Rose Wine, Kosher Sparkling Wine, Kosher White Wine, Kosher Wine, Wine Industry and tagged Year in review. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.