This past weekend saw us spending time in a Sukkah with our family in Florida. Yep, pretty hot temperature, but the Sukkah is shaded and we hooked up a pair of fans (attached to a timer), so that the fans are blowing when we are in the Sukkah. The fans are on opposite sides of the Sukkah, giving us a nice cross breeze. Further, the Sukkah walls are made of crisscrossing wood slats that have hollow parts. So the combination of cross breeze fans, open walls, and mesh roof, made the Sukkah a nice place to hunker down.
We did not cook or prepare any of the food for this family occasion, though I did help with the decorating and electrical aspects of the Sukkah. Beyond that I bought the wines. I went for a simple combination of whites and reds and I was quite happy with the outcome. Still, the clear star of the holiday was the food that was magnificently prepared by my sister in-law and a few other family members. They are always so kind and courteous, fantastic hosts, with a lovely family, and a kind soul. So, before the holiday (which started on Friday Night), we made our way to Crown Wine & Spirits. There used to be a wonderfully stocked kosher wine store, called – Corks Kosher Wine Emporium, but they are gone now — just another casualty of the economic times in which we live. The selection of kosher wines was far smaller than it had been before, because of the business that was taken away by Corks. So in the end, the economy handed a double whammy to the Boca Raton kosher wine scene, by putting Corks out of business and limiting the selection at the only other purveyor left. There is a small selection of lower quality wines at the Kosher Market Place, whose owner owned Corks, but not the stuff I was looking for. The selection may be also small at Crown, but they have a nice selection still of solid wines from Israel, France, and the USA. A nice mixture of Yarden, Galil, Herzog Reserve, Herzog (plain but good for the basic meal), Herzog Selection from France, Hagafen wines, and a smattering of Alfasi wines as well. Again, a nice mixture of quality wines at all price ranges, and the prices were very reasonable. I walked out with six quality wines for less than hundred dollars, which is OK. The prices were comparable with KosherWine.com, which I use as a barometer for pricing wines at local purveyors.
The meals were out of this world. The first evening we were served Matzah Ball soup, perfect roast, salad, moist turkey, Capon, and gobs of salads and sides, pairing lovely with some of the 2007 Yarden Odem Vineyard Chardonnay, 2005 Yarden Pinot Noir, and a blue bottle of Bartenura Moscato. The next day we were served gefilite fish, heavenly cholent, Turkey and gobs more of side dishes, paired nicely with a bit of leftover Yarden Pinot Noir, Yarden Odem Chardonnay, and some 2007 Galil Cabernet Sauvignon. For Saturday night we had Matzah ball soup, an unbelievable assortment of chicken dishes, and turkey, along with many lovely sides, pairing nicely with the Galil Cabernet Sauvignon. For the second day we were served gefilte fish, veal, turkey, gobs more of sides, and a killer Sushi salad (which mimics all the components of sushi in a nice salad). To pair with all of those flavors we had a 2004 Delagrave White Bordeaux and an overkill of a 2003 Yarden Merlot.
I would like to extend my many thanks to tour lovely hosts and the rest of the family which made our stay so comfortable. Best wishes and a happy and healthy year to all. The wine notes are listed below in the order they were consumed:
2005 Yarden Pinot Noir – Score: A-
This is a wine that Daniel Rogov rates as one of Yarden’s best Pinot Noirs ever, and I was not disappointing as much as I had higher hopes for it. The wine reminds me more of the N.V. Four Gates Pinot Noir, with a touch more tannins and attitude. The nose on this dark ruby colored wine is popping with black cherry, raspberry, black plum, rich oak, and vanilla. The mouth on this medium to full bodied wine (once it opens) is layered and rich with not yet integrating tannins, black plum, black cherry, and oak. The mid palate is crisp and acidic with nice tannins and oak. The finish is long with red fruit, vanilla, oak, and spice.
2007 Yarden Odem Vineyard Chardonnay – Score: A-
The nose on this dark straw with green hues wine is popping with kiwi, papaya, lemon, peach, rich oak, and violets. The mouth on this rich and full bodied wine is almost mouth coating with fruit that follows the nose. The mid palate is tight yet balanced with bright acidity, and salt water – which threw me off! The finish is long and lovely with rich oak, tropical fruit, acidity, and a bit more salt water.
2007 Galil Cabernet Sauvignon – Score: B+
The nose on this garnet colored wine has blackberry, raspberry, plum, and roasted herbs. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is concentrated with blackberry, raspberry, and plum flavors. The mid palate is acidic with nice integrated tannins. The finish is medium long with more concentrated fruit and herbs.
2004 Herzog Selection Chateau Delagrave White (blend of Sauvignon Blanc and and Semillon) – Score: B-B+
The nose on this light straw colored wine is filled with lemon, green apples, light herbal notes, and floral notes. The mouth on this light to medium bodied wine follows the nose with green apple, tropical fruit, and lemon. The mid palate is crisp with nice tart fruit. The finish is medium long with tart flavors that linger long after the wine is gone, along with green tea, and floral notes.
2003 Yarden Merlot – Score: A-
The nose on this dark garnet to black colored wine is popping and rich with blackberry, cherry, cranberry, green herbal notes, figs, and lovely sweet oak. The mouth on this full bodied wine is rich, layered, and complex with blackberry, cranberry, and tannins that are still lightly aggressive. The mouth is complex with layers of fruit, sweet oak, and figs. The mid palate is acidic and balanced with integrated tannins. The finish is long with rich ripe black fruit, nice tannins, sweet oak, figs, and vanilla. The wine is rich and lovely and quite a treat and can easily pair with red meats, but is overkill for the basic food groups.