The first one you MUST jump on is the 2015 Kosher Food and Wine Festival (KFWE) at Metropolitan Pavilion 125 W 18th St., NY, NY 10011 on February 9th, 2015. It literally sells out each and every year, and all the procrastinators complain to me bitterly, about how they cannot get in – well BUY YOUR TICKETS and they are 18 dollars off still. My coupon code this year is MUSINGS18, put it on the second page, after you checkout button, before the buy button.
New wines this year at both the KFWE NY and the KFWE-LA, some making their debut at the show include:
- Herzog Variations – showcasing the unique qualities that different regions of California’s famed wine country bring to their wines.
- Ovadia by Ovadia Bartenura Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
- Flam Noble, the new flagship offering from Flam
- Pavillon de Leoville Poyferre – a new young approachable Bordeaux from a top 2ndgrowth chateau in Bourdeaux
- Montefiore Kerem Moshe – Recently released flagship wine from the Montefiore winery
- Herzog Single Vineyard Dry Creek – Herzog Wine Cellar’s Annual single vineyard release which showcases a wine made from grapes sourced from a distinguished vineyard in California.
- Titora Winery, located in Modi’in, Israel, is the newest boutique winery whose products are imported and distributed by Royal Wine Corp.
Guests will enjoy tastings from more than 20 kosher restaurants, caterers and gourmet specialty food companies from the greater NYC area including sushi, BBQ, Asian, Continental, French, and traditional kosher with some modern twists! For those guests with a sweet tooth, not to worry, to complete the experience there will be desserts galore including cookies, pastries, ice cream (parve of course) and other specialty desserts.
The next one to get on is the KFWE LA, which has also moved from the Hyatt to the W in Hollywood on February 11, 2015 – check my blog posting for more on that.
The next wine event is the Grapevine Wines Grand Tasting for Sunday February 15th, 2015 at the Grapevine Wines shop in Monsey, NY. The tasting is from 5:30 – 8:30 PM, it is the 15th Year anniversary of the Kosher Wine store. The wine event will take place at 455 Route 306 Wesley Hills, NY 10952, 845-364-9463. Ask for Yehoshua Werth.
The next one is the return of the Gotham Wine Extravaganza, that was a blast last year! The date is not yet set, but look here for updates. As I have reported for the past many years, Gotham throws a crazy wine tasting with an array of wines unmatched by any other kosher wine tasting event, as there are wines from all of the kosher wine importers. I hope that anyone in the New York City can make it.
The next wine kosher event is the City Winery event, that is another kosher wine event that includes many wine importers and it is also does not yet have a date, but look here for updates. Last year the event was quite impressive, and I am sure it will be equally impressive this year.
The KFWE was a huge success for 2014, and was probably the best year so far with the massive Horn Blower Yacht that helped keep the balance of humans to wine and food consumption in check. The event in California was a blast, and the IFWF continued to prove that Royal was going to put itself out for both coasts of this great country.
So, you were asleep at the wheel, or you had family over, or worse, you had to work! My friends you are saved! Because the Gotham Wine Extravaganza, that took a year off last year – is back and ready to go! The date is set, for Sunday March 23rd. As I have reported for the past many years, Gotham throws a crazy wine tasting with an array of wines unmatched by any other kosher wine tasting event, as there are wines from all of the kosher wine importers. I hope that anyone in the New York City can make it. Please I beg of you GET TICKETS!!! You can get them here, and if I were you, please splurge another 30 bucks and go for the VIP event, Costas always has a few hard to find and enjoying wines that he shares with his crazy wine loving fans! The event this year will return to its old stomping grounds, at the Lincoln Square Synagogue, (AKA Wink and stare) 180 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10023. The VIP session will start at 12:30, and general entry is at 3:00 PM till 6:00 PM.
VIP Tasting: 12:30pm – 2:00pm
Tickets available on line only! $70.00 per
(VIP tickets entitles attendees to the entire event)
Early Admittance: 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Tickets available on line only! $40.00 per
Regular Tickets: 3:00pm – 6:00pm
Tickets available on line $30.00 per ($35.00 at the Door)
To pass up on the Gotham wine event is pure insanity! This is your chance to enjoy, the best of Royal’s wines, along with Dalton Winery, Teperberg Winery, Adir Winery, Hevron Heights Winery, Bravdo Winery, Vignobles David Winery, Yarden, and so many others my head hurts! In the essence, this is an event with all kosher wineries and distributors being represented!
The VIP Session has been released for this Sunday’s event:
First Session: Discover the Rhone Valley
With Frederic David, owner of Vignobles David Winery
Le Mourre De Lisle Cotes Du Rhone
Cotes Du Rhone Village Reserve
Les Masques Chateauneuf Du Pape
Second Session: Israel Then and Now
With Alex Heruni, owner of Dalton Winery
Dalton Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
Dalton Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Dalton Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Dalton Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
Barrel Samples of El Kosh Single Vineyard Merlot 2012
Barrel Samples of Alma GSM 2012
Third Session: Discovering Italy
With Costas Mouzouras, Wine Director of Gotham Wines
Masso De Vrei Valpolicella
Florenza Barbera D’Alba
Bartenura Ovadia Estates Docletto D’Alba
Borgo Reale Barolo
Borgo Reale Chianti Riserva
Bartenura Ovadia Estates Vino Nobile de Montepulciano
Bartenura Ovadia Estates Morellino Di Scansano
Borgo Reale Signi Brunello Di Montalcino
Finally, if you cannot make the Gotham event, the last chance to taste through kosher wines from all around the world will be at the City Winery event, This is another kosher wine event that includes many kosher wine importers. Last year the event was quite impressive, and I am sure it will be equally impressive this year. The event is at the City Winery (155 Varick Stree, between Spring and Vandam Streets, New York, New York 10013), on Monday March 31st from 5:00 till 8:30 PM. Yes, it is a school night, but for the LOVE OF GOD, get out and get a babysitter, believe it or not TV is not a substitute! You can get tickets here and you can use a coupon from my buddy – Yossie’s Corkboard “fjwmg” to get $11 off the regular ticket price.
In the end, these are the last two vestiges of kosher wine tastings – and when you are done, please buy our wines from either the purveyors listed to the right, or a local store you buy from often. NO, I do not make money from any merchant of kosher wine, but they are very good purveyors of kosher wine, and if your local kosher wank is better – go with him or her!
Finally, PLEASE drink responsibly this Purim and remember to enjoy wine with friends and family!!!
I will keep this short and sweet – the 2014 kosher wine events are all in and will start selling out VERY soon.
The first one you MUST jump on is the 2014 Kosher Food and Wine Festival (KFWE) at Pier 60, Chelsea Piers, in New York City on February 24, 2014. It literally sells out each and every year, and all the procrastinators complain to me bitterly, about how they cannot get in – well BUY YOUR DARN TICKETS and they are 20 dollars off still. I did not get a coupon this year, but you can use the Kosher Wine Society’s coupon (KWS20).
The next one to get on is the International Food and Wine Festival in Los Angeles, CA IFWF on February 26, 2014 – check my blog posting for more on that.
The next wine event is the Grapevine Wines Grand Tasting for Sunday March 2nd, 2014 at the Grapevine Wines shop in Monsey, NY. The tasting is from 5:30 – 8:30 PM, it is the 15th Year anniversary of the Kosher Wine store. The wine event will take place at 455 Route 306 Wesley Hills, NY 10952, 845-364-9463. Ask for Yehoshua Werth.
The next one is the return of the Gotham Wine Extravaganza, that took a year off last year – but is back and ready to go! The date is set, for Sunday March 23rd. As I have reported for the past many years, Gotham throws a crazy wine tasting with an array of wines unmatched by any other kosher wine tasting event, as there are wines from all of the kosher wine importers. I hope that anyone in the New York City can make it.
The next wine kosher event is the City Winery event, that is another kosher wine event that includes many wine importers and is on Monday March 31st. Last year the event was quite impressive, and I am sure it will be equally impressive this year.
This is the tenth article I am writing on wineries from the Judean Hills wine region of Israel. No matter where you look around the landscape of Israeli wines and wineries you will find story after story of rebirth, renewal, and a fair amount of plain old new! Carmel, Binyamina, Barkan, were all producing mass consumption/bulk wine up until 1o to 15 years ago. Since then, they have seen serious rebirth, still selling almost undrinkable swill for the masses, and also selling high-end, and very respectable wines for us wine aficionados.
Personally, I think it is the correct business structure to have for a growing winery. You need simple bulk wines that have high margins and can be sold anywhere and everywhere. Wines that people buy in the millions, literally. Then you need wines that bolster the lineup, entry-level wine-drinker wines, that can be the bridge to take you from swill to paradise. Think white zinfandel from Herzog Wine Cellars, they sell those bottles by the millions and they are the perfect gateway drug to get you to Chenin Blanc and then maybe to Chardonnay or Black Muscat, and finally to some real dry red wines.
Today the winery we are looking at is the Teperberg winery which was founded in 1870 by the Teperberg family (from where the name of the winery is derived) in the Old City of Jerusalem. Actually, to be accurate it was located in an alleyway of the old city of Jerusalem, and may well have been the first winery in the modern era of Israel. Later in 1964, the winery moved outside of Jerusalem, to the then quiet suburb of Motza (now a thriving community), and took on the name Efrat. The winery, ignoring its many name changes, continues to mostly produce sacramental sweet wines, as that is what its main clientele are looking for. However, in the 1990s Efrat started to create dry red wines, and to be honest they were a disaster. I remember always passing up on them, even when in school, and buying Carmel dry or semi-sweet wines instead. Read the rest of this entry
I have posted often about why we love going to the Gotham Kosher Wine Extravaganza. Sure, Royal Wine’s International Food and Wine Festival is quite lovely, but in the end the wines are just from the Royal’s vast Portfolio. At the Gotham Wine Extravaganza, you get to taste Royal’s wines (though we skipped most of them this year as they were repeats of the IFWF) and wine from 7 other importers. To me this was the best one yet, hands down. We have been coming to this event for four years now, and it was where we first met many in the NY wine scene, as well. The evening was absolutely fantastic. Last year’s event was complicated by the difficulty of finding a place for the event. This year’s event was planned out beautifully in advance and it was once again hosted in the same location as it was last year – the West Side Institutional.
As stated many times already, the event is driven by the master in arms, Costas Mouzouras, General Manager of Gotham Wines of Manhattan, NY, and his merry band of helpers. Just like last year, the tables were setup by wine importer rather than by region, because at this event there was more than just one importer. The event is one of those truly rare opportunities where a person is able to taste wines from all around the world, from any importer, and almost any top line kosher wine that exists out there. Of course, there was a very large table of wines imported by Royal Wines. However, there was another 14 tables of wines and food from all around the world! Every year I feel like a kid in a candy shop!
As I have reported on for the past two years, Gotham throws crazy wine tasting with an array of wines unmatched by any other kosher wine tasting event. Well, this year it almost looked like it would not happen. However, after much travails Costas and Gotham Wines will be throwing their 8th iteration of this wonderful and note worthy kosher wine tasting. I hope that anyone in the area can make it. Yes, it is on a school night, but I hope that will not hold you all back from attending! Show up or be square.
Taken from the notice…
For seven years Gotham brought you the ONLY comprehensive wine tasting of over 300 wines that offer a panoramic view of Kosher wines in today’s market.
Sample amazing wines from every major vineyard from Israel, France, Italy, Spain, South America, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia, United States and more at this annual wine Extravaganza.
Don’t miss out on this unique Kosher wine tasting.
VIP Tasting Hour
6:00pm – 7:00pm
Ticket Price $60.00 per person (VIP Ticket cover the entire event)
Tickets are only available for advance purchases. Limited Space Available.
The VIP hour includes a sit down tasting with Costas. As always some older and some new treasures will be shared and discussed.
Main Wine Tasting Event
7:00pm – 10:00pm
Advance Tickets $30.00
At the door $35.00
We are so happy to announce that the date has been set for the Seventh Annual KWE. It will be on Sunday, March 7th 2010 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 EST at the Lincoln Square Synagogue in Manhattan, NY. Last year’s Kosher Wine Extravaganza was a total blast, and our write up of it, can be found here. It is probably best to pay ahead of time, so that you do not have to worry about paying for it at the door. Also, right now there is a discount for the event, if you buy the tickets online, instead of at the door. This event is one of those rare opportunities to taste kosher wines from around the world, that is not limited to just one importer or another, and one that includes many high end and low end wines. Definitely, a solid kosher wine event, with the opportunity to taste so many wines that you would not otherwise afford or have the chance to enjoy.
After Gotham’s 6th Annual Kosher Wine Extravaganza, we had a real treat when we sat down with Costas Mouzouras – the head wine master at Gotham Wines. Gotham is the wine purveyor that put on the kosher wine event, and the wines were chosen by Costas, which gave the event a real professional feel, while still feeling homey and not stuffy. Costas led a one hour wine tasting which my novice friend and I, both found to be a real eye opener. He talked through how a professional does a wine tasting which my friend found very informational, and I loved the nuggets of information that I did not know of, like how French wood manifests itself in the front of your tongue, while American oak manifests itself on the back of your tongue.
Costas came to NY in 1988 to attend Queens College and soon after landed a job at Gotham Wines, because they had flexible hours, which are imperative to a busy college schedule, and because as Costas puts it – “I have been tasting wine since I was born”. Since then he has been the driving force in bringing kosher wines to Jews in NY and around America. In 1989 he started stocking Baron Herzog (1986 being their inaugural vintage), Gan Eden (1985 was their inaugural vintage), Hagafen (1980 was their inaugural vintage), along with a few Israeli wineries. In 1989, most people thought that Israel produced sweet and toxic wines, excepting for Yarden. Still, Costas had the foresight to start stocking and teaching his customers about a few wineries in Israel that were actually quite good. The Israeli wineries that were showcased at that time, were the Tishbi Winery, the Carmel Winery, and the Golan Heights Winery (AKA Yarden). The Tishbi Winery is a family owned and run business that was founded by Jonathan Tishbi. Jonathan’s family has been tending grapes and vineyards for more than a century on the advice of Baron Rothschild. In 1985, he decided to keep some of the grapes for himself, and start producing wines from it, since than the winery has grown into a million bottle wine producing facility. The Golan Heights story is no less impressive, they too started in the mid 1980s – 1985 to be exact, and have single handedly changed the perception of Israeli wine, by creating a winery that would become the platform from which all subsequent Israeli wineries would mimic. The winery produces some 7 million bottles and is by far the top producing winery in Israel. The Carmel winery is one whose history goes as far back as the 1882, when a cooperative of wine makers and wine growers founded a winery on the behest and funding of Baron Edmund de Rothschild. Since then, the wines produced were weak to say the least, because the grapes grown were not of the noble variety. There was the famous 1901 Cabernet Sauvignon No 1 vintage and the subsequent 1970 Cabernet Sauvignon. Outside of those two clear anomalies, the winery was good at producing sweet sacramental wines, and otherwise undrinkable dry wines. That all changed in the past decade or so, when the winery decided it needed to focus on making world class wines, along with its cash cow sacramental and low label wines. It has been a massive success, and one worthy a full cheering section. Read the rest of this entry
This past week saw my friend (the ultimate wine novice) and me at what can truly be called the greatest “kosher wine event” on earth. This is not the place to come if you want to be fed a wonderful spread, or the place to come if you want to be fed line after line by people who have no idea on what differences there are between a Pinot Gris versus a Pinot Noir, or what differences lay between a Viognier and a Chardonnay. Nope, this event is where the kosher wine world can come and taste a true assortment of kosher wines that are not under Royal’s control or someone else’s clutches. Nope, this event is put on by Gotham Winery, one of the places on earth where you can get a truly wonderful collection of kosher wines, and most of them – 362 wines to be exact, were on display at the Lincoln Square Synagogue. This was the 6th edition of this event, and one that was truly well attended. About 150 or so individuals packed the synagogues’ auditorium, in the basement, where they were graced with 12 tables laden with wines from all around the world.
The breakdown of the tables, were not by region or varietal, rather by wine distributor. You see, as described earlier, this wine event was about kosher wine, irrelevant to the distributor or wine maker. Yes, this wine event brought together wine makers and distributors of kosher wine from around the world. Dalton was represented, along with Red Fern Winery, and others. The people pouring the wines, either made them, or imported them because they like and/or realize that the wines have a market, and were explaining the nuances of what they see in them. This is in stark contrast to the Oxnard event we were at a month ago, where excepting for the three wine makers at the event, the people pouring the wines had no idea of what they were pouring. This event, gave us a chance to meet Howard Abarbanel (of Abarbanel wines), and sample some distinct wines that he is importing. It also, gave us a chance to sit down with Costas Mouzouras, of Gotham wines who put on the event, and was hands on throughout. He led a one hour VIP tasting which we truly enjoyed. The wines were unique, including some old vintages that he had at the shop and some new and exciting wines that we had yet to taste. We will have more on Costas later in a later posting, but for now, it is enough to say that the man is knowledgeable about the wines he sells, and is passionate about the kosher wine community. I am sure it is not 100% altruism, as he has a business to run, but the event is something that was, and is not required for him to sell his wines. Yet, he has put it together now for 6 years, and it is a wine event that gives us all a chance to see the world of kosher wines, through a large picture window, rather than the view glass that we have been served up as the “International wine Festival”. Many thanks to Costas, Gotham Wines, and all the wineries and distributors that took the time out of their busy “Pre-Passover” schedule, to come and display their wines, and share their wisdom and wares together with us all.
Again a heartfelt thanks to Costas, the Gotham Wine crew that helped with the event and the rest of the winemakers and distributors who made the occasion as special as it was. Read the rest of this entry