It gives me great pride to present to you our inaugural Jewish Link Wine Guide, of which we are proudly distributing over 40,000 copies to homes across New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.
We are quite excited to bring this new publication to life and truly believe that anyone—from beginners to seasoned kosher wine buyers and consumers—will find something to read and learn about in these pages. I know I did, although I admit to being a tad biased!
We are also proud to release our first-ever Jewish Link Wine Guide winners of the top kosher wineries and rankings of wines in a number of key categories. Congratulations and mazal tov are in order to all of the wineries and their wines. These are special achievements, especially with the fierce competition and the many excellent wines in every category.
I got my first taste of the kosher wine market 11 years ago when I was still in the fundraising world and working as the director of development for Leket Israel. In that position, I conceived of and launched the Leket Israel Wine Club together with our friend and founding Wine Guide judge and contributor Yossie Horwitz, as well as Gary Wartels of Skyview Wines.The club had a nice run for a few years but I soon moved on to work for YU and later on, to start The Jewish Link, but I learned more about kosher wine back then than I thought I would ever want to know, but it was really just the basics. It was also clear to me just how strong and dynamic the kosher wine business was, and in many ways, despite COVID-19, still is.
Although I admit I am not a committed oenophile, I have definitely learned to appreciate what goes into the making and selling of quality kosher wine. After attending a few tastings for the rankings, I am now also familiar with the challenges of tasting dozens upon dozens of wines in an effort to rank and score them while dealing with pandemic-related quarantines, etc. (Don’t worry, I wasn’t a judge.)
These past three months were certainly an interesting time to work at The Jewish Link offices, as we were flooded with hundreds of wine bottles that needed to be reviewed, categorized properly and then placed into brown bags so our intrepid judges would not be influenced by the brand or bottle label. This was in addition to the many tasks associated with arranging the individual tastings, navigating our way through social distancing and quarantines, and of course, the actual writing of the articles, editing them, laying out a brand new publication and so on and so forth.
The result of this effort is in your hands now. We look forward to our Wine Guide rapidly growing into a leading annual publication for the kosher wine industry in the years ahead.
Last but not least, I owe a special thanks to all of our advertisers, our editors Elizabeth Kratz and Michal Rosenberg, and our judges and contributors, who each helped make the inaugural Jewish Link Wine Guide a reality and who continue to support our growth and success. We couldn’t have done it without you!Yours,
The Jewish Link of NJ/Expanded Edition/The Jewish Link Media Group