While Pesach is officially Chag Ha’Aviv, the Holiday of the Spring, few people take the theme into consideration when choosing their wines. The truth is, spring weather is at its peak on Shavuos. With many of us having the custom of indulging in all sorts of dairy (and meat!) delights to mark the gift of the Torah to the Jewish people, it is a great time (and excuse!) to pop some great white, rosé and lighter reds that make a better pairing with fish, cheesecake, pasta and more. Let’s discover some intriguing wines that will make your Shavuos meals truly special, while also keeping you fresh and alert to learn Torah all night long.
Château Genlaire, White, Bordeaux, 2021: There have been few kosher white wines hailing from Bordeaux. While most are good to excellent, they usually are on the expensive side. The Genlaire, however, is both quite refreshing and affordable. Please make sure to serve it chilled but not too cold. With notes of Meyer lemon, hay and earthy minerals, showcasing nice complexity and lively acidity, this is the perfect wine to pair with a cheese platter.
Yamas, Xynisteri, Cyprus, 2021: When reading the Pitum Haktores at the end of Mussaf, it is hard to relate to the term “Yayin Kafrisin,” Wine from Cyprus. Well, not anymore! Another great value wine from a rather “new” region to the kosher wine world, this zesty, tart-yet-fruity white has mouthwatering acidity and notes of lime, grapefruit, freshly cut grass and green kiwi. It is made by none other than Ido Lewinsohn, the famous Master of Wine and technical director of Barkan and Segal wineries in Israel. Best with either soft cheeses, creamy pasta or some crunchy schnitzel. I know it is hard to stop smelling this wine, as its refreshing and floral aromas are apparent even to inexperienced wine drinkers, but it would be a shame to pass on sipping it!
Tabor Adama, Barbera Rosé, 2021: This wine is made in Israel, but the winemaker, Or Nidbach, was trained in the New World. Or’s wines are known for their remarkable freshness, and while it’s already close to two years old, the Tabor Adama Rosé is a perfect example of a rosé that has retained its vibrant fruit. While the color is a rather deep pink, this wine is bursting with floral, herbaceous and citrusy notes. It will go wonderfully well with gravlax, salads or grilled chicken.
Tura, Mountain Vista, Pinot Noir, 2021: The terroir where this estate-grown pinot noir is grown combines a relatively warm climate with mountainous, rich mineral soils that retain rain; and thanks to sharp temperature variations between the day and night times, the natural acidity is preserved. The result is a fuller-bodied wine with strong, ripe red fruit aroma, earthy minerals, roasted meat, herbs and spices. If you have some fleishig meals over Shavuos, this will be a great wine to pair with barbecued lamb chops, short ribs or empanadas.
Herzog, Lineage, Sauvignon Blanc, Lake County, 2022: This sauvignon blanc contrasts other new-world examples of this variety, with less of an emphasis on the citrusy and grassy notes, but more of an interesting cocktail of stone summer fruits such as white peach and apricot and tropical notes of papaya and guava. The rounder profile makes it a great companion to herb-crusted veal chops or trout baked in butter and almonds.
Have a wonderful Yom Tov, l’chaim!
Gabriel Geller is director of public
relations and wine education for Royal Wines.