May 21, 2024
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Light Up Your Chanukah Table With Premium Israeli Wines

When the brave-hearted Modiin Maccabees commemorated their resounding victories over the Assyrian Greeks in Jerusalem and Galilee nearly 2200 years ago, they undoubtedly returned to their families and reveled in a hearty meal and helpful servings of unsophisticated red dry wines. Wines were bountiful 2,200 years ago but ancient wine grape growers didn’t possess the state-of-the-art agricultural technologies that are part and parcel of Israel’s 21st-century burgeoning wine industry.

Today, the modern-day citizens of Modiin and Jerusalem, as well as connoisseurs of fine wines all over the world, can celebrate the festive eight-day Chanukah holiday with a palate-pleasing melange of sophisticated wines, from lush vineyards located in the Galilee and Golan Heights. They can be enjoyed with anything and everything from sufganiyot (Israeli jelly donuts) to braised beef.

“During Chanukah many festive dishes consist of fried foods and desserts including sufganiyot, sfinge (Moroccan sugar donuts) and latkes (potato pancakes),” said Eyal Franco, Marketing Manager at Galil Mountain Winery. “Red wines that are bursting with robust fruit flavors make perfect choices to balance out the flavors associated with fried foods, as well as many meat offerings.”

Here are some suggested wines to serve during the festive eight-day holiday…

*Galil Alon: Made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, the wine exhibits a dark purple hue and has an aroma made up of ripe fruit and spices as well as toasted oak characters. The wine is a perfect match with stews and braised and grilled meats.

*Galil Ela: A dark red blend of Barbera, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, the wine features characters of plum, sour cherry, pitanga, violet blossom and herbs, along with notes of oak and a hint of butter. It’s delectable with meat-stuffed pastas such as ravioli.

*Mt. Hermon Moscato: This lightly sparkling dessert wine accentuates aromatic floral, tropical fruit, peach, lime, blood orange and green apple characters. It goes wonderfully with varied fruit-based desserts such as key lime pie, peach crumble or an apple tart.

*Yarden Blanc de Blanc: This complex sparkling wine presents aromatic lemon zest characters rounded out with notes of fresh flowers and green apples, plus hints of flint and fresh baguette. It pairs wonderfully with a delicate cheese soufflé, a selection of fish tempura or smoked salmon Eggs Benedict.

*Gamla Nature Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot: An intricate wine equally comprising both Cabernet and Merlot that displays attractive cherry, orange zest and berry notes, backed by hints of fresh herbs. The wine can be enjoyed with lamb chops, a juicy burger or thin-crust pizza.

*Yarden Syrah: This full-bodied wine shows off pleasing cherry and blackberry fruit characters along with notes of smoke, earth and exotic spices. It is a perfect companion to rich meat dishes such as marinated flank steak, braised beef short ribs or herb-roasted lamb chops.

By Ken Stephens

 

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