May 16, 2024
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May 16, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

As has been mentioned many times in the past, the Jewish consumer has become much more intrigued with the tastes of various types of wine. In fact the government of Quebec would be thrilled that the kosher world is now using more and more French each time they repeat Loire, Rhône, Alsace, Beaujolais and Bordeaux. It then becomes more and more exciting as cabernet sauvignon, merlot, chenin blanc, chenin rouge, Châteauneuf, Château Malartic-Lagravière, Domaine De Panquelaine Sancerre, Drappier Brut Champagne Nature, Philippe Le Hardi Mercurey Blanc and Chablis become common bottles on our Shabbat tables.

I’d love to do a pronunciation test on the owners of these bottles but I doubt that most are even looking at the names. The more exotic the name and sometimes the price tag, the more tempting it becomes to buy the bottle. Some look at the year, having been told which year was a good year for harvesting grapes, and others believe that the older the year the finer the bottle of wine must be.

In case you are not able to tell, I am a skeptic. I still believe that if “tasters” were blindfolded and tested on “whites,” whoops I mean blanc wines, some of them would be awkwardly fooled into choosing the wrong ones. The same obviously would be with rouge or rosé wines. We’ll never know because few are interested in being tested.

Kol hakavod to the wineries and their growers as they have found a great niche to make profits. We the lay people are enabling them to continually fill their pockets with more and more as each “nouveau” wine comes on the market. Emphatically I would encourage all to purchase Israeli wines each time they need to replenish their supply.

I have had the occasion to observe wine tasters both in the USA and Canada and find their reactions very funny. It’s too sweet, dry, not aromatic enough, hard on the palate, perhaps a bit too thick or even too liquidy. And do not forget that before you try the wine you must swish it around in your glass and then smell it. Not sure what the swish does for the wine but it has become de rigueur for any tasting. If you do not like the smell are you still supposed to swish? Only the mavens know for sure!

There was a time not so many years ago when this plethora of kosher wines was not in existence. All of us unsophisticated people survived quite well. In fact the biggest treat that we in our family would have each Shabbat was my beloved Mordechai’s frozen Malaga wine! I know that it is now almost unimaginable to mention Malaga and it is found in the liquor store in the very back where the “old fashioned” types of wine are sold. Friends who graced our Shabbat table here in Bergenfield also enjoyed the “wine slush.” Let me tell you all that if you want to give your family a fun treat on Shabbat, buy a bottle of Kedem Malaga and put it in the freezer. Don’t worry, it will not explode. Take it out just one hour before you are ready to make kiddush. You might have to spoon it into individual kiddush cups because it will be frozen but it is so yum. If you are embarrassed for people to know what type of wine it is you can always cover the bottle with foil. Or rename it Malaga Sur Glace. As a result, it might be featured on your next visit to a liquor/wine store instead of being found on the lowest shelf in the back.


Nina Glick can be reached at [email protected].

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