March 6, 2017

FEATURE: Royal’s Big KFWE Fits its Wine Educator Role

New York - Over 2,400 kosher foodies, wine enthusiasts, culinary stars, and kosher industry experts braved the cold weather on Monday, February 13th, for Royal Wine’s 11th Annual Kosher Food & Wine Experience (KFWE) at Chelsea Piers, Manhattan. Touted as the largest kosher food and wine show in the world, attendees at this year’s KFWE enjoyed over 400 varieties of kosher wines and spirits, as well as culinary delights from some of New York’s most celebrated kosher restaurants. Nor is the New York event the only such happening for Royal, which now sponsors similar events in London, Los Angeles, and Israel. These events are part of Royal’s ongoing mission to “educate” kosher consumers about the quality of the growing roster of kosher wines around the world. Clearly its flagship event, over 2,000 bottles of wine were poured at the New York event. Attendees enjoyed dozens of new wine varieties including a number from Israeli winemakers including Psagot, Tulip, Teperberg and Flam. According to Jay Buchsbaum, VP Marketing & Director of Wine Education at Royal Wine, “Israeli wines are very much in demand. Israel is the region with the strongest growth in the kosher wine world, hands down.” Amichai Lourie from the Judean Desert’s Shiloh Winery happily introduced wine watchers to Shiloh’s new Heroes Edition 2014, crafted from a special set of three single vineyard wines displaying the uniqueness of Israel’s Shomron area. French wines were also a focal point with new vintages featured such as Chateau Giscours Margaux, Château Malartic-Lagravière - Grand Cru Classé de Graves Pessac-Léognan, as well as Château Soutard Saint-Emilion. One of the world’s best dessert wines, Château de Rayne Vigneau, crafted from the first growth of the Sauternes appellation in Bordeaux, also made its first kosher appearance in the evening’s VIP room at Pier 59. “Kosher designation is no longer an issue for those who are serious about their wine. Consumers in the know are eager to explore high-end wines, especially from French and Israeli producers. That demand means the selection of complex, sophisticated, deeply-layered wines grows wider every year,” explained Mr. Buchsbaum. Another exciting dessert wine for tasting was Tzafona Cellars Vidal Ice Wine, hailing from Canada’s only vineyard. Owner Toby Berkel was on hand to explain what sets Ice Wine apart from its other vino friends. “Our wine is made from grapes that are kept on the vine until they are frozen,” said Berkel, “only then do we begin the wine making process.” Tzafona winemakers use Canada’s cold climate to create wines that are “complex and balanced, with higher acidity and more mineral flavors, making them among the most food-friendly wines in the world.” Tzafona were awarded the Double Gold Medal in the Terravino Mediterranean International Wine & Spirit Challenge and are introducing a new red ice wine in the coming months. For the foodies in the house the restaurant section did not disappoint either. Pomegranate Supermarket’s culinary team led by the talented Chef Isaac Bernstein served to impress with delights to the sound of Smoked Veal Belly and Chili Cured Brick Steak, and of course the unbelievable array of gribenes in the chopped liver, chipotle honey, and truffled varieties. Judd’s Memphis served a miniature version of their “$100 burger” which was a major hit; while Wander Que’s station not only dished up smokey BBQed happiness, but did so in style with a creatively decorated meat and sausage display. Reserve Cut came out in all their glory in the VIP room, Bedford Kitchen made an appearance as did Abigaels, Le Marais and many other stalwarts of the kosher food and restaurant world. A special mention goes to Koshe Poke, who served poke bowls of rice with raw cubed fish lightly marinated in soy and sesame, a Hawaiian dish that has recently taken the kosher world by storm.