May 27, 2014

Shavuos and Spring Usher in New Season for Kosher Wines and Food Pairing

NEW YORK — Spring is here and time to back off on the weight of our wines and still have some energy for hot days to come. A heavy Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and/or heavy blends can fill one up rather quickly or overshadow a great salad on a sunny day. Many people spout off comments like:” Food pairing wine” or “this one goes with cheese” and “Steak is the perfect combo for this one.”

How about location wine or Season wine or my back to old home grown Californian roots; Temperature wine. Spring time wines for the kosher connoisseur (laymen’s fine too) are Dry Whites, Semi Dry Whites & Red with more finesse or elegance. Think rolling hills with cool nights and some Pinot Noir, light red sauce on traditional noodles with Sangiovese, herbs please along a toasted challah and some olive oil and some Pinotage. Shifting too are streams running off snowmelt for a sauvignon blanc and some firm cheese, light chicken off a small farm with a buttery chardonnay and even some big salads and white fish teaming a Gewürztraminer might just do the trick.

Some wine suggestions for this season include:

2012 Recanati Rose: Israel ($16.50) — A blend of Barbera (70%) & Merlot (30%) which has super soft fruit, nice light acidic tones and just enough weight to show well with a light herbed salamon and a kani salad.

2012 Agur Rosa: Israel — This is a richer blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (40%), Cabernet Franc (40%) and Mourvedre (20%) which is more assertive, fragrant, oily and a bit herbal with its again weightier than it looks fun fruit that should team well with a vinaigrette salad, spicy dips and veal at a daytime party.

2009 Ruhlman Riesling: France — This Alsacian dry wine comes in with lime zest, fresh water springs, snapped romaine lettuce and grain fields on the nosing and merging into our pallet with a twinge creamy, medially acidic, lemon lime zest, minerals and even slight hint of cashew flakes that should team well with nutty dips, Toasted challah and herbal olive oil, mixed greens and white sauce thin cut chicken cutlets on a cool night close to a beach or stream.

2011 Gotto Doro Frescatti ($14) — Italian blend of Malvasia Di Candia, Malvasia Di Lazio, Trebiano and Greco grapes that lend us fun flavors of honeyed honeydew, Sunkist lemon drop powder, blood orange pulp with a cute nuttiness on the whiff welcoming us to a dry wine that starts big and fruity with hints of the exotic fruits that will work well with tropical salads, pineapple chicken and gelato style ice creams on a chair or bench in the hills near orchards.

2012 Lueria Gewürztraminer: Israel ($27) — This foot of Mt. Meron grown semi-dry wine is medium (skim milk being light and cream being heavy) bodied wine that welcomes us to Lychee, Star fruits, Kiwis and hints of spice showing no heavy sugar. On the drink we get a top notch fruity, spunky long finishing semi that has low acid and will link up with stir fried vegetables, some challah with cinnamon or fresh herbs, fruit salads and roasted no sauce chicken while eating in the forest.

2010 Pacifica Evans Collection Pinot Noir ($27) — Oregon, USA and the second home of Pinot Noir bring us this great expression of lighter, cherries on the nose, contained and well balanced red dry wine that some who say they don’t like dry may welcome with a smile on a dairy meal, mushroom dishes and some good Cajun gumbo on a hike in the hills.

2010 Gvaot Gofna Pinot Noir ($50): Israel — And to me the best Pinot I have tried so far is produced from Pinot Noir (90%) and Merlot (10%) and has hints of red berries, slightly earthy and even for a medium not full bodied wine packs a bunch of nuances on our palletes and leaves us with a long finish. Don’t get lost with this one and drink with olive oil and challah and have that be enough on a warm cloudy day.

2009 Gush Etzion Sauvignon Blanc ($20): Israel — Melons, citrus and light herbs that are too easy to  continue smelling. This smooth, light/medium bodied dry white wine will merge well with asparagus dishes, goat cheese and while eating veggie pizzas on a windy evening.