Joining a wine club is an especially easy option for wine lovers who may not have the time to stay abreast of the latest releases. One of the newest kosher wine clubs is The Cellar club from the San Diego-based LiquidKosher.com.
Owned and operated by Andrew Breskin, Liquid Kosher has emerged in a fairly short period of time as a small but significant kosher fine wine importer, online retailer and collection-curator.
Self-described as offering a “curated wine experience,” Liquid Kosher’s latest guise as club purveyor eliminates some of the costs associated with traditional, often clunky, distribution channels. More importantly, having a trusted custodian to select from among unfamiliar wines potentially offers additional value to the consumer.
The basic terms are straightforward: four quarterly club shipments of four-to-six bottles of wine that are exclusive to Liquid Kosher’s portfolio at a cost of $199 per shipment. Members also receive a 10 percent discount at the Liquid Kosher store — the online store includes wines that are not exclusive to Liquid Kosher’s import portfolio. Members can also get early access to limited-edition wines.
Finally, members can cancel at any time.
The most recent shipment offers a fine example of the club’s value both in terms of exclusivity and as curator. The shipment consisted of three bottles of a very limited quantity kosher run — only 37 cases were produced — of the Timbre Winery’s 2018 Opening Act Rosé from California, and three bottles of the Ya’acov Oryah Winery’s 2018 Light From Darkness, a white wine blend produced from red wine grapes.
At only 37 cases, this Timbre Winery kosher pinot noir rosé was essentially hobbyist-level volume and would likely not have been produced but for the synergy of industry relationships. Breskin said that by the time you are reading this, the wine will be sold out.
The Ya’acov Oryah wines, meanwhile, are all the rage in Israel among wine geeks. Winemaker at the Psagot Winery, and a consultant to several others, Oryah’s own brand of wines is essentially akin to public offerings from his personal wine laboratory where he tinkers and explores. This exploratory-side is a large part of the almost cult-like following he enjoys among Israeli-wine aficionados. Now, thanks to Breskin, American kosher consumers can finally taste these wines outside of Israel.
Offering this particular wine from among the five currently available Oryah wines is a nice example of The Cellar club’s thoughtful selection. Arguably, one could simply select among the Oryah wines through a game of ringtoss, since each offers something unique. Even for] mainstream wine consumers, for example, Orange wines — white wines that are given prolonged contact with the grape skins — are something of an acquired taste. Thankfully, this one is accessible.
Ya’acov Oryah Winery, Light From Darkness, 2018 ($39.99): This white wine, Oryah’s take on a blanc de noir—rendered as or m’ofel on the label in Hebrew, is made from a blend of the following red wine grapes: 33 percent grenache, 31 percent cinsault, 24 percent Syrah, and 12 percent mourvèdre.
The wine was produced without any skin contact or malolactic fermentation, making it white instead of red and giving it the sort of vibrancy and freshness once expects from a white or even a rosé. L’chaim!