I’ll pour while you drink


buchers_daughter_FWThis is a busy time for the kosher wine market. Not only are new wines invariably being introduced for Passover, but many wine purveyors will also offer wine tastings to educate their potential consumers about what’s on offer.

Usually, though not always, these wine tastings are free, and usually, though not always, there are discounts to be had from buying during such tastings. So, obviously, this is a splendid time to bone up on what’s available, and also stock up on wines. The trick is, simply, to keep an eye out for such local kosher wine tastings, or ask at your store to see if anything is upcoming.

As it happens, there is a free kosher wine tasting at 5 p.m. on April 12. The Wine Harvest in Potomac. The Wine Harvest is as much a wine bar and café as it is a wine store, but the Jewish management always makes a point of having well-thought-out kosher wine selections in stock year round.

This tasting also be your opportunity, if desired, to meet me. I’ll be there to help pour and chat about the selected kosher wines. (I do not benefit from this wine tasting in any way.)


Here are two of the wines that will be on offer:

The Butcher’s Daughter Reserve 2012 ($18.99) is a lovely medium-bodied French wine from Bordeaux with notable but not overwhelming tannins that give it the structure to, not surprisingly, pair well with steak, brisket and other such fare. It opens with blueberry and cassis aromas that extend nicely into blackberry, raspberry and bits of chocolate with some interesting spice and vanilla during the finish. Very quaffable.

Zion Winery, Fortissimo, Dessert Wine, Galilee, Israel, 2012 ($35.99; 18 percent abv) is an unusual Port-style fortified Israeli dessert wine produced from Marselan grapes. Originally a Languedoc hybrid of Cabernet and Grenache used often in Rhône blends, the Marselan grape has started showing some real promise in parts of Israel. In this instance the harvest wasn’t until the end of September 2012, from a vineyard at Moshav Merchavia in the Jezreel Valley; the grapes were extremely ripe. The result is this sweet, fun, and enjoyable, if unusual and slightly rustic, example of Marselan, with aromas of blackberries, dried red fruits, a little roasted wood and bitter baker’s chocolate, followed by additional flavors of espresso, dark chocolate, eucalyptus and red fruit leather. This finish is long, sweet, nutty, and warm. L’chaim!

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