Last night I attended the third and final night of the 2nd Annual Jerusalem Kosher Wine Festival in Binyanei haUma. For 80 NIS, you get you a glass to take home and all the wine tasting you can handle. Fortunately, the hall is close to the Central Bus Station. The festival was sponsored by A. A. Pyup, a large kosher wine store in Sanhedria. The store is close to Har Hotzvim, where my husband and I work, and we have been shopping there for years. From the outside it looks like a cinder block shack but it has two large rooms inside and a covered area outside. Some 40 wineries provided tastings and sold individual bottles and a “3+1” (i.e., 4 bottles for the price of 3) offer.
Cooking workshop. I think he was brandishing a piece of chicken.
The food vendors were stationed in the lobby. Miriam and I bought a cheese platter, which I’m not posting the photo because it was probably more cheese than I eat in two weeks. 🙂 But oh so good — Camembert, red cheese (sheeps’ milk), Gouda, basil cheese (like eating pesto in solid form! That’s the green one below) and another that I’m not sure of. Other vendors sold sushi, pastries, chocolates, cakes, spreads, olive oil, and bread. There was plenty of food to soak up the alcohol.
I hadn’t planned to buy anything but ended up taking home a bottle of Adom Cabernet Sauvignon from Saslove Winery, Kibbutz Eyal, near Kfar Saba. It was rich and spicy. The description sounds like someone dumped the contents of a supermarket bakery aisle into this wine, but the result was delicious! The Adom Cabernet Sauvignon has received one commendation, three silver medals, a bronze medal, and a trophy.
100% Cabernet Sauvignon rich with cherry, raspberry, plum and blueberry aromas. Ageing for 20 months in French and American oak barrels spiced with mint, nutmeg, cinnamon, mocha, chocolate, vanilla and slightly smoky maple syrup.
The Saslove “Pink” rosé was semi-dry, rich, not at all cloying, with a floral perfume. It was an exceptionally good wine, and if I had had the strength to carry 3+1 by bus to Maale Adumim (Miriam did shlep 3+1 to Petach Tikvah by bus!) I would have included that wine. We tried the Reserved Cabernet Sauvignon as well, but Miriam and I agreed that it was less exceptional than the rosé and the Adom Cabernet Sauvignon.
Roni Saslove (below), an Israeli-Canadian second-generation winemaker (her father is an engineer turned winemaker), told us about how she uses different yeasts for different grape varieties and some she freezes in order to stop fermentation abruptly and retain the flavours. She makes excellent wines, very complex and almost textured.
When I left at 8:30, crowds were still arriving. Not too surprisingly, the attendees were mostly religious and young.