This year we will be hosting 21 people for Rosh Hashanah. When you’re having enough Yom Tov guests to field two baseball teams and still have a few people in the stands to watch, you may want to start drinking early. Luckily, I am well-stocked this year with some wonderful kosher wines that taste great in the glass and are available at a range of prices for most every budget.
Here are a few of our favorite kosher wines for Rosh Hashanah:
2009 Carmel Single Vineyard Merlot (Israel); $24. A wonderful wine from the Sha'al Vineyard, it was aged in oak barrels for 10 months. The wine is deep in color, with a rounded, supple aroma of plums and ripe berries. Full flavored with a smooth, velvety finish.
2009 Dalton Alma Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot-Cabernet Franc (Israel); $27. A blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon 27% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc results in a dark full-bodied wine showing generous aromas of cherries, plums and sweet dark fruits with a buttery palate offering essences of vanilla, cloves and green tea.
2010 Psagot Shiraz (Israel); $30. This wine, aged for 13 months in French and American oak, exudes a beautiful fruit profile which integrates nicely with a hint of spiciness.
2009 Dalton Reserve Shiraz (Israel); $37. 14 months of French oak lends a maturity to this complex wine showing a rich jammy fruit character balanced by earthier notes of tobacco, leather and licorice. It is a rich powerful wine with soft integrated tannins giving a spicy velvety mouth feel and a long finish.
2010 Binyamina Reserve Carignan (Israel); $19. The wine has a deep purple-garnet color with prominent aromas of ripe plum, white pepper, vanilla and flowers. A full-bodied, thick, harmonious and generous wine.
2010 Dalton Cabernet Sauvignon (Israel); $20. A dark, rich and well-balanced wine, showing forest fruit such as currants, berries and mint, well complemented by the subtle vanilla flavors of French oak.
2009 Shiloh Mor Red (Israel); $29. Dark ruby towards garnet, a medium- to full-bodied blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (50%), Merlot (30%) and Barbera (20%) grapes. Aged for 14 months in oak, showing soft tannins and an appealing hint of spice, red currants and dark berries.
2010 Dalton Petite Sirah (Israel); $20. A dark rich wine, the nose is richly aromatic with notes of lavender, black olives and vanilla, with notes of old world complexity. The wine is velvety on the palate and 10 months in new American oak adds complexity to the long creamy finish.
2009 Weinstock Cellar Select Cabernet Sauvignon (Israel); $18. This wine displays wonderful black cherry, blackberry, and tobacco aromas, with a balanced oak bouquet. The wine was aged for 18 months in new and one-year old French and American oak barrels giving it a smooth mouth feel and rich yet soft tannins.