Swirl. Sniff. Swish. Spit. – Repeat 240 times over three days, at about four hours an afternoon.

Welcome to the life of kosher wine taster.

In the offices of The Jewish Week, in late January and early February, eight wine connoisseurs made their way through 242 bottles of kosher wine. First aerating the wine with a gentle swirl, then swishing it around the palate, and ultimately spitting the liquid into buckets scattered across a table where they were gathered.

The eight men and women who gathered give each a ranking between 1 and 100. All wines tasted were part of a blind tasting, meaning the bottles were wrapped to conceal the wine's identity from the panels of judges.

Wineries from around the world had sent complimentary bottles to The Jewish Week to ultimately be tasted by this panel of judges.
Their results of the Top 18 Red Wines is below.

Top Red Wines

1 Shirah Wine, Power to the People, Syrah, 2009
2 Covenant, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009
3 (tie) Alexander, Reserve, Syrah, 2009
3 (tie) Golan Heights Winery, Yarden, Pinot Noir, 2007
4 Dalton, Shiraz, 2009
5 (tie) City Winery, Pinot Noir, Williamette Valley, 2009
5 (tie) Hagafen, Prix, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006
6 Bazelet HaGolan, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009
7 Hagafen, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009
8 (tie) Shiloh, Secret Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009
8 (tie) Tura, Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot, 2009
9 (tie) Alexander, Sandro, Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot, 2007
9 (tie) City Winery, Obsidian Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009
9 (tie) Domaine Netofa, Red, 2010
9 (tie) Golan Heights Winery, Golan, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009
9 (tie) Tishbi, Estate, Shiraz, 2007
9 (tie) Weinstock, Cellar Select, Petite Sirah, 2010
10 Livni, Sdeh Kalev, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009

Top Red Wines $25 and Under

1 Dalton, Shiraz, 2009
2 (tie) Alexander, Sandro, Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot, 2007
2 (tie) Domaine Netofa, Red, 2010
2 (tie) Weinstock, Cellar Select, Petite Sirah, 2010
2 (tie) Tishbi, Estate, Shiraz, 2007
3 (tie) Golan Heights Winery, Golan, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009
3 (tie) Weinstock, Red by W, 2009
3 (tie) Barkan, Classic, Pinot Noir, 2010
4 Binyamina, Reserve, Shiraz, 2009
5 Teperberg, Silver, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010
6 (tie) Borgo Reale, Maturo, 2009
6 (tie) Galil Mountain, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009
7 Cantina Gabriele, Pinot Noir, 2010
8 (tie) Capçanes, Peraj Petita, 2009
8 (tie) Beit-El, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010
9 (tie) Shiloh, Shor, Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot, 2007
9 (tie) Gush Etzion, Spring River, Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot, 2009
10 (tie) Carmel, Appelation, Merlot, 2006
10 (tie) Don Guillermo de Mendoza, Pinot Noir, 2010
10 (tie) Recanati, Merlot, 2010
10 (tie) Recanati, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010
10 (tie) Recanati, Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009

Top Red Wines Over $25

1 Shirah Wine, Power to the People, Syrah, 2009
2 Covenant, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009
3 (tie) Alexander, Reserve, Syrah, 2009
3 (tie) Golan Heights Winery, Yarden, Pinot Noir, 2007
4 (tie) Hagafen, Prix, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006
4 (tie) City Winery, Pinot Noir, Williamette Valley, 2009
5 Bazelet HaGolan, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009
6 Hagafen, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009
7 (tie) Shiloh, Secret Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009
7 (tie) Tura, Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot, 2009
8 City Winery, Obsidian Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009
9 Livni, Sdeh Kalev, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009
10 (tie) Gush Etzion, Lone Oak, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009
10 (tie) Golan Heights Winery, Yarden, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008
11 Dalton, Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009
12 Alexander, Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009
13 (tie) Segal, Dishon Single Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007
13 (tie) Psagot, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009
13 (tie) Barkan, Altitude +624, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007
13 (tie) Gush Etzion, Lone Oak, Syrah, 2009
13 (tie) Psagot, Single Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007

Taste many great kosher wines, March 11, at The Jewish Week's Grand Wine Tasting at the City Winery,
155 Varick St. (at Vandam), New York, NY 10013.
Tickets available here at $35

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JEWISH WEEK'S TOP 18 KOSHER WINES COMPETITION
The judges used a 100-point scoring system; tallies were made after each of three rounds of tastings.
JUDGES:

Michael Dorf, Chair, City Winery * Orr Reches, Sommelier, Veritas * Aron Ritter, Kosher Wine Society * Miriam Morgenstern, Wine SpectatorYankie Drew, Kosher Wine Maker, City Winery * Alison Nathan, Abigael's * Yossie Horwitz, Kosher Wine List * Jacques Capsouto, Capsouto Freres
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To see additional Top Kosher wine lists and great wine articles, just click here