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 gave 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 White Wines is below.

Top White Wines

1 Carmel, Single Vineyard – Sha'al, Late Harvest Gewurztraminer, 2007
2 Domaine du Castel, Blanc du Castel, Chardonnay, 2009
3 Dalton, Reserve, Wild Yeast Viognier, 2009
4 Hagafen, Cuvee De Noirs, 2007
5 Hagafen, Oak Knoll, Chardonnay, 2010
6 (tie) Carmel, Appellation, Chardonnay, 2009
6 (tie) Hagafen, White Riesling, Rancho Wieruszowski, 2011
6 (tie) Weinstock, Cellar Select, Chardonnay, 2008
7 Teperberg,Terra, Sauvignon Blanc, 2011
8 (tie) Gamla, Reserve, Chardonnay, 2010
8 (tie) Lanzur, Sauvignon Blanc, 2010
9 Binyamina, Reserve, Chardonnay, 2010
10 Golan Heights Winery, Yarden, Odem Vineyard Chardonnay, 2009
10 Tishbi, Estate, Chardonnay, 2010
11 (tie) Dalton, Alma, Chardonnay-Viognier, 2010
11 (tie) Galil Mountain, Viognier, 2009
12 (tie) Dalton, Fume Blanc, 2010
12 (tie) Hagafen, Prix, Oak Knoll Chardonnay, 2010

Top White Wines Under $18

1 (tie) Gamla, Reserve, Chardonnay, 2010
1 (tie) Lanzur, Sauvignon Blanc, 2010
2 Galil Mountain, Viognier, 2009
3 Dalton, Fume Blanc, 2010
4 Recanati, Sauvignon Blanc, 2010
5 (tie) Shiloh, Chardonnay, 2010
5 (tie) Tishbi, Gewurztraminer, 2010
5 (tie) Hagafen, Don Ernesto's Collage, 2010
5 (tie) Cantina Gabriele, Moscato Sparkling Rose, n.v
6 (tie) Bartenura, Moscato, 2010
6 (tie) Tishbi, Emerald Riesling, 2010
6 (tie) Joseph River, Estate, Chardonnay, 2010
6 (tie) Teperberg, White (Sauvignon Blanc-Chardonnay), 2011
7 Baron Herzog, Chardonnay, 2008
8 (tie) Geographe, K, Chardonnay, 2009
8 (tie) Primo V Puglia, Moscato, 2010
8 (tie) O'Dwyers Creek, Sauvignon Blanc, 2010
9 Layla Vineyards, Moscato, n.v.

Top White Wines $18 and Over

1 Carmel, Single Vineyard – Sha'al, Late Harvest Gewurztraminer, 2007
2 Domaine du Castel, Blanc du Castel, Chardonnay, 2009
3 Dalton, Reserve, Wild Yeast Viognier, 2009
4 Hagafen, Cuvee De Noirs, 2007
5 Hagafen, Oak Knoll, Chardonnay, 2010
6 (tie) Carmel, Appellation, Chardonnay, 2009
6 (tie) Weinstock, Cellar Select, Chardonnay, 2008
6 (tie) Hagafen, White Riesling, Rancho Wieruszowski, 2011
7 Teperberg,Terra, Sauvignon Blanc, 2011
8 Binyamina, Reserve, Chardonnay, 2010
9 (tie) Tishbi, Estate, Chardonnay, 2010
9 (tie) Golan Heights Winery, Yarden, Odem Vineyard Chardonnay, 2009
10 Dalton, Alma, Chardonnay-Viognier, 2010
11 Hagafen, Prix, Oak Knoll Chardonnay, 2010
12 Covenant, Lavan Chardonnay, 2009
13 (tie) Herzog, Late Harvest White Riesling, Monterey County, 2010
13 (tie) Dalton, Reserve, Sauvignon Blanc, 2010
13 (tie) Agur, Rosa, 2010

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 Spectator
Yankie 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