On Monday night, 19 wineries, wine stores and wine importers offered hundreds of selections at The Jewish Week’s fifth annual Grand Kosher Wine Tasting. The event, held at City Winery, the airy event space on Varick Street in Manhattan, was timed to arrive on the heels of the last month’s publication of The Jewish Week’s 2014 Kosher Wine Guide.
During the tasting, which drew about 600 people, Recanati Wines, Royal Wines, Golan Heights Winery and more poured highly rated bubblies, reds and whites, and vendors including Sabra and The Cheese Guy provided kosher snacks to cushion all the sipping.
Wine tastings can be overwhelming experiences — so many wines to try! — and the Grand Kosher Wine Tasting was no exception. The staggering number of bottles available from all over the world ably demonstrated the strong, diversified position the kosher wine world occupies today. Spanish Cava, California Riesling and French Vouvray took their place alongside dozens of selections of Israeli wines: today’s kosher wine consumer has wide-ranging tastes, and the market is finally catching up.
One busy table was that of Allied Importers USA, the country’s second-largest kosher wine importer. We asked vice president Shai Ghermezian how the company chose which wines to feature at the event.
“After the wine guide comes out, we like to bring some of the better-ranked wines so that readers get a chance to try them,” he explained; on offer was Gvaot Herodian Vineyard Dance 2011, ranked No. 8 on The Jewish Week wine judges’ list of the top 18 kosher reds this year.
Ghermezian assessed the crowd at the event as one that was serious about its wines.
“This is definitely a better-drinking clientele,” he said, adding with a laugh, “You’re not going to find any Moscato here.”