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 Wines $36 & over is below.
Top Wines $36 & over
1 Shirah Wine, Power to the People, Syrah, 2009
2 Covenant, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009
3 (tie) Alexander, Reserve, Syrah, 2009
3 (tie) Hagafen, Prix, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006
3 (tie) City Winery, Pinot Noir, Williamette Valley, 2009
4 Bazelet HaGolan, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009
5 Domaine du Castel, Blanc du Castel, Chardonnay, 2009
6 Hagafen, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009
7 Tura, Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot, 2009
8 City Winery, Obsidian Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009
9 Hagafen, Cuvee De Noirs, 2007
10 Alexander, Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009
11 (tie) Psagot, Single Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007
11 (tie) Segal, Dishon Single Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007
12 (tie) Gofna,Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009
12 (tie) Capçanes, Peraj Ha'Abib, 2008
12 (tie) City Winery,Cabernet Sauvignon, Bettinelli Vineyard, 2009
12 (tie) Yatir, Red Blend, 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
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.
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
To see additional Top Kosher wine lists and great wine articles, just click here