Kosher wine has a mediocre reputation in the United States. If asked to name a Kosher wine, inevitably most people immediately say “Manischewitz” and are not able to name another brand. In my experience, when you mention to people that Kosher wine does not have to be sweet or made from concord grapes, they are often surprised.
In the past several years, a few American wineries have been making dry Kosher wines and Israeli wines have become more common in many wine retailers.
While Manischewitz and other sweet wines will continue to be associated with Jewish rituals and family dinners, I am on a quest to try more Kosher wines and try to sway friends away from always using sweet wines for ceremonial purposes. Instead of pouring “ceremonial” wine, why not choose something that can be used both for ceremonial purposes and also as a complement to the dinner menu?
On a recent trip to visit family, I had just such an occasion. We had a large group for a dinner of prime rib and I found a good looking bottle of 2009 Tabor Winery Galil Cabernet Sauvignon in my father-in-laws liquor cabinet. Here was a chance to serve a wine that would complement the food and could be used for ceremonial purposes.
A light garnet in the class, the wine had a classic cab profile on the nose. While the wine was a little thin (probably because it was so young), it had flavors of black cherry and dark chocolate throughout. Unlike other cabs, it had almost no tannis, suggesting that it was not aged on oak for very long, and weighed in at a reasonable 13.9% alcohol. (Rating ***1/2)