June and July 2018 Gary Vee Wine Club

Hi everyone! Today, I’m sharing my June and July Gary Vee Wine Club shipments, and tasting the 2014 Esser Cab that came in July’s box. Cheers! The Gary Vee Wine Club is a monthly shipment of wine for only $55 a month. Depending on the month, you receive 1, 2, 3, or 4 bottles. The June 2018 shipment included 1 wine red wine from Italy. The July 2018 shipment included 3 wines from the US – two whites and one red.

The #GaryVeeWineClub is run through Wine Library.  The wines mentioned were:

Questions of the Day: 

  1. Do you use Vivino or another wine app to rate/keep track of your wine thoughts?
  2. What are your summer cookout wine go-tos?

Passover 2012 Top 5 Wine List

Last year, while putting together my Passover 2011 Top 5 Kosher wine list, I realized I was sorely lacking in white and sparkling wine recommendations.  In fact, not only were all of my recommendations red wines, they were all Israeli red wines.  What was most unfortunate about this was that it wasn’t from a lack of trying non-Israeli, non-red wines.  It was just that none of them were any good.  On some level, it makes sense that Israeli winemakers are rocking the kosher wine market, but that didn’t change my desire to branch out a little.  So, I spent the last year on a mission to find good kosher wines from elsewhere in the world, particularly ones that were sparkling or white and help round out my kosher wine options.

My quest paid off.  While I still prefer kosher reds to kosher bubbly and kosher whites, I found a few California and Italian options to add to my recommendations.  That said, I still feel I have a dearth of kosher white-and-sparkling wine recommendations, which means my search continues.  If you have any ideas, please share them by leaving a comment or sending me an email.

The first night of Passover is two weeks away, so as you start thinking about your menu and your wine options, here are my Passover 2012 Top 5 kosher wine recommendations:

 

Borgo Reale Prosecco

Borgo Reale Prosecco

#5
The Borgo Reale Prosecco is a mevushal sparkling wine from Italy.  It had light citrus and yeast aromas that were mixed with a hint of apple.  The sparkler paired nicely with fish, but was particularly enjoyable when mixed with some orange juice.  That makes this sparkler a fun addition to the Passover Seder, as well as a good way to celebrate the guests leaving on Sunday morning.  I gave this bubbly 3 corks and purchased it for $18.

 

 

2008 Bartenura Nebbiolo

2008 Bartenura Nebbiolo

#4
The 2008 Bartenura Nebbiolo was made with 100% certified organic Nebbiolo grapes.  It had a nice mix of red fruits and violets, along with a hint of tobacco that gave the wine a slightly different character. It’s very food-friendly and will go particularly with Italian dishes like my spinach matzo lasagna.  I have this wine 3.5 corks and, while it was a sample, it retails for about $17.

 

 

2009 Covenant Lavan Chardonnay

2009 Covenant Lavan Chardonnay

#3
The 2009 Covenant Lavan Chardonnay had nice complexity, good balance, and the slightest hint of oak.  There were good citrus fruits mixed with pears, apricots, and vanilla, as well as a hint of ginger and cloves that gave the wine a nice complexity.  It was food-friendly and would be a nice way to start of a Passover dinner, but it also drinks well on its own if you just want to enjoy it with guests before sitting down to start the Sedar.  I gave this wine 4 Corks and purchased it for $37.

 

 

2008 Golan Heights Winery Cabernet Sauvignon

2008 Golan Heights Winery Cabernet Sauvignon

#2
The 2008 Golan Heights Winery Cabernet Sauvignon was made with 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.  Black fruits dominated the wine, and it had a nice smoothness and balance to it.  The wine promised to age nicely and is one that I can’t wait to pair with my Nana’s brisket.  I gave this wine 4.5 corks and purchased it for $16.

 

 

2007 Covenant Wines Cabernet Sauvignon

2007 Covenant Wines Cabernet Sauvignon

#1
The 2007 Covenant Cabernet Sauvignon is a California Cabernet that will knock your socks off, whether you’re looking for a kosher wine or not.  It was full of cedar, smoke, and black fruits, but also had hints of spices that gave it a complexity that was particularly enjoyable.  The wine was food-friendly, so it would be perfect for a Seder or holiday dinner, but it’s so luscious and tantalizing, that it’s also quite enjoyable on its own.  While the fruit characteristics dominate right now, I think this is a wine that will age nicely over the next 10 years, so be sure to buy a bottle to enjoy now and one to open in the future.  I think it will be worth the wait. I gave this wine 5 corks and purchased it for $70.

Question of the Day: Have you started thinking about your Passover or Easter wines yet?

Bartenura’s Kosher Wine is for Everyone

*** I received this wine as a sample. ***

Last week, my synagogue sent out the mailing saying it was time to buy Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur tickets.  While I’m not sure where the last year has gone, it’s clear that the High Holy Days are rapidly approaching.  That means I’m beginning my semi-annual quest to find kosher wines that I would be happy to bring to a holiday dinner.

Admittedly, I still have a bottle of kosher Nebbiolo that Wine Chateau sent to me as a sample around Passover.  Shortly after the bottle arrived, the weather in the DC area became brutally hot and humid.  The change immediately limited my red wine drinking, and as Passover became a distant memory, so did my desire to drink a kosher red wine. (For those of you who are new readers, I am Jewish and try to follow some kosher laws during major Jewish holidays, but do not maintain a kosher household year-round) The synagogue’s mailing reminded me about the wine in my rack and that it was time to start thinking about what kosher wines I would buy to ring in the New Year.

I’ve written about wines from Wine Chateau before, and oddly enough, one of the wines I referenced in the post was a kosher wine.  Wine Chateau is actually an online wine store that sells a wide selection of wine, only some of which is kosher.  They started as a brick-and-mortar store more than 40 years and have continued to grow since then.  Their mission is to provide excellent service and low prices on the more than 15,000 domestic and import wines that they sell, and I can say that as someone who has not only received samples, but also ordered and paid for wines from them, they have always been efficient, accommodating, and highly-competitively priced.  Their selection covers every budget, and while they are not an exclusively kosher wine store, they have an impressive kosher wine selection at prices that are almost always lower than what I can find at my local wine stores.

Between the email from the synagogue jump-starting my thoughts about the High Holy Days and the Nebbiolo in my wine rack waiting to be opened, two weeks ago, when there was a lull in the oppressive DC summer weather, I decided to open the bottle of red wine.

2008 Bartenura Nebbiolo

2008 Bartenura Nebbiolo

The 2008 Bartenura Nebbiolo (Wine Chateau) was made with 100% certified organic grapes and was a deep ruby red color.  On the nose, there were cherries, violets, and roses followed by a hint of tobacco.  In the mouth, there were cherries, raspberries, violets, and something almost prune-ish.  The wine had a tingle on the tongue that dissipated quickly.  It also had a medium body, a medium-to-high acidity, and a lingering finish.

Is this worth a glass after work? Definitely!  If you see this wine in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed. At a suggested retail price of $17, this wine is very food friendly and would be the perfect accompaniment for a family meal.  In particularly, I think it would pair nicely with an Italian pasta dish like ziti or with a matzo lasagna, as it certainly went well with the pizza that I paired it with.  I also wish that I could try it with my Nana’s brisket, as I think it would also have been a winning combination.  Overall, when it comes to kosher wines, I try to think of them with the same critical lens as I do all other wines, since I believe they should be held to the same quality standard.  I think this wine holds it own and is worth trying…kosher or not.

Question of the Day: Have you ever had a kosher wine other than Manischewitz?  What did you think of it?

Suggested Retail Price: $17
Received as a sample.
Overall: 3.5 Corks