*** 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.
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
What makes a wine kosher?
Jeff A says
Almost another year has gone by! I was doing some research on Bartenura, and came across your post. Bartenura also produces a good Chianti ($15), and a good Toscano Rosso ($10), and today I picked up a Pinot Grigio ($17) to try out. Not only are they kosher, but they are kosher for Passover, although these are certainly wines that you can drink year-round. Never again will I have to settle for those syrupy sweet “wines.”
Shalom from Dallas! Jeff