As we approach 2010, we raise a glass and toast to a year of peace, good health, joy, and prosperity for our country, and for all good people everywhere! Let’s make our toasts with memorable kosher spirits!
So, first things first, we’ll try to clarify an age-old question; what is the difference between Champagne and Sparkling Wine? Most authorities claim that true champagne is the bubbly that comes exclusively from the Champagne region of France. They say therefore, that technically, all other sparkling wines should not be called Champagne. But, as you will see many are, therefore, the term champagne is often used in the generic sense.
Most sparkling wines and champagnes are categorized by descriptive words depending on their sugar content:
Extra Brut — "extra" dry
Brut — dry (most popular type); pairs well with a meal
Extra dry — somewhat dry; (great as an aperitif)
Some kosher spirits for the season:
The KosherFest competition winner for best new wine, beer or spirit is from Kedem. It is Elvi Sintonia Sangria. This is traditional sangria made from Spanish wine and natural fruit juices; it does have a slight hint of sweet strawberry. The winemaker suggests that this be served chilled with pasta or meat. To make the sangria even more special, we suggest that you consider adding some freshly cut peaches, pears and apples and serve it alongside cheese and crackers.
Alan Smirin of Tower East Beer Wine & Spirits is a KosherEye wine consultant and owner of one of Atlanta’s leading wine stores. He has shared several of his personal favorites with us. He considers Baron Herzog Brut Champagne an excellent sparkler for any festive celebration. His choice for a good, well-priced, everyday, sparkling wine is Bartenura Asti Spumante. Alan is also a huge fan of his bestselling kosher red, Borgo Reale Montepulciano D’Abruzzo. He highly recommends this Italian red, and feels that it is value priced at under $20.
Kosherwine.com is the #1 online shipper of kosher wines in the U.S. Bethany Dilich, sales manager of the company, was kind enough to share some of her expert guidance with us.
In the $17-$24 dollar range:
Unlike most Proseccos, which undergo one and a half months of initial fermentation in stainless steel tanks, this kosher production spent nine months in tanks yielding a much toastier, fruitier palette than one might find in non-kosher Proseccos. The results are smooth, delicate, highly refined and bubbly.
Galil Mountain Yiron 2005
For the red wine-lover; this wine is an extremely good value for a delicious, inexpensive, Israeli red.
Porto Cordovero Ruby Port
Not only a fantastic wine to drink, but also a great wine to use in cooking. It is one of Bethany’s favorite dessert wines.
Especially for those on a tight budget; it packs a mighty punch for only $4.99/bottle!
And now to the “real” thing—from the Champagne region of France, Laurent Perrier Brut Rose Champagne. This is the kosher certified version of the bestselling rose (blush) Champagne in the world. The price at kosherwine.com is just under $100. KosherEye has not sampled this champagne, but those who have, gave this champagne exceptional rating!
Finally, we thank Bethany for the New Year’s Day Pomegranate Mimosa Recipe — perfect for a New Year’s Day brunch or celebration!
For pricing, more information or to order, visit www.kosherwine.com.