I’m not a wine expert, but last night our new sister site, Sew Jewish, co-hosted a wine and cheese tasting fundraiser for our local Chabad House, with a talk by painter and sculptor Tibor Spitz. For the wine tasting, the favorite by far of pretty much everyone at the event was a white wine: Herzog’s Orange Muscat. I’m not even an avid white wine drinker, but this I loved.
It’s ever so slightly sweet, and it’s orange tones would go great with a celebratory turkey dinner. Just in time for Thanksgivukkah and this year’s Thanksgiving-Hanukkah wedding weekend.
The wine is kosher, of course. The official program, written by someone who knows more about wines than I do, described it thusly:
This wine was grown in the California sun and harvested at peak ripeness. The result is a bold and aromatic orange muscat, offering a rich essence of grape, apricot, and orange peel. A smooth and full-bodied texture ushers in notes of fresh pineapple and passion fruit, softly finished by hints of toast.
For serving a crowd, it could get pricey, so to even things out couple it with Kedem Estates Classic Red, which is an easy drinking red wine that’s very easy on the wallet and makes a great house red.
Thanksgivukkah wedding menu options here.
When we asked a group of prominent wedding rabbis to give us their tips for organizing a Jewish wedding, one of their comments was that couples and wedding planners should make sure that the wine used for the huppah ceremony is kosher. If you don’t know a lot about kosher wines and aren’t sure what’s available in your area, then this is a great time to check out your options. In these last weeks before Passover, lots of kosher wine shops, synagogues, and Jewish organizations offer wine tastings and special sales.
If you’ve missed the special wine tastings in your area, experiment during the Passover Seders. After all, if we’re drinking four glasses of wine during each Seder, you can make each round a different variety. Not many options available locally? This is also a good time to order great kosher wines online so that you can have them in hand in time for the holiday.
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Today I was driving through New York’s Hudson River Valley with my daughters, and before stopping at a roadside stand for raspberries we scoped out Kedem, the kosher winery. The winery sits just off Route 9W, which winds its way through the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and the Shawangunk Wine Trail. Just a few miles to the east lies the Hudson River.
Regular buyers of kosher wine will recognize the Kedem label. They are one of the largest kosher labels and distributors in the country.
The nearby Kedem distributors used to be the only place in American where I could find bokha, a kosher fig liquor popular across Tunisia. It was made in a factory outside of Tunis that employed most of the members of a synagogue I sometimes attended just south of Carthage. A shot of bokha always brought back the year I spent in Tunis and people I knew there.
Photo source: KedemWinery.com
The winery is available for private events in the wine cellar, mansion, and garden. They cater. If you’re planning an event in New York State, they can ship kosher wine to your door.
If you find yourself in the area, I recommend stopping by. The tasting room is open for free wine tasting Sunday through Thursday.