Monday, November 29, 2010

The Wines of Israel

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it’s time to focus on the wines that will be uncorked at the holiday table this year. And, as always, I cannot recommend strongly enough how important it is to break with years past, drink outside the box of habit and tradition, and take advantage of the full range of wine options available these days.

Much has been made recently--and by recently I mean the past 10 years or so--about the wide range of wine-producing countries that are finally making names for themselves on this side of the Atlantic. In just the past year, this blog has covered wines from no fewer than a dozen countries around the world, many of them relatively unfamiliar in wine-drinking circles just a few short years ago.

And now, this weekend, both The Virtual Gourmet and Bloomberg Muse News ran an excellent article by John Mariani on the wines of Israel, a country that, thousands of years into its history, is really starting to make wines of note.

“A decade ago,” Mariani begins, “I’d never have written this sentence: ‘On a recent trip to Israel I was very enthusiastic to order Israeli wines with my meals.’” He goes on to note that, though there were the occasional pitfalls that so many up-and-coming wine-producing countries fall victim to, the wines he tasted, particularly the reds, “were clean, well made, and dry.” He added: “Many can compete with the better wines coming out of Lebanon, Eastern Europe, Spain and Portugal.”

The complete article is linked up above. It’s a fantastic overview of a country whose wines will likely get plenty of attention during the holiday season, but that are enjoyable throughout the year, improving all the times, and certainly worth learning more about.


Anonymous said...

Hey Brian! Thanks for the article and the link. Interesting stuff. I purchased 2 bottles of Israeli wines the other day as I plan for my "Exotics" class at Pinot in January: Gamla Cabernet 2006 from Galilee and a Shiraz/Cabernet blend from Noah Winery in the Judean Hills. I tried the Noah last night and was moderately impressed with the balance of fruit and structure and it's complexity (lots of secondary flavors going on). of course, anything with the name "Noah" has got to be good, right?

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