Anyone who has enjoyed wine has tasted blended wine. It is among the most common practice in winemaking. Blending wine means mixing different grapes or wines. Let’s discuss some wines that not only blend grapes, they blend traditions.
A quick review of wine blending: varietals like Chardonnay or Malbec are typically 80%-100% one type of grape from one plot. Sometimes other grapes or juices are used, but the overall goal is to aid in the expression of the titular grape’s flavor. A blended wine like Sauvignon Blanc is blended from multiple grapes for taste. No one grape is explicitly expressed; different grapes are combined with the simple goal of creating a delicious wine.
There is another blending happening in the kosher wine world. That is the blending of the Jewish wine tradition with the local wine tradition. Israel is an immigrant country. When French Jews came to Israel, they were carrying the French knowledge of traditional winemaking and applying it to the Israel terrain. Eastern European Jews brought a set of traditions from Moldova and associated areas. Jews arrived and incorporated their winemaking tradition into Israel. As one winemaker famously said, “The story of kosher wine is a story of Israel.”
The reverse sentiment is also true. Kosher wine is a tradition onto itself. Although there are certain things that unite all kosher wines, a kosher wine made in Argentina is simply different from one made in California. It’s the combination of local winemaking traditions with Jewish winemaking tradition. What does this all add up to? Some exquisite wines!
A prime example of this blend of traditions can be seen in Baron Herzog wines. This strictly kosher vineyard is located in California, an established world leader in wine. The Herzog Zinfandel is just sweet enough to pay homage to older variants of kosher wine, but also contains an acidic cut backed up by warm fruit flavors. In short, this is not your grandpa’s kosher wine, and it is far from your run-of-the-mill Zinfandel.
For a special occasion, go with the Covenant Red C Sauvignon Blanc, a favorite of Wall Street Journal wine reporter Lettie Teague. This wine combines flavors like mango and grass into a wine that most oenophiles will have trouble believing is kosher. Any wine by Covenant is kosher and will completely buck expectations in the best way possible. Order some for your next dinner party.