This is it: Rosh Hashana is here! What a season! I hope it was as busy and successful for you as it was for me with our wines. And now Sukkot is coming, and that’s an even bigger holiday with many festive meals to enjoy great food and wine with lots of guests, friends and family.
Today, however, I will remain focused on Rosh Hashana with a couple last minute suggestions.
Rosh Hashana is also the Day of the Divine Judgement, when G-d looks into the past year and counts our deeds in this world. Therefore, many people will drink in relative moderation and will often not open their most expensive bottles. Instead, they will keep those for Sukkot. So we will talk Sukkot wines in next week’s post.
Today I will discuss exceptionally only one yet very solid, good value wine, easy drinking and great bang for the buck, perfect for Rosh Hashana and all year-round.
Herzog, Late Harvest, White Riesling, 2015
In 2017, kosher wines sadly are still thought of by many people who are not in the know as cloyingly sweet, syrupy, sacramental wine. We all know here of course that this could not be more inaccurate. However, to call a wine sweet is not necessarily a negative thing.
Take for instance the Herzog Late Harvest White Riesling.
This wine is a classic. It has been around for now well over 20 years and is a staple wine of Herzog Wine Cellars. It is delicious, beautifully balanced and can age nicely for 10-15 years. The Herzog Late Harvest series of wines has been for a long time a standard for high quality, dependable and affordable dessert wines.
To be honest, there is one thing I do not like about this wine. It is in part responsible for the wrong yet common belief that wines made from Riesling are sweet by definition. Riesling is one of the noble grape varieties. There are wineries in Germany and Alsace as well as in many new world wine regions such as California and Israel that produce stellar wines from this variety in all levels of sweetness. From the bone-dry (for instance, Carmel Kayoumi, Hagafen Dry Riesling, Koenig), off-dry (Tzafona) or semi-sweet (Hagafen) and I am mentioning here only the kosher ones.
Some of the world’s most expensive and famous wines are dry Riesling such as those produced by Egon-Müller, in Germany. And there are the sweet, layered, complex, luscious dessert wines, as well.
This wine is light gold in color with green reflections. The nose and oily palate show aromas and flavors of dried apple, candied pear, apricot jam and mango with good acidity that keeps the sweetness in check. Simply perfect with your holiday apple pie or foie gras for instance (rumor has it that kosher foie gras made in the USA is coming online very soon, yay!).
Sure, Sauternes wines are awesome but there are also other dessert wines that are delicious, as well! And it does not have to cost an arm and a leg, the Herzog Late Harvest are well-priced and amazing.
I wish you all Shana Tovah! May the coming year be a healthy, happy, prosperous and succesful one for all of us!
Photography by Tzvi Cohen.