The holiday of Tu b’Shevat is known as the New Year for the Trees. In celebration of this holiday, it is customary for people to eat fruits and nuts from the trees and drink wines that are sweeter and fruity as well. I have picked out some wines that will pair well with fruits and have tree-fruit notes. It is traditional to drink four cups of wine during this holiday meal, also called a “seder” and not unlike at the Passover seder. There is a difference in the wine rituals between the two seders, however. On Passover we drink whatever we choose, red or white wine. On Tu b’Shevat, we start with white wine for the first cup, then blend a small amount of red wine into the white for the second cup to create a pink. More red is used than white for the third, with the fourth ending on a cup of just red wine. This gradual change from white wine to red symbolizes the change of seasons throughout the year, from wintry white to the fullness of blazing red leaves of autumn. It’s best to use clear wine glasses for the Tu b’Shevat seder so we can see these changes as well as taste.
Baron Herzog Jeunesse Cabernet Sauvignon is a California wine that is perfect for any white wine drinker looking to make the transition to red wine. It is labeled as a young and semi-dry red wine. What this means is that the juice from the grapes is fermented for a short time, so a lot of the sugar from the juice is still present allowing for more sweetness and more fruit notes present on the nose and palate. The term Jeunesse is a French translated to youth or young. This term is perfect for this wine. With its hints of cherry, raspberry and flowery notes, the wine will pare well most dried fruits and nuts and can even go with desserts like a fruit tart.
As for a white wine that will reach the fruit forward notes and nutty characteristics, I really like Bartenura Moscato. This is an Italian wine made from the Muscat grape. The wine is made in the traditional style of Italian Moscato and is even bottled in a traditional blue bottle. The wine is slightly effervescent and has notes of tangerines and peaches. It will be the ultimate sipper for anyone and everyone who is interested in having a fruity wine for easy drinking. It is also perfect to pair with citrus fruits and spiced nuts.
Not only do these wines provide two examples of wines with fruity notes for a holiday where fruits, nuts and nature are the focus, but these wines have relatively lower alcohol percentages, so you can actually enjoy the four glasses of wine the scriptures say one should enjoy as part of this mid-winter holiday celebration.