Every year, Royal Wine Co. hosts the Kosher Food and Wine Experience in New York, the largest gathering of its kind in the US with over 2,500 people attending this past February. It’s the biggest kosher wine show in the country, designed to display and promote Royal Wine’s large portfolio of wines from around the world. Coming before Passover, the show has good timing since four cups of wine are central to the holiday observance around the seder table!
Royal Wine is the largest importer and distributor of kosher wines in the United States, and this show is a major experience for any wine drinker. The event is filled with retailers, wholesalers and critics who meet to taste the newest vintages as well as some of the already well-known wines. The KFWE, as it is also known, also includes a growing kosher food section, which attracts an amazing variety of caterers and local restaurants providing all styles of kosher food, from cholent to sushi to chocolates.
A word of advice: I have learned that you do not need to eat and drink everything at an event like this. If you do, you will end up full and suffering from palate fatigue way before the show is over! A tip for anyone who attends this type of event is to look at everything, but imbibe only what truly interests you. Also, talk to the other people there. Everyone will have an opinion and by listening you can gain a sense of what most people like and dislike, which will give you a good place to start.
At this year’s show, I tasted a major portion of the wines, focusing on those I already knew about and was interested in purchasing for my stock so customers would have a good selection for this Passover and other upcoming holidays and occasions. This included wines from California, Israel, Oregon, New Zealand, France, Italy, Australia and more. While coming across some amazing wines that I truly enjoyed, a few really struck my palate and my heart. They are must-haves when you are looking for wine for your next holiday or event.
Covenant Winery out of Napa Valley is a beautiful producer of both red and white wines, and has two labels — “Covenant” and “Red C.” While the Covenant label graces the higher-end wines of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, my favorite wine of those I tasted is the new release of the “Red C” Sauvignon Blanc. This wine has a very beautiful nose of citrus and lemongrass. Aged in stainless steel tanks, the wine has a crisp and clean back end and is perfect for chicken and fish dishes as well as an ideal match with fresh fruit on a warm day.
From Israel, one wine that really excited me is the Psagot Edom. This wine is a Bordeaux-style blend made in the Benjamin mountain region of Israel and is composed of 75 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 25 percent Merlot. It has has a strong vanilla nose while dark fruit, such as currant and cherries, hits the palate. Spices and wood are tasted on the back end of the wine, which I would pair with roasted red meats and other game.
While these wines were some of the major show-stoppers for me, there was much more out there. Know that this year you really can have pleasing, satisfying wines at your seder table.