If you want to discover why the words “quality” and “kosher wines” fit together, try a glass of Ella Valley’s EverRed, 2004.
Rosh Hashanah begins at the end of September and Sukkoth in mid-October. Kosher wines occupy a place at the table during these religious days on the Jewish calendar.
Kosher wines still suffer from the image of Concord grapes fermented into sweet wines like Manischewitz. Modern kosher wines are a world away from that grape and style.
Today, wine consumers can enjoy excellent kosher wines from California, France, Italy, South Africa and other top wine regions. But for these holidays, go to the source of all kosher wines: Israel.
Recently, I tasted the well-made Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and EverRed wines from Ella Valley Vineyards. While I was pleased with the structure and flavors of all the wines from these classical grapes, it was the EverRed that captured my palate.
Ella Valley Vineyards is located in the Judea region with three single-vineyards: Aderet, New Harim and Ella Valley. The winery is next to the Kibbutz Halamed He and equipped with up-to-date temperature-controlled stainless steel fermentation tanks and French oak barrels for aging.
The 2004 Ella Valley EverRed is a blend of 60 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 33 percent Merlot and 7 percent Petite Syrah, all from the Aderet vineyard.
Using modern winemaking techniques, each grape variety is fermented and aged separately; after a year in barrels, the wines are blended to produce Ella Valley EverRed.
The 2004 EverRed has a brilliant black cherry color; a swirl of the glass releases pronounced blackberry, blueberry and herbal aromas; medium-bodied, the tasty bitter cherry-like flavor carries soft tannins, giving it balance and length.
Harmonious is a word often applied to non-Kosher wines; it accurately describes the kosher 2004 EverRed from Ella Valley.
The tasting of kosher wines from Ella Valley and other producers reinforced an opinion I’ve had for some years: Contemporary kosher wines need not be limited to religious holidays or Jews. These wines offer quality for all wine consumers. There is no reason not to stock wines like the 2004 Ella Valley EverRed in your cellar to enjoy with friends throughout the year.
You can still have a bottle of Manischewitz on hand for Grandma and Granddad or to recall family tradition; the reminder can be used for a dessert sauce or poaching pears.
The 2004 EverRed Ella Valley retails for approximately $26.