Three Recommended Summer Wines
A recent wine-tasting party was a most welcome reminder that there are great kosher wines available to fit every mood, every occasion, most cuisines, and certainly every season.
The setting of this get-together was the summer wine selection “pickup party” of Moti’s Wine Club. Wine clubs, such as Moti’s, are typically maintained by a winery or wine retailer, and can be an excellent way to discover new wines and also help maintain an adequate supply of wine on hand. I firmly believe that an educated kosher wine consumer helps push the market in a better direction, leading ultimately to better quality, more diversity, and greater value. For the same reason, I believe in helping the kosher consumer learn to drink and enjoy more and better kosher wine. (Full disclosure: I help select all the wines for Moti’s Wine Club.) The three wines I selected for club members for this party are easily available and they are each well-worth seeking out this summer.
The Abarbanel, Old Vine Riesling, Batch 66, Vin D’Alsace ($19) is a lovely if slightly restrained wine that offers classic citrus-flint and floral aromatics followed on the palate with the fresh, racy tang of citrus, spice, and herbs, with enough of the acidity and nerve one associates with Alsace to keep it vivacious and food friendly. It is mevushal and great with Asian cuisine (sushi, Thai, and Chinese), as well as foods with a bit of spice (Cajun, North African, and the like), and goes nicely with flavorful poultry dishes and even some hearty roasts. Serve slightly chilled (an hour in the fridge will do).
By contrast, the Italian Cantina Gabriele Pinot Grigio ($18) is a more relaxed offering. Exhibiting a clean nose of lemon squeeze, green apple, and melon, that also shows a bit of white floral nuance, this lovely summer sipper is direct and pure on the finish, with enough acidity to keep it clean and refreshing, and easy to drink on its own. It can easily be enjoyed with grilled chicken breast, summer salads, light fish dishes, or cold pasta dishes.
The last wine, the Butcher’s Daughter Reserve ($18), is also the house wine of the La Fille du Boucher (The Butcher’s Daughter) kosher restaurant located in Paris (at 20 Rue Cardinet, 75017 Paris, France; in the 17th arrondissement). Known for its grilled meats, the menu includes such delights as steak tartare, foie gras, hamburger, Entrecôte, and “Le steak mignon sauce béarnaise.” It was opened in 2011 with an ambiance (including a zinc bar) meant to evoke a brasserie of the 1930’s, and the meat is sourced from the family butcher shop. Any wine fit for such a menu is bound to please and be very food friendly.
So it should come as no surprise that the Butcher’s Daughter Reserve is a lovely, medium bodied wine with notable but not overwhelming tannins that give it the structure to pair well with steak, brisket, and other such fare. It opens with blueberry and cassis aromas that extend nicely into blackberry, raspberry, and bits of chocolate with some interesting spice and vanilla during the finish. Very quaffable. L’Chaim!