Exclusive Wine Club Surprises and Delights | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

Exclusive Wine Club Surprises and Delights

Courtesy Liquid Kosher

Liquid Kosher’s new wine club offers quarterly curated wine boxes

Facebook icon
Twitter icon

One of the newest kosher wine clubs to enter the market is The Cellar from the San Diego-based Liquid Kosher.

In a fairly short period of time, Liquid kosher has emerged as a small but significant kosher fine wine importer, online retailer, and collection-curator. Self-described as offering a “curated wine experience,” Liquid Kosher’s club eliminates some of the costs associated with traditional, often clunky, distribution channels. More importantly, having a trusted custodian to select from amongst unfamiliar wines potentially offers additional value to the consumer.

Unlike in Europe, where wine clubs have flourished for decades, the American market has always been hampered by the complex alcohol distribution network and related federal and state level commercial regulations. Domestic wine clubs have been around since the 1970s, but they really took off strong starting only in 2005, when the Supreme Court ruled that any state that allows its own wineries to sell and ship their wines directly to consumers cannot also ban out-of-state wineries from doing so. Since then, there has been a slow but generally positive advancement towards further liberalization of such regulatory barriers.

For the kosher market, there is a currently nice range of club options—KosherWine.com has clubs and all the major kosher California vineyards offer clubs too—Herzog Wine Cellars, Hagafen Cellars, Covenant Winery, Hajdu Wines, Shirah Wine Co., and now also Liquid Kosher.

This club ships four-six bottles of wine exclusive to Liquid Kosher quarterly for $199 per shipment. Members also receive a 10% discount at the Liquid Kosher store and early access to limited-edition wines.

The most recent club shipment offers a fine example of the club’s value both in terms of exclusivity and curation by sommelier Andrew Breskin. The shipment consisted of three bottles of a very limited quantity kosher run—only 37 cases were produced—of the Timbre Winery’s 2018 Opening Act Rosé from California, and three bottles of the Ya’acov Oryah Winery’s 2018 Light From Darkness, a white wine blend produced from red wine grapes from Israel.

At only 37 cases, this Timbre Winery kosher Pinot Noir Rosé was essentially hobbyist-level volume and would likely not have been produced but for the synergy of industry relationships. Sadly, this lovely rosé is already sold out. Fortunately, the other club selection is still available.

The Ya’acov Oryah wines, meanwhile, are all the rage in Israel among wine-geeks. Winemaker at the Psagot Winery, and a consultant to several others, Oryah’s own brand of wines is essentially akin to public offerings from his personal wine laboratory where he tinkers and explores. This exploratory-side is a large part of the almost cult-like following he enjoys amongst Israeli-wine aficionados. Kosher consumers in America can finally taste these wines outside of Israel.

Offering this particular wine from amongst the five currently available, Oryah wines is a nice example of the club’s thoughtful selection. Arguably one could simply select from the Oryah wines at random since each offers something unique, however they are not equally accessible to newcomers. Even in the company of mainstream wine consumers, for example, orange wines—white wines that are given prolonged contact with the grape skins—are something of an acquired taste. Thankfully, this one is very accessible indeed.

Ya’acov Oryah Winery, Light From Darkness, 2018 ($39.99): This white wine, Oryah’s take on a Blanc de Noir—rendered as “Or M’Ofel” on the label in in Hebrew, is made from a blend of the following red wine grapes: 33% Grenache, 31% Cinsault, 24% Syrah, and 12% Mourvèdre. The wine was produced without any skin contact or malolactic fermentation, making the wine white instead of red and giving it the sort of vibrancy and freshness once expects from a white or even a rosé. Not at all what one might expect from such a blend were it made as a conventional red wine. This is a lovely, intriguing, medium-bodied, fruity and floral wine with ripe tropical fruits, lively acidity, an inviting subtle salinity, and nice complexity. L’Chaim!

Join The Discussion