This past Wednesday evening, Avi Ashman’s Israeli Wine Lovers Club held a tasting with the theme “How Sweet it ISrael”. We tasted and discussed 6 selections.
Jay Buchsbaum, Director of Wine Education at the Royal Wine Corporation, started the evening by talking about wines in general, methods of manufacture and sweet wines specifically. He then took questions from the audience
The tasting started with Carmel Moscato di Carmel 2009, a very nice fruity light wine. It’s sweet with hints of peach and citrus. It is meant to be consumed within the first 2 years of production as it doesn’t age well.
Next we had a Carmel Vineyards Selected EmeralRiesling and Chenin Blanc 2009. Drier than the first, most of us agreed that it would have more fair to this bottle had we tasted it before the Moscato. Even so it exhibited some interesting qualities. I would not have classed it among dessert wines, however.
We then tasted a Gamla White Riesling 2007 from the Golan Heights Winery. It tasted better than the previous one, exhibited some floral notes and tropical fruits. It can be enjoyed as an aperitif, would likely do very well in conjunction with spicy food.
Then we turned our attention to Zion Dolev Muscat Hamburg 2009. Made from Musct Hamburg grapes grown in Galilee, it was was pleasantly sweet and silky. A very nice dessert wine, a perfect complement to any pastry.
Carmel Sha’al Gewurztaminer 2006, very flavorful it evoked some exotic fruits bringing to mind the Chinese litchee among others. Produced from gewurtztraminer grape grown in the Sha’al Vineyards, this wine has a lively flower aroma. Sweet with just the right touch of tartness. This wine will taste better as it’s allowed to age.
The last selection was a very unusual wine, Zion Dolev Cabernet Sauvignon Semi-Sweet 2009. Cabernet Sauvignon, is the prime grape used for dry wines. None of us expected the subtle sweetness of this bottle. A superb wine that would go well with more than just a sweet dessert.
As usual Eran Elhalal, the group’ resident chef, prepared a great selection of cheeses, grapes, and walnuts. This time he also added some very nice desserts to help us pair the wines. Not only were they delicious but they made the wines taste better!