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March 30, 2009March 30, 2009  1 comments  wine

Here's a partial list of the winners of the Israel Wine Awards, presented at a gala event Sunday March 30th, 2009 at the David Intercontinental Hotel in Tel Aviv (across the beach from the Eastern Mediterranean).

I didn't find out about the event until the night of the event which is a shame since it was also a charity event raising money for troubled adolescents, which I would have liked to get people to attend to donate or particiapte in the wine auction.

The Awards were decided by a panel of 20 judges, many of them wine writers, but were limited to wineries who submitted their wines to the competition so even though the award winners deserve credit and congrats for their award winning wines; these results and similar results from other events need to take that not all of israel's wines were represented into consideration.

i'll post all the winners as the official results are published and I'll give you some of my insights of the event

Sauvignon Blanc

3rd Place Carmel 08

2nd Place Galil 08

1st Place: Gamla 08


3rdPlace:  Recanati 06

2nd Place: Ella Valley 07

1st Place:Yarden 06


Read the separate blog on the Recanati winery

Special White

2nd Assaf Viognier 06

1st Vitkin Riesling 07

Blend White

2nd Yasmin Recanati

1st Avanim Galil

Cabernet Sauvignon

3rd Asaf Reserve 06

Tie  2nd Place: Evigan reserve & Alexander the Great 05

1st Place: Ella Valley Reserve 05

read the separate blogs on the Alexander Winery and on the Cabernet Sauvignon grape


3rd Yarden 04

2nd Place Ella Valley 06

1st Place Recanati Reserve 06

read the separate blog on the Recanati winery


3rd Place

2nd Place

1st Place

Cabernet Franc

3rd Tulip



Read the seperate blog on the Cabernet Franc grape

Special Red

3rd Recanati Petite Sirah Zinfandel 06

2nd place malbec Teperberg 07

1st place Petite Sirah Carmel  05

red the separate blog on the Recanati Winery


Ist Place Amphorae 05 (Gil Shatsberg: Wine Maker)

Dessert Wines

3rd Place:  Moscato Golan 08

2nd Place:

1st Place:  Carmel Gerwurtraminer

September 30, 2010September 30, 2010  0 comments  wine

       Italian food for many is comfort food when traveling overseas. Although trying local cuisines appeal to many tourists, many are easily discouraged and steer towards more familiar fare. Italian food is a staple for American diners and can be a safe bet for them dining out in Israel. Pasta aficionados will even find selections at many Israeli coffee shops but they will need to be more selective to experience a memorable meal.

      One place sure to illicit interest and a return visit is the Italiana Nella Stazione (which also goes by Italkia Ba'Tachana... the Hebrew transliteration literally meaning "Italian in the station"). Specializing in Southern Italian Cuisine and Seafood, this new restaurant offers a lot of promise for tourists who want a delicious meal in a scenic local. The aforementioned station is a new development renovated from what was a historic railroad station and industrial park in Tel Aviv, a short walk south to Jaffa, the newly gentrified Neve Tzedik neighborhood and Tel Aviv's ritziest hotels along it's southern beachfront. Showcasing fashion boutique, custom jewelers art galleries and other destination tenants, the station is like a premium outdoor mall and well worth exploring. The restaurant is nestled right in the middle of the complex in what was presumed to be a converted residence. It's a rustic building that seems to date back to Tel Aviv's earliest days.

       The food may resemble many traditional Southern Italian dishes but there's a modern twist on several. The highlights for many will be found amongst the well conceived selection of first courses/appetizers which include standard fare such as Caeser and capri salads or minestrone soup as well a spectacular chicken liver pate. The entrees include several pasta selections, steak for those who insist on getting meat where ever they dine but the restaurant takes great pride in its fresh seafood including an israeli specialty Sea Bream, a light white fish, served several ways. Five pizzas round out the menu which makes the restaurant more family friendly but the prices and ambiance lend itself more to dates and business meals. Business lunch specials which include a first course or dessert and choice of several entrees are very popular with the local regulars and are served until 6 PM which makes for a good early bird dinner choice as well.

      An extensive wine list offers some of Israel's best reds and whites as well as some expected Italian selections. A 40 NIS (about $10) corkage per bottle is charged if you choose to bring your own wine (but remember the custom is to call ahead and make sure it's not on the list of what they carry). Traditional Italian desserts, speciality cocktails and a full bar round out the possibilities for a pleasurable afternoon or evening of fine Italian dining just meters away from the Mediterranean Ocean. The  Southern Italian menu is the creation of well known Israeli Chef Amir Marcovitz.


     Open for business 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Weekdays opening hours are from 9:00 AM till midnight. On Saturdays open at 10:00 AM. On weekdays the business menu lunch is served between noon to 6:00 PM.
 Parking is available adjacent to the Old Train Station . Italkia Ba'Tachana, Ha'Tachana , Call 03-5222664 for directions or reservations.

October 7, 2010October 7, 2010  0 comments  wine

    Last night I attended for my first time, the Ramit Aviv Wine Festival at the Haaretz Museum (just north of Tel Aviv). It's the largest annual festival in Tel Aviv slated specifically towards the public attending. The musuem gardens, accented by lit olive trees, provided the perfect back drop for dozens of wineries offereing more than 100 wines for guests to sample. The event goes on for two evenings culimating this evening from 6 until 11PM. The cost is 59 NIS (about $17) for unlimited tastings.  Several food vendors were selling fresh sushi, piping hot and tasty pizzas to order, pretzals and best all a wide assortment of gourmet kosher cheese plates.

    The experience is well worth the price of admission. Several of Issrael's largest wineries are participating. The Carmel Winery , Israel's largest, is offering their appelation series wines which in their several series is situated in the lower end of their high end or the high end of their lower but definetly provide some  of their best value wines. Their Cabernet Franc is one of favorites in this series because it's onr of the least expensive Cabernet Franc's in Israel but still provides the drinker with enough varietal characteristics to develop a taste for this ever more popular Israeli version of a Bordeaux varietal. 

The Barkan Winery, Israel's second largest, alsp offered a decent amount of wines and their Pinotage (a South African varietal) is a wine fairly unique to them. They were also offering their Altitude series (412, 624 and 720) of Cabernet Sauvignons which differrentiate from each other by listing the altittude of each winery on the label and are a popular series with israeli consumers seeking to learn more about this powerhouse varietal.


Israel's 3rd largest Winery was also in attendance, the Golan Heights Winery. serving mostly their entry level Gamla series of wines, these wines represent some of the best value single varietal wines in Israel. Their sister winery, the Galil Mountain Winery was situated nearby and their Viognier seemed very popular with people as I walked by.

The Binyamina Winery, was affably serving several of their Reserve wines and their Late Harvest Gewurztraminer was a welcome to all dry wines.  They have a great winemaking team that's bringing this winery into the fore front of well respected Israeli wineries.

The Tishbi Winery, Israel's largest family owned and operated winery, are offering several of their Estate wines and were giving an advanced tasting of a promising 2007 Petite Sirah (which would be their first release of Petite Sirah as an Estate wine).

For larger wineries the Dalton, Recanati and Tabor wineries were noticebly absent from the mix but wineries need to pick and choose which events to attend and how big of a footprint they wil make so they're probably mashalling their resources for a bigger presence at an upcoming alternative event such as the Sommelier in November.

There were several noteworthy smaller wineries ranging from those producing 5,000 too 80,000 bottles. The Mond Winery seemed to be a fan favorite and their 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon was one of the better wines at the whole event. Their Red Blend was possibly the best value wine at only 49 NIS (about $14). It was more expressive and balanced than many wines selling for almost twice as much.

Red Poetry is an interesting boutique winery who also grows grapes used by other wineries big and small. Their wines are typically unique foten offering atypical blends such as Sangiovese and Merlot or unusual but deirable single varietals such as Mourvedre yet they don't just survive on the fringes and make a highly quaffable Cabernet Sauvignon.

David Ventura's Domaine Ventura is one of Israel's newest and more interesting up and coming boutiques. Located on the outskirts of Jerusalem, French born David is making many French style wines with an Israeli twist. Making mostly reds, he made his first white for relaese a delectable Chardonnay.  His reds vary from tradtional Bordeaux single varietal Cabernet Sauvgnon and Cabernet Franc to an unusual blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir.

Another new face on the scene is the Mount Blessing Winery. A little off the beaten path, located east of the green line, Mount Blessing might have people beating down their doors sonner than later once the word gets out how interesting their wine can be.

The Psagot Winery is also one not to be missed and their Cabernet Franc captured my attention and imagination of who I might share my next bottle with.

Overall, even though the festival wasn't as wild as other's I've attended, everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, the attendees as well as the presenters and I look forward to going back tonight for more of the same.


David Rhodes

052-702-WINE (9463)



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Posts: 54
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David Rhodes worked at wineries in California & Israel, hosted over 100 wine parties.as a sommelier & adviser for the SDSU Business of Wine program. He speaks weekly about wine on Rustymikeradio.com & writes for ESRA magazine. Israeliwineguy@gmail.com


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