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Tags - yael sandler
So, when you work in the wine industry, everyone thinks you must be some kind of a drunk and though I might get intoxicated time to time I can assure I probably drink less in quanity but maybe more in quality than many of my readers or friends. One way this happens is many times when I'm near wine I'm talking business or tasting wine (which usually includes spitting) and other times when I'm drinking wine it's with other wine people and we savor what were drinking and I can enjoy smelling a great wine as much as drinking it. I also like enjoying letting a wine open up in the glass a half hour or and hour tasting it as it opens up.
Recently, I had a chance to drink with some of my favorite wine geeks in Israel (and meet a few new ones). This is heavan for me. If there's an afterlife I hope they're serving good wine accompanied by good food, good company and good conversation. Such was this day at Ido Lewinsohn's Lewinsohn Winery as about a dozen of us dined with his family and tried a verticle and horizontal tasting of his ever more popular cult status "Garage du Papa" wines.
There's some winemakers and wineries that have been extremely generous with their time and wine as I journey through and journal about Israeli wines: the Tishbis, the staff at Carmel & Yatir, the Margalits, Eli at Domaine Castel and Ido with his wines and those of Recanati. There are others who have been as generous but time after time the forementiond have been great mentors and from time to time I should thank them publicly as much as I hope I do privately.
So, I mention this because when Ido asked me to come to a tasting at his family's house/winery, I didn't have to think twice about booking a spot at his table. Another reason is that Ido much like his mentor and friend Assaf Marglait are wine mavens who have many of Israel's most interesting, influential, dynamic and curious winos in their gravitional orbit so when I meet with them it can often lead meeting another chain of wine contacts and if I keep my ears open and my taste buds ready I'm bound to learn a thing or two more about winemaking and what makes these wizards of wine and their tick.
Those of us lucky enough to be invited weren't only rewarded by his fabulous wines but his mother cooked us crepes (maybe to bolster our tolereance levels) and there was some treats set as we drank 2007, 2008 and the still fermenting 2009 Lewinsohn "Garage du Papa" Chardonnay. This wine has been selling out due to the efforts of just a few outlets. Granted only a few barrels were bottled but still at about 150 NIS to 175 NIS retail ($45 to $55 two to three times that price in Tel Aviv restuarants where it's mostly sold. This "Old World" style Chardonnay is making some noise in the marketplace as one of the most expensive and hard to find (but worth every penny or argarot) Israeli white wines.
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