Raising a glass to Israeli wines in Jerusalem

Wine Tasting Festival allows wine-lovers to taste an unlimited amount of wine from 40 of Israel’s leading wineries.

By LOREN MINSKY/ITRAVELJERUSALEM.COM TEAM
August 21, 2011 13:51
2 minute read.
Jerusalem wine festival

Jerusalem wine festival 311. (photo credit: Barak Aharon)

Last Thursday night was the busiest night of the annual Israeli Wine Tasting Festival in Jerusalem as wine-lovers made the most of the last opportunity to taste an unlimited amount of wine from 40 of Israel’s leading wineries.

It’s no surprise that many wait all year in anticipation of this refined cultural event. With unlimited fine wine on hand, mouthwatering boutique cheeses and olive oils for sale and sophisticated live jazz playing, the festival was one of the best ways to enjoy the last of the cool summer nights in Jerusalem.

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The festival took place outdoors in the classy, beautiful setting of the renovated Sculpture Garden at the Israel Museum and those who arrived early, got to relish the sunset. Wine connoisseurs also made sure to arrive early in order to enjoy a serious chat before the crowds arrived.

The festival, which began in 2003 during the second Intifada, was the brainchild of Avi Ben of the Avi Ben Wine Stores and Shmulik Cohen of Shahar’s Drink House. Eight years later, the event has earned a name for itself as one of the major cultural attractions in Jerusalem.

Much of the crowd was made up of young Anglos but the event is always a draw card for a diverse audience including locals, tourists, students, Tel Avivians and people from throughout the country. “The Wine Festival is a must for those who appreciate good wines and their unique subtleties. The event is classy and the ambiance is electric,” says Clive Chazen, Jerusalem resident and Chef at Mamilla Hotel.

In addition to well-known household names like Tishbi and Carmel Wineries, the event gave small boutique wineries a platform to expose their often excellent quality wines. Kosher and non-kosher wine from the Galil, Golan Heights Carmel, Negev and throughout the country were available to sample and also to buy at discounted prices. The entrance fee included all the tasting you desire and a wine glass.

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