Wine Talk: Young Turks

Interested in reading more about Israeli and kosher wines? Here are a few writers you should follow.

By
May 17, 2012 16:15
4 minute read.
David Rhodes

David Rhodes. (photo credit: Courtesy)

With the death last year of Daniel Rogov, once the food and wine writer for The Jerusalem Post, I am constantly asked where it is possible to find information about Israeli wine. There are a number of young Turks who, while not yet able to fill the shoes of Rogov, are each providing a valuable service to the English speaker. There are three musketeers. One hails from New York, another from California, and a third from Israel. Putting myself in the shoes of critic, let me, for once, critique the critics!



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Yossie Horwitz is a Manhattan lawyer who grew up in Israel, living here for 20 years. He is fluent in Hebrew and is able to keep up to date with what is happening here. He is dedicated. He invests in his time to give the most informed viewpoint he can, even to the extent of flying over for one day only for Israwinexpo. He also came over for the Sommelier Exhibition. He has great understanding, works hard to have all the facts in his grasp and is basically always positive. He does not cover wines he does not like. He writes in a very knowledgeable, informed but concise style. He knows how to pick out what the reader is looking for. Those with any interest in Israeli wine should sign up to his newsletter. I read it religiously each week. His website is www.yossiescorkboard.com




David Raccah is the representative from California. He is a passionate food and wine lover, who just loves to communicate exactly what he is thinking. His tasting notes are very long and very adjectival, but he writes as he sees it. If you want passion and enthusiasm through the written word, this may be the one for you. About a year ago, I pleaded with him to write more about Israeli wine. Fortunately for us all, he seems to have decided to write more on Israel and has written some penetrating, colorful essays on some Israeli wineries. His website is www.kosherwinemusings.com.

Both Horwitz and Raccah write only about kosher wines. David Rhodes, based in Ra’anana, writes only about Israeli wines, whether kosher or not. He is extremely wine knowledgeable.

He studied wine in San Diego, worked as a sommelier and was also VP of a boutique winery. He then organized and managed a wine club there. Since making aliya, he has written articles for ESRA magazine, various wine websites and magazines, and is at home as a broadcaster in front of microphone or camera. He is also involved in the wine trade as a small-scale trader, going back to his roots advising restaurants and wine retailers. I see him more as a wine educator than a critic. He provides a great service to English- speaking Israelis. For expert advice, courses, lectures, wine dinners, wine tours, all in English, he may be contacted at israeliwineguy@gmail.com.



Another writer I look out for is Gamliel Kronemer, who writes a column called “Fruit of the Vine” in New York’s Jewish Week. The column appears once a month, and I wish it was more frequent. He writes in a pithy, scholarly manner, with an understated dry humor. He is modest but extremely knowledgeable. His articles on kosher and Israeli wine may be found at www.thejewishweek.com/features/fruit_vine.



As for websites focusing on Israeli wine, there are two worth adding to your favorites. The more established one was created by Israel Preker, who is an electronic engineer by day. By night, he finds time to work on his websites, which he first created in 1999. They are devoted to providing information on Israel’s wine people, wines, wineries and vineyards. His English website is at www.wines-israel.com

It contains many details about the Israeli wine scene, some good articles and regular news items to keep the reader up to date. His website in Hebrew, www.wines-israel.co.il, is even more comprehensive. Preker has been one of the main communicators of the Israel wine story for the last 13 years, and he continues to do so with undiluted passion. Long may he continue. Israeli wine lovers are all in his debt.

Another patriot who makes an effort to showcase the best in Israeli wine is Avi Hein. His website, www.israeli-wine.org, is his personal effort to advance the Israel wine brand, which he does with great dedication. This also features interesting articles on Israeli wine.

There are books about Israeli wine. The Ultimate Rogov Guide by Daniel Rogov remains the best guide on Israeli wines. It will remain relevant because many of Rogov’s scores were based on advanced barrel tastings. It was published by Toby Press and costs NIS 129. A book on wineries and the Israeli wine story is The Wine Route of Israel. It is available at Steimatzky, winery shops and visitors centers and in the duty-free bookshop at Ben-Gurion Airport. It costs NIS 149 and is published by Cordinata, Tel Aviv. cordi995@bezeqint.net

A new book is The Kosher Grapevine by Irving Langer published by Gefen Publishing House, www.gefenpublishing.com. This is a light-hearted, unpretentious explanation of the world of kosher wine. It fills a gap in the kosher wine lover’s bookshelf and costs NIS 130.

The three books barely overlap. Students of wine, connoisseurs and anyone wanting to know more about kosher wine or Israeli wine will want to have all three.

Adam Montefiore works for Carmel Winery and regularly writes about wine for Israeli and international publications.

adam@carmelwines.co.il


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