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Having company for the Seder meal is not an easy task. You spend hours in supermarket lines and at the kitchen - slicing, dicing, grilling and roasting. You'll go out of your way to guarantee your guests' satisfaction. This holiday, a few bottles of wine must be added to your list.
During recent weeks, wineries from all around the country have released new wines just in time for Pessah, when each of us drinks four cups during the Seder meal. Supermarket shelves and wine stores are overloaded with dozens of different series of wines. Most consumers get confused, shake their heads and wonder "which one should I buy?"
Here's a quick guide listing some of the latest arrivals you may want to consider when signifying the four expressions of redemption:
With eye-catching colored labels, Barkan's new series dOmain is meant to attract the young crowds. The five bottles of the Fun Fine Wine series reflect the latest trend in the wine industry, revealing young, refreshing wines carrying funky labels. The dOmain series includes four reds for the price of NIS 30 each: Tavor Cabernet Sauvignon, Samson - Petit Syrah, Latroun - Merlot, Adulam - Shiraz; and one white: Dan - Emerald Riesling, for NIS 25.
Barkan has also extended its Classic series with three new wines:
Barkan Classic, Pinot Noir 2004: Dark red in color, this fruity wine has soft tannins and aromas of strawberries and mint. NIS 42.
Barkan Classic Pinotage 2004: Medium bodied featuring aromas of cassis, banana and red berries with a touch of vanilla and cinnamon. NIS 42.
Barkan Classic Shiraz Rose 2005: Made of Shiraz grapes with 15 percent Tempranillo grapes, this dry Rose has a lovely color with crisp acidity and an appealing taste. NIS 32.
Binyamina winery presents three releases for the holiday, with one from the Special Reserve series and two from the Yogev series launched last August:
Binyamina Special Reserve Shiraz 2004: Feels delicate in the mouth but has a lot of power and intensity. It has a reasonable NIS 75 price, and goes well with most dishes.
Binyamina Yogev Cabernet Sauvignon - Zinfandel 2005: A dry Rose wine made of 50% cabernet Sauvignon grapes and 50% Zinfandel. A deep rose color with fresh, lively aromas of raspberries and wildflowers. Drinks fruity and clean with a pretty finish. NIS 35.
Binyamina Yogev Sauvignon Blanc - Chardonnay 2005: A blend of 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Chardonnay. This medium-bodied wine features tropical fruits, grassy aromas and refreshing acidity. Good value for money. NIS 35.
Carmel winery introduces two new wines, which joined its Regional series:
Carmel, Reches Adom 2005: A young, refreshing red wine with high acidity and fruity aromas.
Carmel, Johannesberg Riesling 2005: Semi dry white wine featuring citrus and green apple aromas. It is a well balanced wine with a pale but clear yellow color. NIS 46
Dalton Winery also has new wines for Pessah:
Dalton Rose 2005: A blend of a number of red varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Zinfandel. This medium-bodied semi-dry wine has a vibrant bouquet of rose petals, berries and fresh plums. It is slightly sweet and will surely delight throughout the summer months. NIS 35.
Dalton Canaan red 2005: A medium-bodied red wine bursting with forest fruit flavors. It is an easy drinking wine and can be enjoyed with most foods. NIS 33.
Dalton Muscato 2005: A light, sweet wine containing low alcohol and fresh floral bouquet. Ideal for after dinner or as an aperitif. NIS 35.
Dalton Barbera 2004: This is an easy, everyday wine that you can drink while you are cooking or hanging out before your guests arrive. It's not as tannic as Cabernet Sauvignon, and not as juicy as a Merlot, but it is graceful. NIS 55.
Ella Valley has recently released a dessert wine:
Ella Valley Muscat 2003: Presenting a complex of aromas and flavors, this sweetie has picked up an old gold color and has developed true bottle bouquet. NIS 64.
Golan Heights winery offers two reds and two whites to savor at the Seder meal:
Golan Sion Creek red 2005: A young, aromatic wine made of Sangivese, Syrah, Gammay and Pinot Noir grapes. It is light, simple, juicy and earthy. NIS 30.
Yarden Mt. Hermon red 2005: Rich and nice wine. Drink it earlier in the evening with appetizers. It's not going to stop you from reading the Haggada, but will help keep it going. NIS 38.
Yarden Mt. Hermon white 2005: Made of Sauvignon Blanc and Emerald Riesling grapes. Young and approachable, it has melon and citrus aromas with a medium fruity finish. NIS 38.
Yarden Gewurztraminer 2005: Rich, intense wine with beautiful scents of flowers and herbs and smooth flavors that are perfectly balanced between fruit and acid. The long finish demands another sip. NIS 50.