Wine Cellar: Snowed under

When it's cold and wet outside all you want to do is curl up with a bowl of comfort food and a satisfying glass of wine.

pouring wine glass 88 (photo credit: )
pouring wine glass 88
(photo credit: )
When it's cold and wet outside all you want to do is curl up with a bowl of comfort food and a satisfying glass of wine. Who needs hot cocoa when you can drink a lush and elegant Cabernet Sauvignon with notes of dark chocolate? Why prepare a pot of hot tea when you can sip a complex and warming red with aromas of fresh fruits? While crisp, dry whites and fruity ros s hit the spot in the hot summer months, full-bodied reds and creamy whites fit the bill in the winter. Here are some comforting wines (all kosher) released by two leading Israeli wineries. Golan Heights Winery, Gamla, Cabernet Sauvignon 2004: Elegant, fine and focused with brilliant flavor of redcurrants, impressive depth and fresh herb flavors. Small amounts of the Malbec and Cabernet Franc grape bring a lighter touch of red cherry note to this deep, dark wine. A good structure and concentration keep it from being top-heavy with oak. NIS 75. Dalton, Shiraz 2005: Powerfully flavored and hugely oaky with red berries, dark plum characters and balanced tannins. This is a richly textured and well priced wine, that would be best served with red meats and winter vegetables. NIS 55 Dalton, Cabernet Sauvignon 2005: Made from grapes grown in the vineyards of Ramat Dalton in Upper Galilee, this Cabernet showcases both its terroir (soil, terrain and region) and the grapes' carefully monitored vineyards. It's dry, ripe in currants and cherries, lush in tannins and yet expressive and approachable. Drinkable now, with a good "full" grip, dry finish and plenty of elegance. NIS 55 Dalton, Merlot 2005: An easy-drinking red that is supple and smooth with heaps of plum, blackcurrant and vanilla-bean flavors. It's very approachable with a gentle finish that leaves you happy and coming back for more. NIS 55 When people talk about a "winter wine," they're often referring to a hearty, full-bodied red that warms you up. But when winegrowers talk about "winter wine grapes," they're most likely talking about a vine that survives cold temperatures. The Gew rztraminer is such a vine. The greatest Gew rztraminer vines are found along the slopes of France's Alsace region and are usually bottled as a single varietal which produces wines with very complex aromatic qualities and high natural alcohol. The grape is very ancient, and its name originates from the place Tramin, in South Tyrol. "Gew rz" is the German word for spice, thus "Gerw rztraminer" means a spicy grape from Tramin. From one of the highest and coldest vineyards in Israel comes the Golan Heights, Yarden Gew rztraminer 2006. This is a pale gold wine with a very distinctive character. It is highly aromatic, full of exotic fruit such as lychee and rose petals. Even the finish is alive, lending spice and black pepper flavor notes to the tasting experience. When you succeed in pronouncing its name, go ahead and try a bottle. NIS 53.