Drinking wine in the time of coronavirus

Here are a few of the wines offered in wine stores and online for this holiday.

Rosé wine (photo credit: TNS)
Rosé wine
(photo credit: TNS)
The Seder dinner will, unfortunately, be very different this year, but that is no excuse for not drinking your four cups. Although there is no proof that drinking wine helps fight the virus, raising a glass with loved ones is always a good way to fight fears.
Here are a few of the wines offered in wine stores and online for this holiday. Many wineries and wine importers sell their wines online these days, and a number of them will deliver anywhere in Israel. Happy Passover.
The premium boutique winery launched two new wines for Passover: 2019 Chardonnay Generation 2 and 2910 Cabernet Sauvignon Generation 2.  This new Chardonnay, made without wooden barrels, is very refreshing, fruity and floral. A fantastic wine for the whole summer. The Generation 2 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon is very rich, yet elegant, with dark fruit aromas, hints of vanilla and eucalyptus and long finish. NIS 60 or two for NIS 110.
The largest and most decorated winery in Israel has launched many wine gift boxes for the holiday. This holiday, explore Barkan’s Altitude collection, offering the same varietals grown in different altitudes. Their Altitude gift box contains Cabernet Sauvignon +585 (so named because it was grown at an altitude of 585 meters) and a cork screw for NIS 160. The wine is excellent, offering aromas of dark and red berries. Other options include a box of two wines from Barkan’s Special Reserve Collection - Petit Verdot and Malbec - as well as four glasses.
Ben Haim
The wines of this boutique winery are well worth exploring. This holiday, the winery suggests their 2016 Cabernet Franc Reserve, from the Hashmura collection, a wine that will accompany the dinner from start to finish. The wine has elegant aromas of black pepper and violets and a smooth texture. NIS 125.
Carmel offers many less expensive wines and gift boxes. But for this holiday, Carmel launched two vintages in their flagship Limited Edition and the Mediterranean collections.  The Carmel Limited Edition 2017 is a classic Bordeaux-style wine. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec, this is a dark red wine with aromas of plum and cassis, as well as mint and violet, long finish and full body. NIS 230.
Another collection by Carmel that is well worth exploring is the Carmel Mediterranean 2017. This is a collection of wines inspired by the Rhone Valley and made from varietals that suit the weather conditions in our area.  A blend of Syrah, Carignan, Mourvedre, Grenache and more, the wine is very dark and has lovely aromas of plums and cherries. NIS 150.
This boutique winery, located in Sussiya in the southern Judean Hills, combines ancient agricultural methods with innovation and modernization. Their wines are different and interesting, and for this holiday they offer two very well balanced wines: the Sfar 2017, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, a round and very nice wine for the Seder dinner, or if you prefer, their 100% Cabernet Sauvignon 2017. NIS 100.
Golan Heights
This beloved winery has launched, as it does every year, a rich collection of gift boxes. Their Spring Box contains two wines from the winery’s Gamla Collection, as well as two glasses and a bottle opener for NIS 125.
Also from the Golan Heights this year, try the new 2019 Yarden Pinot Gris, a classic and elegant Italian-style wine. NIS 79. Or try the excellent 2016 Yarden Merlot, which won an outstanding 92 points in Wine Enthusiast magazine. This very good wine will make a nice accompaniment to lamb, veal or aged cheeses. NIS 109.
Hayotzer Winery is offering some gift boxes and special wines for the holiday. These include their Merlot from their Virtuoso Collection, a round wine that is easy to drink. NIS 49.90 or two for NIS 80; the Cabernet Sauvignon from the Genesis Collection - a full-bodied wine suitable for the main dish. NIS 39.9 or two for NIS 60; and the Shiraz from the winery’s premium Lagato line, a wonderful wine for your meat dish. NIS 60. Another collection by Hayotzer is the Lyrica, offered at NIS 100 for a bottle. These are wines made from Mediterranean varietals. Try the GSM, an elegant wine with round body and lovely herbal aromas. The winery also offers many gift-box options. Get the wines directly from the winery online at store.hayotzerwine.co.il.
La Forêt Blanche
The boutique La Forêt Blanche Winery, located on the slopes of Mount Hebron, offers wines sold exclusively online at lfbwinery.com. Buy directly from the winery with “no middle men.” This holiday, when we are all celebrating in small groups, enjoy their wines delivered to your home, anywhere in the country. To start the evening, choose the 2018 Talpiot white, a blend of Viognier and Chenin Blanc. This is a very refreshing wine and very good value at NIS 55.
The 2017 Talpiot Red, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Petit Verdot, is fresh and light, and a good wine to enjoy anytime, NIS 55. I especially like their 2017 Pinot Noir Dvir, a Mediterranean wine that redefines everything you know about this varietal. NIS 70.
From the same collection, you can also try their Cabernet Sauvignon for NIS 100, a wine everybody will enjoy. La Forêt Blanche’s flagship wine, the 2016 Levanon Forest Cabernet Sauvignon, is an excellent wine made from the first squeeze (free run), and aged in oak barrels for 24 months. It is rich and aromatic and full of flavors. A smart choice for those who are willing to spend a little extra. NIS 190.
Château de l'Aumérade
The Mas de La Source Rosé from Provence is a kosher classic, with a typical peachy-pink color and aromas of tropical fruit and marshmallow. A well-balanced wine to serve as an aperitif or with the meal. Lovely for the spring. NIS 85.
From this well-established winery, try the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Galil Elion. Offering a great value, this wine has typical aromas of cassis and plum, as well as herbs. NIS 55. Also from Recanati, the winery’s flagship wine, the Levanon Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, is a very complex wine, rich in fruity flavors, with herbs and nuts, full body and well-balanced acidity. Serve with roasted lamb or beef. NIS 95.
Made from pomegranates rather than grapes, this port-like dessert wine was aged 18 months in French oak barrels and is actually very nice, especially if you like sweet wines. The flavors and aromas of the pomegranate are noticeable, as are chocolate, vanilla and berries. Try it with hard cheeses or as aperitif. Serve chilled. NIS 110.
From their premium Free Run Collection, try the Segal 2018 Free Run Cabernet Sauvignon. We recently opened a bottle with friends and they all loved it. The wine is dark purplish-red, with wonderful aromas of cassis and black berries, as well as oak and elegant tannins. Great wine for its price. Serve it with any main dish or hard cheeses. NIS 65.
Teperberg is celebrating 150 years of wine-making in Israel, and for this year’s Passover they suggest a lovely rosé – the 2019 Impression. A blend of Grenache and Barbera, it is a fruity light and fresh wine that goes well with fried fish or as an aperitif. NIS 40. The 2018 Inspire Devotage, a red blend of Malbec and Marcelan, is very aromatic and full-bodied, a good wine to go with the main dish (NIS 60).  Or choose the 2016 Essence Cabernet Sauvignon – an aromatic wine with distinct Cabernet aromas, good structure and a long finish. NIS 100.
Tisbhi is one of the oldest wineries in Israel, and the Tishbi family has been making wines for more than 130 years. For this holiday, they introduce two reds – The Tishbi 2016 Estate Single Vineyard Petit Syrah, and the 2019 Tishbi Malbec. The Petit Syrah is a very rich wine, well-balanced with aromas of cassis, black raspberry, vanilla and green apple - a good wine to accompany rich dishes such as stews and roasts. NIS 130. Another less expensive wine from this winery is the 2019 Malbec, a young, fruity wine that will go well with many different dishes. NIS 45. You can order by calling 04-628-8195
Tura Winery

Try the Tura Winery’s flagship wine, the 2016 Mountain Peak, is a classic blend of  Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. This award-winning wine has aromas of berries and red fruit with hints of pepper and mint. Full-bodied and balanced acidity. NIS 219.
To start the meal – try Tura’s 2019 Rosé, a lovely wine made from Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, with fresh aromas of strawberry and citrus. This is a perfect wine for a warm evening or any meal. NIS 84.
This year, Tura is offering many gift boxes from their online store at shop.turawinery.com. Or you can call 02-650-8882 or 052-796-6613. The boxes include the Tura Winery’s wines, as well as their own olive oil and other delicacies. Prices range from NIS 94 to NIS 165.
Yatir Winery, located near Tel Arad, has launched the 2016 Nahal Yatir Red Blend for this holiday. The wine is made mainly from Syrah grapes, offering red raspberry aromas and natural elegance. For the holiday, the 2016 Nahal Yatir Red is being offered in a box with a decanter for NIS 150. A great Passover gift.