Wine enthusiast will bring taste of Israel to The J

This event has been in the works since the spring, and we feel it’s even more relevant now as an opportunity to celebrate the beauty of Israel. 

Wine enthusiast Steve Kerbel will conduct a wine tasting event at The J on Sunday, November 5. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m., and the event will run 6-7:30 p.m. Steve, a DC-area education consultant, has visited some 130 of Israel’s more than 320 wineries — from the basements of Jerusalem apartment buildings to the Golan Heights. For two decades he has conducted Israeli wine tastings throughout the United States at synagogues, federations, JCCs, and private homes.

Tickets to the event cost $18 and will include light refreshments plus samplings of the six wines outlined below.

This event was made possible through generous funding by the Birmingham Jewish Federation.

Tasting notes

Jerusalem Vineyard Winery King’s Cellar Emerald Riesling

This winery existed pre-State in Jerusalem’s Old City, and in 1947 moved to Talpiot. They currently have a tasting room in the base of Montifiore’s Windmill in Yemin Moshe. It is a semi-dry white wine produced from emerald Riesling grapes grown in nearby Mateh Yehuda. Aromas of tropical fruits and citrus are prominent, and it pairs well with soft cheese, white-flesh fish, and pasta with cream sauce. 

Bearded white-haired man in light-blue long-sleeved shirt holds a glass of red wine with greenery in the background
For two decades Steve Kerbel has conducted Israeli wine tastings throughout the United States.
Recanati Sauvignon Blanc

Leonardo Recanati’s Italian heritage lies at the root of his passion for quality winemaking. Grapes for the sauvignon blanc are grown in Shomron (Samaria), a coastal plateau that enjoys a warm climate and benefits from moderating influences from the Carmel Mountains and Mediterranean Sea. Hand-harvested at optimal ripeness, these grapes yield a full-bodied white wine with aromas and flavors redolent of guava, pears, and citrus. Fresh hay and bell pepper notes, typical of a fine Sauvignon Blanc, develop and linger in the bouquet. Outstanding when paired with fish, sushi, risotto, and grilled vegetables.

Segal Wild Fermentation Chardonnay 

This is one of the newer wines being offered by master winemaker Ido Lewisohn. This wine was spontaneously fermented by indigenous yeast that is found naturally in the vineyard, especially on the grapes themselves. This technique created a unique set of characteristics and aromas, representing terroir and variety with minimal intervention. Maturation in French oak barrels added another layer of complexity and flavors. Enjoy this wine with various fish and poultry dishes, strong cheese, and pasta with cream sauce.  

Galil Mountain Alon

From the heights of the Upper Galilee, within sight of the Lebanon border, is the home of Kibbutz Yiron and the Galil Mountain Winery. A rare red blend of cabernet sauvignon, syrah, petit verdot, and cabernet Franc. This wine offers a high-quality blend at an excellent price point. Its color is deep and inviting and the flavor is rich and long-lasting. This pleasing blend pairs well with grilled beef, grilled lamb, and strong hard cheese.

Tulip Merlot

According to Ha’aretz, Tulip Winery is one of the best boutique wineries. Sourced carefully from vineyards in the Upper Galilee — widely considered to be Israel’s finest wine-growing region — this wine is the result of uncompromising selection in the vineyards and painstaking effort in the winery, and the work of winemaker David Bar Ilan. Aromas of black raspberry and Bing cherry are followed by flavors of red currant and mocha. Supple young tannins make this an easy-drinking luxury that pairs well with gourmet burgers, roast beef, and roast chicken.

Vitkin Journey Red

The Vitkin Journey Red has a bright purple-violet color, with aromas of ripe plums, violets, Mediterranean herbs, pepper, and a little vanilla. It has a good complexity, a balanced body, and a pleasant fruity finish. The carignan gives it the strong color and the rich fruit character, the syrah contributes some spice to the taste profile, and the cabernet Franc lends body and structure. This is a great wine for London broil or a grilled ribeye steak.

This event is made possible by a generous grant from the Birmingham Jewish Federation.