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A Warm Jerusalem Winter With Jerusalem Wineries

We know what you’re thinking – Israel doesn’t actually have winters, particularly if you compare it to icy Europe, or wind-swept America. But Jerusalem can get quite chilly too, and there’s nothing like a hot meal on a cold night, balanced and enriched by a good glass of wine. Wine is deeply embedded in human cultures everywhere, with wine jars found in Georgia dating back 8,000 years. Israel is no slouch when it comes to wine, with vineyards stretching back several millennia, and a viniculture greatly enhanced when the land came under Greek, and then Roman occupation.

Many cultures have traditions of serious partying in the dead of winter, particularly around the winter solstice, marking the shortest day of the year (which will fall on Dec. 21st in Israel). These festivities, of course, are liberally enlivened with wine and other spirits.

So, to mark the start of winter in Jerusalem, and in Israel at large, we’ve made a list for you, pairing various wines with the savory winter dishes they best match, inspired by the extensive Jerusalem Wineries catalogue, where there’s something for everyone to love.

REDS

Reserve Edition Shiraz wines: This is a deep pomegranate-hued vintage, with a heady aroma of plums, vanilla and slightly fermented red berries. The Shiraz has been aged in French oak casks, is 13.5% alcohol by volume, and is best served at 16-18 degrees Celsius.

What should you drink the Shiraz Reserve with? The acidity level and the burst of fruity aroma make it a perfect pairing with meaty dishes such as roast lamb, heavily seasoned stews, barbecues and also antipasti.

Premium Edition Cabernet Sauvignon: This red wine was made from premium grapes from Nahal Shiloh and Givat Nil”i. It has been aged for ten months in oak casks, during which time it was infused with scents of raspberry, cherry, vanilla and a touch of tobacco. The Cabernet Sauvignon is 13% alcohol by volume and is best served at 16-18 degrees Celsius.

What should you drink the Cabernet Sauvignon Premium with? Cabernet Sauvignon is a fruity wine, smooth and a perfect accompaniment for winter dishes. It is particularly suited to meaty pies like Shepherd’s Pie or veal and lamb pies – and of course vegetarian pies can work as well. If you’re a stirfry fan, this is a surprisingly good combination to try. However, keep in mind that cabernet sauvignon has a high acidity that may clash with very spicy dishes.

Vintage Edition Merlot : Merlot is a dry red wine with a deep red hue, rich in tannins, fruit and tobacco aromas, and is best served at 16-18 degrees Celsius.

What should you drink the Vintage Edition Merlot with? Merlot is the perfect pairing for tomato-sauce dishes, so pasta and merlot is a foolproof recipe for a winning meal. Merlot also goes well with veal, lamb, goose and hamburgers.

WHITES AND RIESLINGS

Chardonnay Special Edition: The Special Edition chardonnay white wine was made from grapes from two secret vineyards in the Shiloh valley, picked in the cool nighttime hours. This method of picking enriches the flavor of the grapes, which gain a distilled flavor due to the low temperature. The chardonnay has a delicate pale hue the aroma of fresh apples, pears and melons, with hints of cider and cinnamon. It is 13% alcohol by volume and is best served at 12 degrees Celsius.

What should you drink the chardonnay with? Although winter’s first association is with red wines, chardonnay is actually a classic choice for this time of year, considered the king of white winter wines. Chardonnay pairs especially well with chicken pies, fried turkey, fish, seafood and even pale soups.

Colombard / Emerald Riesling Limited Edition: This unique blend creates a dry wine with an elegant pale hue and a flowery aroma of pear, melon, fermented apples, vanilla and a faint touch of grapefruit rind. A wine with a refreshing finish and a lasting flowery aftertaste. It is 12.5% alcohol by volume and is best served at 8-10 degrees Celsius.

What should you drink the Colombard/Emerald Riesling? This luxurious blend can follow an orange lentil soup or a pizza. The combination of tomatoes and cheese creates an interesting interplay with the elegant, sophisticated, and fruity palate of this wine.

All these wines and more are available through Jerusalem Wineries.

Want to know more about the winery, the wine-bar and specially-priced wine packages available only through this site?

Send an inquiry to Jerusalem Wineries

Photo: Alex Yampolsky

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