The annual Kosher Food & Wine Experience (KFWE) is taking place three weeks from today, albeit more of an exclusive experience than in previous years. Featuring nearly 1,000 kosher wines, a plethora of spirits – including whiskies, bourbons, vodkas, tequilas, rum, and gin – and cordials, sampling and tasting will be available for attendees. This year’s event will be the 18th such annual KFWE, which is operated by Royal Wine Corporation, the largest producer of kosher wines and spirits.
The biggest change taking place at this year’s KFWE is limiting attendance to those in the media and in the industry; according to the company’s press release, “Media, along with retailers, distributors, sommeliers, restaurants, caterers, and related industry professionals are invited to taste the offerings in the company of winemakers, wineries, and distilleries owners from across the globe.”
Another significant, as well, is not holding an LA version of KFWE, with KFWE London’s status unclear. “KFWE LA is not taking place in 2024,” says Gabriel Geller, Director of PR, Royal Wine Corp. “We will have consumers in NY and a KFWE LA every other year, so the next LA show is in 2025. As of London, I don’t know yet.”
While there will be glatt kosher food and refreshments offered to all guests throughout the event, there will be “no restaurants, just a caterer to feed the participants, and breakout rooms for masterclasses,” said Geller, who was the featured guest on the 42nd episode of The Jewish Drinking Show, discussing Kedem/Royal Wine Corp.. And, by the way, next year, it’ll be back to the regular format. We plan to do it like this every other year.” I have no problem regarding the food, since I found it is such a distraction from all of the beverages. While it was incredible tasting the many delicious foods offered at KFWE 2023, it was hard to split attention between the food and beverages. Of course, being somewhere for six hours, especially consuming such amounts of alcohol, one needs to eat, so there’s certainly a need for food.
These breakout sessions that Geller mentioned will be on “The World of Whiskey”; Israeli Wines, led by Erik Segelbaum, who spoke about this topic on the 108th episode of The Jewish Drinking Show; Herzog Wine Cellars, led by its general manager, Joseph Herzog; and the final session on Understanding Tequila.
Creating a More Intimate Experience
While Geller declined comment as to why these changes were being made, perhaps there is a need for a more intimate/exclusive experience for those in the media and industry. Indeed, when I first attended KFWE two years ago, I heard those who had attended the event prior to the pandemic, they said that there had been media and industry time prior to the opening of the event to the general public, yet both of these past two years’ KFWEs have found no such segregation. Yet, when I attended KFWE 2022, I greatly enjoyed the intimate experience, especially since many people were not yet comfortable being in such spaces with so many people, owing to the pandemic. While last year’s KFWE had an incredibly gorgeous venue with a lovely view over the Hudson River, this year’s KFWE could have a similar intimate and exciting energy as KFWE 2022.
Debuting New Wines
One of the special opportunities that KFWE offers every year is the opportunity to explore newly-offered kosher-certified wines. “Our portfolio consists of world-class wines that happen to be kosher. In the past year alone, hundreds of non-kosher restaurants have put selections of our portfolio on their lists because they recognize the quality and value of our wines”, adds Jay Buchsbaum, VP Wine Education, Royal Wine Corp. and guest on the 108th episode of The Jewish Drinking Show, discussing producing kosher wine in European wineries.
Here are some new wines and spirits debuting at this year’s KFWE:
- Rocca delle Macie Chianti Classico, SRP $25, world famous winery producing kosher wine for the first time
- Lovatelli, new line of fine and affordable Italian wines, including a Salento Primitivo, SRP $17 and a Barbera d’Asti, SRP $25, with soon a Nebbiolo, a Super Tuscan and 2 Vermouths
- Cantina Giuliano, fully kosher boutique winery in Tuscany
- Many new wines from South Africa by ESSA and J Folk wineries (Chenin Blanc, Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon and more)
- Spirits and great liquors and fruit Brandies from Massenez in Alsace, France
- New Kosher cognacs from DEAU and Roland Bru
- Bartenura – new flavored Moscatos in cans such as Peach, Lychee, and Blueberry
KFWE will also have the opportunity to preview Passover offerings:
- Château Dauzac Grand Cru Classé and Aurore de Dauzac Margaux ’21
- Chateau Roubine Cru Classé Lion & Dragon Red
- Des Moisans Deau Cognac Privilege
- Herzog Lineage Momentus Rose
- J de Villebois Sancerre Pinot Noir
- Kamisa Winery – Galilee, Israel
- Malbec du Clos Triguedina – Cahors
- Shamay Winery Upper Galilee, Israel
- Carmel Black Cabernet Sauvignon, Galilee, Israel
- Brio de Château Cantenac Brown, Margaux