Jewish Link Publishes Fourth Annual Wine Guide

For the fourth year in a year, the Jewish Link has published another annual issue of its wine guide, preceded by last year’s issue. Available in both print (including for purchase), as well as available online, The Jewish Link Wine Guide has returned with another issue of their “flagship magazine, an 80-page glossy that is the only independent magazine featuring kosher wines in America.”

The clear difference in this issue, as they point out, is that Israel is under attack, affecting wineries:

This year, we also used this pre-Pesach time to remind our readers that a Jewish community dealing with a war in Israel and with quite a bit of Jew hate on the home front means that it is even more important this year to support Israeli brands; not just of wine but of all types of products.

One thing that you may notice is different in the guide this year is that, in deference to our Israeli wine community in crisis, we did not award “Wineries of the Year” or “Innovator” awards, as is our custom. We strongly hoped to encourage our Israeli winemakers to continue to produce and reach customers in Chutz La’Aretz, and we did not want the war combined with the previous year’s pause in production due to shemitah to disadvantage them in any way. Instead, we thanked the winemakers who made special efforts to bring their wines to us in the U.S. this year; and are sharing stories of their efforts in the magazine as well as the newspaper. We hope you will find all of our features about the various struggles, achievements and initiatives of the kosher wine community in 2023 and 2024 interesting and engaging.

Here are the contents of this issue, along with links to the specific articles on their website:

  • Moshe Kinderlehrer – “A Note from the Publisher”, p. 4
  • Dr. Kenneth Friedman – “Winemakers at War”, pp. 8-13 —> Fascinating article that looks at not only vintners in Israel who are dealing with their wineries under attack, but also those who are serving as reservists in this war.
  • Arnie Draiman – “Gorgeous Tasting Rooms at Israeli Wineries”, pp. 14-21 —> He explores tasting rooms at several kosher wineries in Israel.
  • Joshua E. London – “European Wines With Uncompromising Kashrut”, pp. 22-26 —> Telling the the origin story of Robby Israel’s wine-production company, Centrale Européenne des Vins, the most intriguing aspect of which is that it began supplying kosher wine in central Africa. An expanded version of this article is available on London’s Substack.
  • wine-tasting 28-56 —> In addition to the articles in the wine guide, one thing that has remained incredibly intriguingly valuable and insightful in addition to the educational articles contained within has been the wine-tasting, which provides quite the helpful guide, not only just for Passover, but year-round, which is incredibly helpful for kosher wine consumers.
  • Hakarat HaTov Awards, pp. 57-58 —> Awards presented to vintners in Israel, “thanking them for their efforts and keeping the Israeli kosher wine industry afloat during these tumultuous times”, specifically, Eli Shiran of Shiran Winery, Stephan Celniker of Yaffo Winery, Amichai Lurie of Shiloh Winery, and Alex Haruni and Guy Eshel of Dalton Winery.
  • Pictures from Jewish Link Wine Guide Grand Tasting, pp. 59-61 —> Pictures.
  • Yossie Horwitz – “The Rising Phoenix: Mayacamas Winery”, pp. 62-68 —> Intriguing exploration of a California Winery that now produces some kosher certified products, although it should be noted that the Schottensteins are not, as the article indicates on p. 65, from Cleveland, but rather Columbus (my hometown).
  • Dr. Kenneth Friedman – “Special Project Kosher Wines in Tuscany”, pp. 70-74 —> He notes that “over just the last few vintages, the kosher offerings from Italy have grown exponentially, with new wines from multiple producers and importers”, specifically mentioning that “one such region now seeing a promising, and well-deserved, boom is Tuscany, Italy.” In this article, he focusses on Ben Weber of Select Wine Imports and Eli Gauthier of Cantina Giuliano Winery.
  • Gamliel Kronemer – “Kosher Brandy: A Spirited Addition to Your Pesach Table”, pp. 75-77 —> Similar to last year where he looked at fortified wines, this year, his article is on kosher Brandy. In addition to explaining about brandy, he also reviews over a dozen kosher brandies and also noting their pricing.
  • Elizabeth Kratz – “Lean in to Israeli Wine This Pesach”, p. 78 —> In addition to encouraging people to support the Israel economy through the purchase of kosher wines, she also recommends over a half-dozen specific wines, providing a brief description of each of them and includes their pricing.

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