Rosh hashanah food | Check out Israeli wines for the holidays

When selecting wines to go with your holiday meals, Israel has a lot to offer. Here’s a look at some of the top Israeli vintages for your new year’s menu.

Yarden 2T 2009

The 2009 Yarden 2T was the talk of Vinexpo, which took place June 16-20 in Bordeaux, France. This intriguing blend of two Portuguese varieties, Tinta Cao and Touriga Nacional, drew international wine experts to the Golan Heights Winery’s booth at the festival.

Spicy chocolate aromas from the 2T envelop the senses, balanced out by the long berry and plum flavors that linger on the palate. This wine is full bodied and has a concentrated flavor that will complement any number of beef or lamb dishes.

Galil Mountain Yiron 2009

An award-winning wine gracing the shelves this Rosh Hashanah is the Galil Mountain Winery’s 2009 Yiron blend, which picked up the Israel prize at the Citadelles du Vin awards in Burdeos, France.

Deep red in color, the 2009 Yiron displays strong aromas of berries, blueberry and cassis on a background of vanilla and toasted oak. With a unique flavor, perhaps enhanced by the small amount of Petit Verdot in the blend (in addition to Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot), this wine is a great accompaniment to a festive meal.

Gilgal Chardonnay

For a refreshing white wine, the Gilgal Chardonnay fits the bill. Chardonnay is a popular wine variety and in recent years the Gilgal series has developed a reputation as an affordable brand with an unusually high quality. The Gilgal Chardonnay’s fresh fruitiness balances well with the sweetness and light acidity of its lively citrus notes. It is aged for four months in oak barrels, lending it a subtle richness complementing the ripe notes of pear, lemon and tropical fruits present in every glass.

Gilgal Chardonnay goes perfectly with a range of poultry and fish entrees.

Yarden HeightsWine 2011

The Yarden HeightsWine has become the talk of the kosher wine world. In the past, the very mention of sweet kosher wine produced memories of the sickly sweet beverage marketed as a sacramental wine. Thankfully this stigma has been rebuffed by the award-winning wines being produced in Israel and worldwide. Most are now aware that sweet wine can be elegant, mouth-watering and of an extremely high quality; the Yarden HeightsWine is proof of this.

Having won an international award on almost every continent, this dessert wine knocked competitors out of the water when it won the best sweet wine at the recent Decanter awards in London.  The 2011 Yarden HeightsWine showcases an intense and aromatic mix of lychee, pineapple, apricot, melon and citrus characters with a subtle hint of honeysuckle and spice. Such a luxurious wine can be served as a dessert on its own or can accompany a rich fruit tart to make this a truly sweet New Year.