Updated December 30, 2017
As January looms, we are entering the busiest season of the year for kosher wine events and it is time to mark your calendars, get out your credit cards and start clicking away to secure tickets for some of the best and most enjoyable wine-tasting opportunities. These tastings include a slew of KFWE events occurring in Miami, Israel, Paris, London, New York and Los Angeles in addition to several events that provide a broader look at the kosher wine world today, encompassing wines from distributors/importers in addition to Royal. KFWE stands for “Kosher Wine and Food Experience” and is a mega-tasting of the wines in Royal Wine Corporation’s rather large portfolio.
The first two events were welcome newcomers to the scene; Yehoshua Werth (manager of the Grapevine Wine Store in Monsey) hosted the Kosher Wine Expo on Tuesday, November 7th in Uniondale and promoter Bon & Oak held a Tour De France, showcasing much of Royal Wine’s robust high-end portfolio of French wines, including most of their newly (and not yet) released wines from the acclaimed 2015 vintage. These were followed by the fourth edition of KFWE Miami, which was held a few weeks ago in lovely (and warm) Miami beach.
While most of the coming events are part of the global KFWE, a number of other events provide the opportunity to taste w wide selection of new wines and should not be missed. Chief among these is Sommelier Expo – Israel’s primary wine trade show, where many of Israel’s smaller boutique wineries present their wines alongside many of the larger wineries. Additionally, for a broader spectrum of wines not limited to Royal Wine’s (admittedly huge portion of the available) kosher wine offerings, the Grapevine and Jewish Week events provide an opportunity to sample wines from across the range of different importers.
To the extent currently available, I have listed below brief details about each of the events with links to find more information, purchase tickets and obtain directions. To the extent available, i have also included promo codes that can be used to obtain discounts at certain of the events (I’m listing the codes which offer the largest discount of which I am aware, which aren’t always Yossie’s Corkboard’s codes). I will keep this page updated as more information (and discounts) becomes available, so come back and check the page as the events get closer.
I hope to see everyone at many of these events, so please come by and say hi. Enjoy and L’Chaim!
List of Events
[Israel] Israel’s primary wine-trade event – the Sommelier Expo will be held on January 15-16, 2018 (Monday – Tuesday) at its usual location in Tel-Aviv’s Heichal Hatarbut. between 1-9:30 PM. It’s a terrific place to find new wines and wineries, learn more about wine and have a great time meeting the various winemakers and winery owners. The event is intended for and free to press and members of the trade but any wine-lover can purchase tickets here for 150 NIS. The trade portion of the event is from 1:00 – 6:30 PM when it opens to all comers. I highly recommend the event and strongly suggest arriving as early as possible to avoid the large crowds that descend as the evening wears on and the event takes on more of a bar-like feeling where drinking is the order of the day.
[Israel] On January 29, 2018, Royal’s Israel importer (Zur Agencies) will hold KFWE Israel (also known as “Wow – World of Wine”). This is a great opportunity for Israeli wine-lovers to taste many of the high-end French and California wines that until a few years ago weren’t imported into Israel and whose prices ensure they remain out of reach for many budding oenophiles. Check back on Zur’s Facebook page as they will likely post details about the event soon (as they did last year). Alternatively hit up your contacts in the local wine industry and see if you can get tickets. This is a great event and highly recommended. You can also keep on eye on Royal’s general KFWE Page (last link on the bottom left will hopefully link to details at some point).
[Paris] KFWE Paris (also referred to as Degustation de Vins) will be held the following day on January 30, 2018 in Paris at the Intercontinental Marceau from 5:30 – 9:30 PM (trade and press hours are from 4:00 – 5:30 PM). In order to enable attendance by the largest number of winemakers possible (and ease the logistics for royal personnel), the Paris (and London – see below) events are held back to back with the Israel one. Paris KFWE is hosted by Selection Bokabsa, the producers (and négociant) for many of the French offerings offered in the US by Royal Wine. This is usually a fun and lovely event and affords the opportunity to taste many French selections, including those not exported to the United States. Tickets can be purchased here.
[London] Coming on the heels of the Paris event is KFWE London, which will be on January 31, 2018 at the Park Lane Sheraton. Hours for the press and trade are 3:30 – 5:30 PM and general admission is from 6:30 – 10:00 PM. Tickets can be purchased here and there are also a limited number of VIP tickets. The VIP event provide access to an enhanced food menu and wines (and whiskies) not available at the general event. A great event with terrific food and a pretty broad selection of wines, all enjoyable in a more subdued and laid back (dare I say elegant) environment than the more lively flagship New York KFWE event.
[Manhattan, NY] Next up is Royal’s flagship NY KFWE which will be held on February 5, 2015 at its usual Chelsea Piers location on Pier 60. this is your opportunity to enjoy hundreds of wines, many of them among the finest offerings the kosher world has to offer these days. As with most of these events, get there as early as you can as the event fills up quickly and, once full, becomes more than some folks can handle. Press and trade hours are between 12:00 – 4:00 PM and doors open for general admission at 6:30 PM. VIP tickets grant early admission to the main event starting at 5:30 PM and also provide access to the VIP room a few minutes away from the main event, where an enhanced food menu is available along with a curated selection of the higher-end wines which can be tasted and enjoyed in a less-crowded and more elegant setting. The event sells out every year so don’t dilly-dally and buy your tickets as soon as possible. Only good through December 31, 2017, promo code EARLYBIRD gets you $25 off either type of ticket. After that date, promo code UNCORKED will get you $15 off. VIP and general admission tickets can be purchased here.
[Los Angeles] Two days later KFWE LA will be held on February 7, 2017 at the incredible Peterson Automotive Museum. Hours are 6:00 – 9:00 PM (trade and press are usually 12:00 – 4:00 PM). VIP tickets are available and grant access to the lovely roof at 6:00 PM, where you can enjoy really terrific food by Herzog Winery’s acclaimed (and truly destination-worthy) Tierra Sur restaurant along with library wines and a curated selection of the better wines in a more relaxed setting. Regardless of VIP tickets, make sure you visit the general admission floors where the vast selection of wines can be enjoyed among the gorgeous and truly incredible display of automotive history and beauty. Use promo code EARLYBIRD through December 31, 2017 for $25 off, after which cork15 will grant you $15 off any type ticket, all of which can be purchased here.
[Monsey, NY] The next two tastings provide a great opportunity to sample a broad selection of wines beyond those imported by Royal (or produced by the Herzog Winery). The first event is the annual Grand Kosher Tasting hosted by Monsey’s Grapevine wine store and hosted by its manager – Yehoshua Werth. The event will be held on Sunday, February 18, 2018 at Grapevine Wine & Spirits in Monsey between 6:00 – 9:00 PM. Tickets can be purchased here.
[Manhattan, NY] Last but certainly not least is another event offering a broad selection of wines – the Jewish Week’s annual Grand Tasting which will be held on Sunday, March 12, 2018 at the delightful City Winery in Manhattan. The event will be held between 6:00 – 9:00 PM with VIP tickets granting early access (at 5:00 PM for a more relaxed environment). Details and tickets are available on the Jewish Week’s event page, but use my Corkboard special link for $10 off general admission and $10 off the early admission (which includes a limited tasted of special wines).