Halfway through January, 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, London, New York, Los Angeles and Israel. 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 event of the season was KFWE Miami, which was held a few weeks ago in, you guessed it, Miami Beach and was the second vintage of the event, making it likely that it will become a regular occurrence in one format or another. While it is more a fundraiser for WIZO than a full-blown wine tasting (and it has a number of issues that are currently preventing it from being an event on par with the other KFWE events), it provides a spectacular opportunity to taste a huge selection of wines in Royal’s portfolio, many of which are usually tough to find in the sultry region of Miami.
The next two events are Israel events, with the first being held next week Monday and Tuesday (January 26th and 27th) – the annual Sommelier Expo which, once again, will be held in Tel-Aviv at Heichal HaTarbut (11 Dizengoff) between 12:00 – 9:00 PM. For a list of participating wineries and wines, see Sommelier’s Website. The event is free of charge but is limited to trade only – you can register to participate here. It is always a great event and one in which you can taste a huge selection of Israeli wines, including many premium wines not usually poured at other Israeli wine festivals. The second Israel event is KFWE Israel, which will be held on Monday, February 2nd and is an invitation-only event hosted by Tzur, Royal’s Israeli importer (and a rare opportunity to taste some of Royal’s great French and California wines which are typically very expensive and somewhat hard to find in Israel.
(1) Coming up next is KFWE London which will be held on February 4th at the Park Lane Hotel in London’s Piccadilly neighborhood. Tickets can be purchased here for this marquee wine tasting opportunity for our European friends.
(2) Hot on the heels of KFWE London is the flagship New York KFWE to be held on February 9th and which, after many years of outgrowing Chelsea Piers (to the extent that a Yacht was docked at the pier last year to allow for additional guests), they are moving to a new and larger location – the Metropolitan Pavilion which is also easier to get to using public transportation. I highly recommend purchasing your tickets early as they always sell out and I get numerous requests for tickets when there are simply none left to be had. It is a great event with plenty of wines and gourmet food and always makes for a very enjoyable evening that is highly recommended. Tickets can be purchased here and use coupon “CORKBOARD18″ for $18 off.
(3) Two days letter on February 11th our West Coast friends (and an increasing number of East Coast-based wine nuts who make a special trip) are able to enjoy KFWE Hollywood which is also relocating this year, from the Hyatt to the Hollywood W for the first time. A more relaxed and intimate affair than the gargantuan NY event with the exquisite fare of Tierra Sur’s (easily one of the best kosher restaurants in the United States) Gabriel Garcia. The event starts at 6:00 PM and is super recommended – I have attended the last few years and always have a terrific time. This year, there are VIP tickets for sale which provides access to some specialty whiskeys, liquors and other spirits from around the world in addition to some exclusive delicacies and hand-rolled cigars. Tickets can be purchased here and use coupon “CORKBOARD” for a 20% discount.
(4) After the KFWE smorgasbord, there are three events which allow one to enjoy the large number of non-Royal wines which are not served at the KFWE events (these events include all wines, both Royal and non-Royal wines). On February 15th the Monsey liquor store – Grapevine Wines, will be hosting its annual Grand Kosher Wine / Spirits Tasting at the Grapevine. The event is from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM and provides the opportunity to taste a large selection of wines and spirits in a pretty relaxed setting, with some light food to accompany all the booze. A very nice event hosted by Yehoshua Werth of Kosher Wine Review “fame”. Use CORKBOARD2015 for 15% of the ticket price.
(5) Next is the annual Jewish Week Tasting which will be held on Monday, March 16th at the awesome City Winery in connection with the publication of the Jewish Week’s annual Kosher Wine Guide of which I am one of the founding judges. Tickets can be purchased at a discount ($30) here. this event is one of the best events in which a large range of kosher wines can be tasted, including the many terrific wines NOT in Royal’s portfolio (like Gvaot, Tzora, Recanati, Ella Valley, Golan Heights Winery and many many others).
(6) Last but certainly not least and while I don’t have a date or confirmation on the event yet, every year Gotham Wines holds a pretty extravagant kosher wine tasting on the Upper West Side and I am hopeful it will once again occur this year, so stay tuned for details. All great events that are recommended and worthy of attending. I hope to see you at one or more of them! Now, on to reviewing KIW 2014!