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Anastasia Bulay
June 3, 2024 | Anastasia Bulay

Shavuot Kosher Wines & Cheese Dinner

Shavuot, a holiday commemorating the receiving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, falls this year from sundown on Tuesday, June 11th, to Thursday night, June 13th. Though often overshadowed by its fellow pilgrimage festivals, Passover and Sukkot, Shavuot holds a special place in Jewish tradition

Observed seven weeks after Passover, Shavuot coincides with the spring harvest. Traditionally, this harvest season was marked by a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where Israelites offered their first fruits to God in thanksgiving.

Shavuot also features a unique custom: enjoying dairy foods during the holiday. There are several explanations, but a popular one connects it to the Promised Land, a land "flowing with milk and honey." Blintzes, kugel, cheesecake, ice cream, and of course, cheese, are all popular Shavuot dishes!

While unlike Purim and Passover where drinking is a mitzvah, Shavuot doesn't have a specific requirement for alcohol. However, a fascinating medieval European custom involved keeping a beer barrel in synagogues during all-night Torah study session on Shavuot. Perhaps this practice reflects the belief that a little refreshment can enhance learning!

Wine, a symbol of joy and abundance in Jewish tradition, is a natural accompaniment to Shavuot meals. The lighter-bodied profile of white and rosé wines pairs beautifully with the dairy-rich dishes. These wines are typically made from grapes harvested in May and June, so they perfectly reflect the season of Shavuot.

Cheese is a cornerstone of any Shavuot celebration, and this holiday offers a wonderful opportunity to elevate your experience with perfectly paired Israeli Kosher wines. While red wine and cheese are a classic combination, white and rosé wines offer a world of delightful flavor pairings waiting to be explored. To help you create unforgettable combinations on your Shavuot table, we'd like to share a few suggestions for pairings featuring delicious Israeli Kosher white and rosé wines, along with some cheese recommendations that will create delightful flavor experiences.

Ramat Negev Neve Midbar Sauvignon Blanc is a young white wine that boasts bright citrus notes and subtle herbal hints, making it a versatile companion for your cheese board. It gracefully elevates the flavors of creamy Brie, Gouda, Gruyère, or feta.

For a bolder pairing consider Asiago. Its strong aroma finds a delightful counterpoint in the lightness and dryness of the Ramat Negev Neve Midbar Sauvignon Blanc. The wine's acidity cuts through the cheese's richness, creating a balanced and refreshing taste.

Love goat cheese? Plain goat cheese with its rich tart flavor is also great with this versatile white. The Sauvignon Blanc's citrus notes will complement the cheese's tanginess, creating a harmonious pairing.

Ramat Negev Neve Midbar Chardonnay: Fresh and crisp with a wonderful combination of apple, pear, lemon, and pineapple flavors – no wonder these Ramat Negev wines from the desert are perfect for summer! This Chardonnay pairs beautifully with mild, semi-soft cheeses like gouda or a mild blue cheese. Fresh figs and nuts would be a delightful accompaniment!

Kishor Misgav Dry Riesling is a lively wine bursting with aromas of exotic fruits, refreshing jasmine, and bright citrus. Soft cheeses like Brie and Camembert are classic pairings, but consider exploring harder, mild washed-rind cheeses like Emmentaler or Appenzeller for a delightful contrast with this elegant wine. For a softer yet equally delicious option, French Munster cheese is a match made in heaven. Its earthy funk dances playfully with the Kishor's fruitiness, while the creamy texture provides a luxurious counterpoint to the wine's refreshing acidity. Each bite becomes a symphony of flavor, leaving you wanting more.

Kishor Viognier: This exceptionally well-balanced white wine boasts a luxuriously rich texture and a touch of buttery roundness. It's an ideal companion for creamy and buttery cheeses. Freshly baked bread with a crispy crunch adds another delightful dimension to the experience.

For a bolder pairing, consider piquant cheeses like gorgonzola. The Kishor Viognier's intriguing bouquet of orange blossom and ginger notes dances alongside the cheese's bold aroma. Meanwhile, the wine's flavors of melon, pear, honeyed orange, vanilla, and cream create a delightful counterpoint, harmonizing beautifully with the cheese's richness.

Kishor Kerem White: This beautifully golden and elegant blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, and Viognier offers a crisper profile than pure Viognier, with more citrus aromas. Its balanced character makes it a great companion for most soft to semi-firm cow's milk cheeses, such as triple-cream Brie, Gruyère, and cream cheese.

Agur Layam Blanc: This Roussanne-based blend with Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Viognier offers a velvety complexity. The wine undergoes fermentation and aging on its lees in barrels for nine months, resulting in a rich profile. It beautifully complements cheeses like mild cheddar, Brie, and herb-crusted goat and sheep milk cheeses. The richness of this wine makes it a perfect partner even for Parmigiano-Reggiano, allowing the cheese's sharp notes to be balanced by the wine's body.

Kishor Rose is an elegant rosé crafted from 100% Grenache grapes. Dry, graceful, and lively on the palate, it boasts hints of red fruit, citrus, and herbs. This versatility makes it an ideal companion to a variety of cheeses. Enjoy it with cream cheese, or balance its bright acidity with the salty tang of fresh cheeses like feta or halloumi (don't forget a fresh ciabatta for dipping in olive oil!). Kishor Rose also complements young and even semi-firm cheeses, pairing well with baby Swiss or a young Cheddar.

Provence-style Capsouto Cuvée Eva Rosé unfolds like a smooth and easy-drinking rosé, whispering its story through subtle, light-bodied characteristics. Delicate flavors of berry fruit, apricot, pear, and pineapple dance on the palate, their nuanced nature contributing to a silky texture. Crisp acidity adds a refreshing edge without becoming harsh, ensuring a balanced and harmonious experience. This smooth operator complements creamy textures beautifully, making it a perfect match for fresh goat cheese, Cantal, or Brie, where the wine highlights their gentle aromas.

Ramat Negev Kadesh Barnea Rosé is crafted from 100% Cabernet Franc grapes, boasting a beautiful light pink-orange hue. A lively acidity keeps it refreshingly crisp, leading to a delightful, mellow finish with a whisper of peach. Perfect for cheese platters, especially those featuring piquant blue cheeses! It also complements fresh fruit and rich cheesecake beautifully, elevating every course on your Shavuot table.

Final Touch
For an optimal wine and cheese pairing, temperature matters. Serve white and rosé wines slightly chilled (45-55°F) to enhance their crisp flavors. And for cheese, let it come to room temperature to enjoy its full flavor and texture.
Now, raise a glass, savor the delicious pairings, and celebrate the bounty of Shavuot with friends and family!

Order any of these 9 delicious Kosher wines and enjoy 20% off with promo code SHAVUOT24 at checkout. But hurry, this offer ends June 11th!


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