I just got home from Royal Wine Corporation’s Kosher Food and Wine Experience, and WOW! From the selection of kosher food stations provided by a variety of restaurants in the area to the selection of kosher wines and wineries, this was the event of the year for any kosher foodie!
David and I were lucky enough to visit the Herzog Wine Cellars during a weekend trip to Los Angeles for a tour of the facilities, wine tasting and brunch. Our visit coincided with this year’s harvest celebration. The winery is actually in Oxnard, about an hour outside of LA, and well worth the trip! We learned so much about the wine making process and about kosher wine. If you live in or are visiting the area, you should definitely have a delicious meal (and it will be delicious) at Tierra Sur, accompanied by some Herzog wine!
Can you tell we like wine tasting? Jessica went to Hagafen Cellars on her trip to Napa earlier this year.
Looking at the wine-making process in these vats and barrels (though glass; sorry for the reflections). The winery here is not a vineyard, so Herzog sources its grapes from all over California.
We made it to the wine tasting room and sampled a bottle of wine that hasn’t been released yet. See, the label is just a piece of tape; the real labels haven’t been printed yet. David had to open and pour the wine! Can you guess why?
This was one of my favorite parts: bottled smells of wine characteristics. This is the “good” box, which (luckily) is much bigger than the “bad” one. We smelled things like moldy and horsey before moving on to dark chocolate and caramel. I had no idea something like this existed, and still don’t know how they perfectly bottled those scents.
And now, time for brunch at Tierra Sur, the restaurant at Herzog Wine Cellars, where Chef Todd Aaron uses local California produce! Lucky for me, there was a special buffet for the harvest festival, so I got to taste everything. I think those mini barbecued beef sandwiches were my favorite part! David really liked the juicy capon; he asked me to replicate it! When the manager told us what was in this quiche, we thought we misheard him: it’s bacon; lamb bacon! I couldn’t have fit more food on my plate if I tried:
And now, time for dessert. Apple pie, a mini pumpkin bundt and a rich chocolatey cupcake. I can’t decide which was my favorite, they were all amazing. I had to share my plate with David, though. I was too stuffed from the buffet to finish everything!
After our meal, it was time for more wine tasting! We tasted wines that were still in the barrel and that will only be released in the tasting room (become a member of one of their wine clubs to get a bottle!). The Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley was especially delicious, and its undecided what will become of it in the future.
I had to refrain from buying any of the beautiful condiments, marinades, olives and, of course, wines in the gift shop since I didn’t want to check my luggage at the airport. Then I was forced to check my suitcase when boarding, since the overhead bins were full. I could have brought home so many goodies! Ugh! I don’t want to talk about it, I’m still kinda mad…
A special thanks to Monica and Joe for inviting us out and showing us around! What a great way to end my short trip to California!
p.s. I thought that we New Yorkers had it all when it came to kosher food, but that was before I visited LA! What’s your favorite city for kosher eating?
p.p.s. Don’t forget to enter our giveaway!
Is there a better way to celebrate your oldest friends, a hot NYC summer day and the awesome strawberry season that we’ve been blessed with than strawberry sangria? I couldn’t think of one, so when my elementary school crew was coming over to my apartment for a dinner party, I conjured this recipe right before my friends started to show up and we sipped sangria until we were ready for dinner.
Out of hundreds of wineries in the Napa Valley, there are only two kosher ones. We had the pleasure of visiting one, HaGafen Cellars, on our recent trip to California. There were two groups there besides us (people who didn’t even know what kosher wine meant) all getting tastings of their delicious wine.