Wednesday, August 13, 2008

WBW #48 Manischewitz Concord Grape N/V

11% alcohol
51% or more Concord Grape wine

From the bottle:

A specially sweetened kosher wine containing not less than 51% concord.

Today is the fourth anniversary of Wine Blogging Wednesday, and the topic is back to your roots:

We're all wine lovers, but we have gotten where we are today in a variety of ways on a variety of paths. These long, windy paths are littered with wines the world over. I just want you to pick one of the wines from the beginning of your journey, taste it again for the first time in a while, and tell us about it.

Maybe you remember the very first wine you ever tasted. Try it again.

Okay. I did.

Manischewitz Concord Grape was part of every ceremony, from simple Shabbot dinners to Passover, from Hannukah to weddings. I don't remember it, but I tasted it for the first time when I was a mere 8 days old, when a mohel dipped a cloth in some and let me suck on it, a very traditional anasthetic for the act to follow.

As a child I got a tiny little glass, a liquor glass, that looked like a miniature version of my parents' wine glasses. My sisters could not stand the stuff. They took the tiniest sips, making one glass last through the evening, usually with leftovers. I, on the other hand, drained it whenever somebody said "drink" (or, more likely, "Ba-ruch a-tah, A-do-nai, E-lo-hei-nu me-lech ha-o-lam, bo-rei p'ri ha-ga-fen. Amen."). Manischewitz, or its counterpart Mogen David Concord Grape, were the first wines I ever tasted, and likely the only ones I tasted for my first 15 years or more. Oh, one more thing. We would drink the same bottle until it was gone. At Passover it was grape jelly and sugar. By Hannukah, though, it was as oxidized as could be. Tonight I will be reviewing the Hannukah version:

The nose is pure oxidized wine, bruised plums and port. On the palate, imagine putting one cup of port in a blender, add one cup of sugar, and blend. Then sip. Once. I can't call what follows a "finish," but there is definitely an aftertaste.


Steve said...

Shouldn't this be "two YEARS per bottle"?

And yes, this was the first wine I ever tasted, and the first wine I got drunk on (2 weeks before becoming bar mitzvah).

- Ralph Kramden

Anonymous said...

I loved your description. Ouch ouch ouch. Wish I could convince our church that leaving this style of wine in a cupboard until it's gone isn't the best method of preservation....

BobbiSue said...

Does this wine have leavening in it? I'm new to following Torah and I don't want to buy another bottle of this wine if I'm not to have it during the Feast Of Unleaven Bread. Please let me know. This is the only wine I have ever had because it's the only kosher wine available in my area. Thanks