Today is a day when – for this year – we segue from the end of Hanukkah season right into the Christmas season. Both born from significant historical and religious events, today, I’m left to wondering. Do you think there will ever again be such compelling circumstances in history, that create what’s recorded as miracles, marked in time for thousands of years to follow?

As I celebrate this season, with family members of all religious backgrounds, I was sent a sample of wine that I believe is a quintessential Kosher for this time of year… a 2014 PSÂGOT Jerusalem Mountain Vineyards Merlot. It’s a wine so worthy for the last day of Hanukkah… saving the best for last, and one to have on Christmas day… The gift of both holidays is that they have an extension of time, eight days for Hanukkah and 12 for Christmas, If you haven’t seen the twelve days play out, you haven’t been to places like Puerto Rico during January 6, of any given year. (Puerto Rico needs that kind of miracle this year. May the Gods send a savior.)

Putting the “why” into this wine is a quintessential, is that it stems from the land of miracles.

  • Emanating from Jerusalem, the eight-day Jewish celebration, known as Hanukkah (or Chanukah), commemorates a re-dedication. This happened during the second century B.C. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. According to Jewish legend, this is where Jewish people rose up against Greek-Syrian oppressors, known as the Maccabean Revolt.
  • Emanating from Bethlehem, (located 6.2 miles south of Jerusalem), the 12 days of Christian celebration, known as Christmas, commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, who was born in a manger. According to Christian legend, Jesus was born to a virgin, and a very bright North Star led three kings to deliver gifts to the new born king, the son of God.

I respect each history… all history, really. Because the truth does eventually shake down into beliefs. So, when I am given a wine from Jerusalem, I take note. This Psâgot Merlot from Jerusalem has this history in its terroir’s heart and soul. I’m treating it as very meaningful.

And so, each sip is a taste of that history, and makes it extremely pleasurable, before I even begin my process of tasting and recording what it’s meant to me.

All of the following are from #samples.

PSÂGOT Merlot from Jerusalem

Rich, ripe cherry aromas arose from the bottle’s neck, as I pulled the cork. It made me leave the kitchen and the Bordeaux glass behind, and head for my wine glass closet. So, “Which Burgundy glass has the best globe, because I don’t want to miss anything, when I take that first sniff, right after the first swirl.” Glass on my desktop, bottles now open. Poured into the globe, and here I am… at the cross roads of one high holiday into the next…

Swirling the garnet colored wine, rich aromas called to me (and one left over fruit fly, looking for anything real in my office). Chocolate, minerality (chalky, from limestone soils) in the Jerusalem Hills, and bramble berries (black raspberries, not blackberries) gently rose into the room. Inviting me to get more into it, I tasted this beautiful, rich looking wine. It’s so smooth, delicious, and bright as the North Star, lasting cherries on the finish, I’m so delighted to now have tasted this Merlot, having earlier tasted their PSÂGOT Edom. (PSÂGOT’s Edom is the winery’s premier red wine; a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (75 percent) and Merlot (25 percent). It’s definitely full-bodied, and aged for 14 months in French and American oak barrels.)

PSÂGOT’s 2014 Merlot is $28.00 for a bottle, and they ship to the US, if this is attractive to you.