Food Pairings: This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot comes from the vineyards of both Yosef Arbesman and Ishai Adler in Israel’s Lower Galilee. The Yogev’s earthy, black fruit notes complement most traditional Passover foods, both Ashkenazi and Sephardic. Hints of desert spices, such as licorice, play perfectly against rich dishes such as brisket, roasted chicken, potato kugel, or even glazed duck breast with figs. Even with more savory Sephardic sauces — and dishes that incorporate rice, which is Kosher for Passover in the Sephardic tradition — the Yogev finds its place on the table.
I brought the Yogev in specifically for its inky Cabernet-Petit Verdot blend, as well as for its origins: some of the highest-quality grapes in Israel come from the Lower Galilee. Cabernet, which makes up 80 percent of the blend, lends plum and blackcurrant flavors, while Petit Verdot layers in extra body and spice.
Originally established in 1952 by Joseph Zeltzer, Binyamina Winery was one of Israel’s earliest wineries. The Yogev label is a tribute to Binyamina’s winegrowers; after all, Yogev means “tiller of the soil” in Hebrew. Yogev wines are aged in used barrels so that oak flavors don’t smother the natural quality of the winegrowers’ fruit, but simply add another layer of complexity.