A prayer for the total lunar eclipse on Tu BiShvat from Rabbi David Seidenberg:
“As we receive the light of the sun reflected in the face of the moon, may we receive wisdom to guide our future.
May we reflect hope, so that we give strength to each other.
We are a part of the Earth’s shadow, and a part of the Earth’s atmosphere, which bends the red light of the sun to illuminate the moon.
When we cast our own shadow, may we still shine a gentle light to illuminate the world around us.
May we be awakened by the grandeur and awe of Your works, so that may we may be filled with courage to heal the Earth from human destruction.
May salvation arise for the heavens, and may this full moon of Shevat bring blessing to the fruit trees and to all Life.
May we strengthen the Tree of Life with all our actions, so that the sun may shine for blessing, for us and for all life.”
Most Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays I take a hike with my dog Cisco from 8-9am at Arroyo Verde Park which, like so much of my city, was burned in the Thomas Fire.
But many of the trees survived and on my Friday hike, I saw a few bits of green in the trees: new signs of life.
Tu Bishvat on January 21st celebrates trees, and is one of the four Jewish New Years, the Jewish ‘New Year of the Trees’ or the birthday of the trees because after this date, there’s generally enough moisture in the ground to plant them.
The celebration begins at sunset on Sunday January 20 which is also marked by a lunar eclipse in North America which begins not long after dark on the west coast; as long as the sky stays clear, we’ll be able to watch it from our dining room window or from the roof of a neighboring building.
Known as the Jewish Earth Day, Tu Bishvat reminds us of our connection to the Earth and our role to protect it. It’s a day to celebrate by planting trees, discussing environmental issues and feasting on fruits, nuts and wine native to Israel during the Tu Bishvat dinner.
You might also plant fruit or other trees or join in with other Martin Luther King National Day of Service activities in your community.
Yarden is the largest organic grower in Israel — which fits right in with my 2019 pledge to focus more on organic, biodynamic, and sustainable wines and stories here on Wine Predator.
Located in the Upper Galilee mountain range, the Galilee (or Galil) is the most northern, and, according to the winery, generally considered the best appellation in Israel: “The highest quality area within the appellation is the Golan Heights (or simply the Golan), the coldest region in Israel. The vineyards on this volcanic plateau rise from 400 meters (1,300 feet) above sea level to 1,200 meters (3,900 feet) and receive snowfall in the winter. Golan Heights Winery is located in the town of Katzrin in the central Golan.”
Victor Schoenfeld, Yarden’s Head Winemaker, says “Wine conveys a feeling of its source from within. The region in which the grapes are grown is embedded in the taste, aroma and color of the wine. Wine, therefore, has the power to embody the culture, language, scents and people of its region.”
Yarden Golan Heights Winery Mount Hermon red blend Israel 13.9% alcohol SRP $13
organic; sample for my review consideration
This typical Bordeaux is deep and dark red in color with lots of blueberry on the nose and plenty of blue fruit and some raspberry and strawberry too on the palate. Balanced with a fresh tartness and a suppleness across the palate with a silky rich lengthy finish. Earth on the nose also and a bit of funk on the palate.
If you’re a regularly reader (or even better subscriber!), you know we do a lot about food and wine pairings. Since the third century for Tu Bishvat, people are ate nuts and fruits from the Holy Land — easily available before refrigeration.
Because today I read an article in the Sunday Jan. 20, 2019 LA Times about how we will need to eat by 2050 if we are all going to be fed, I wanted to feature a Jewish dish that might pair well with this Bordeaux red blend — and be good for the trees and the planet too.
I stumbled on to this video below where Mayim Bialik shows Hannah Hart how to make a vegetarian or a vegan version of Cholent which is slow cooked for 24 hours to be ready for the Sabbath when those who observe do not work, including cook.
This is full of all the foods the LA Times article says we need to be eating to save the planet with or with out eggs and with or without a vegan version of the traditional sausage (you can also use beef shanks).
And I bet it would really shine with this wine!
I figured I could just instant pot it for this blog post to have immediately but according to this article it doesn’t do the dish justice — and waiting is part of the lesson! Also of note: this recipe is radically different than the one in the video which uses mustard and ketchup and is basically dump method cooking where you approximate and dump everything in.
But since I don’t have time to make that tonight, I’ll save most of the wine and make it tomorrow and maybe find for tonight something here.
PS If you’re fan of Kosher food and wine — or just curious and want to learn more — you’ll want to attend the KOSHER FOOD WINE EXPERIENCE if you’re anywhere in the neighborhood of London Feb. 6, NYC Feb. 11, or LA Feb. 13 (you missed Miami in December). I’ve attended both the trade and the consumer portion of the LA event and it is FABULOUS! Really wonderful food and some seriously interesting wines! Learn more here.