The Eternal Light Shines in Galilee: Yarden’s Merlot, Pinot Gris with Acorn Squash Couscous, Tangerine Feta Spring Salad #WinePW

A beautiful oil lamp glimmers on the label of Yarden wines.

According to my friend Myr Slosberg, the oil lamp is significant because in Temple you have a light that’s above the Torah that’s always lit with oil. The light signifies the presence of God; the light is to always be lit.

An eternal light shines from these Yarden wines which we wrote about before here. where I learned that Yarden is 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.”

Learn more about Yarden here.

If you’ve ever dreamed of:

  • a sunset picnic in a historic vineyard,
  • an exclusive tour of a secret wine cave,
  • life on a kibbutz winery,

you can explore all this and more with’s free Live-Streamed Wine Events, presented in partnership with the Israeli Wine Producers Association (IWPA), now through July 5. Visit for a full schedule, to register, to receive notices of every event, and to catch up on past episodes. The 24-part series launched on May 3 with a tour of Shiloh Winery featuring winemaker Amichai Lurie.

Viewers will be able to purchase Sampler Sets from each winery at a discount price to taste along with the experts or enjoy afterwards. They are encouraged to submit questions for the expert prior to these sessions, and one lucky winner will receive a free bottle of wine and a VIP winery tour for each live event. is the largest kosher wine e-commerce retailer and a great resource for information and news about kosher wine.

Learn more about the wines of Israel here.

2018 – Yarden Pinot Gris Galilee Golan Heights Winery
13.5% alcohol SRP $20
sample for my review consideration

High altitude, volcanic soils.

Color: Platinum, very little color

Nose: Grass, pollen, citrus, pine, green, lemon, going back to the nose Sue found fennel, fennel fronds or pollen.

Palate: Pine, green, lemon citrus, dry, tart. Both Sue and I felt this tasted like a mediterranean wine, reminding us of Greek wines, lots of lemon and citrus. We both found this to be much more exciting on the palate over the nose. This is a very distinct wine and unusual expression for pinot gris!!

Pairing: Nice with a walnut raisin sourdough bread. Hummus makes this very tart wine so sweet! Great with goat cheese topped with sun-dried tomato, olive oil and garlic.

Think Mediteranian food when serving this wine.

Sue found a fig, pistachio, cinnamon non meat salami which she thought was  insanely good with the wine while I loved kalamata olives with it as they bring out a wonderful sweetness. The acidity of the tangerine in the salad and the creamy tartness of the feta made for another great pairing. The complexity of the couscous is fantastic with the sweet and the savory greens: such a compliment to the wine. Great with the smoky grilled seafood and veggies of the kebabs.

TRY: Pesto pasta.

2016 Yarden Merlot Galilee Golan Heights 14.5% SRP $30
find it online at 1000 corks here
sample for my review consideration 

Color: Maroon, garnet, deep, brick rim

Nose: Violets, earth mushroom, black pepper, mental, toasted smoke, resin.

Palate:  Interesting tannins upfront, bold but smooth, cherry, mulberry, woodsy, forest floor.

Pairing: The wine is insanely good with the goat cheese topped with sun-dried  tomato. Also fantastic with the hummus and great with the kalamata olives; again, think of mediterranean food. The tart bright fruit is a perfect match with the tart bright flavors of these foods. The complexity of flavors in the couscous was so great with the wine: the sun-dried tomatoes, the dates, the feta, the kalamata olives, the acorn squash, all of it individually would work with the wine, however when combined your mouth bounces off flavor after different flavor which elevates the wine nicely. With the salad. the rich avocado, the sliced almonds, and feta were wonderful creamy elements which tamed the tart characteristics in the wine.

TRY: Salmon.

Thanks to Charles for grilling the kebabs and to Myr for the background and for help with the title for today’s article!

Acorn Squash Couscous

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1 pound couscous
  • 1 9 oz jar artichoke hearts (not marinated)
  • 1/4 cup marcona almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 2 T sun-dried tomatoes
  • 4 dried figs, chopped
  • 3 T butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • salt and pepper, middle eastern spices to taste
  • 1/4 sundried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives


  • split and roast 1 acorn squash 350 20 minutes
  • cook couscous to package diredction (about 5 minutes)
  • peel and cube squash (aprox 2 cups)
  • heat butter and olive oil in large frying pan;
  • add all ingredients, saute 5 minutes
  • drain couscous
  • combine all ingredients and salt and pepper to taste
  • garnish with fresh chopped parsley

Tangerine Feta Spring Salad

  • 8 cups spring greens
  • 4-5 medium sized tangerines, segmented
  • Israeli feta cheese
  • 1 avocado, sliced into chunks
  • 1/8 cup sliced almonds


  • 3 tangerines, juiced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • whisk to blend

Who else is writing about what?

Join us at 8am Pacific for our chat or checkout the hashtag #winePw anytime! Here are the questions for the chat starting at 11:00 am ET:

      • Q1 Welcome to the #WinePW Yarden Wines Discovery. Where are you tweeting from? Introduce yourself, share a link to your blog. Visitors too!
        11:05 am ET
      • Q2 Let’s start with today’s subject. What did you know about wines from Israel before jumping in this month? #WinePW
        11:10am ET
      • Q3 Yarden Wines is located in the far north of Israel, why is this region considered the highest quality wine region in Israel? #WinePW
        11:15am ET
      • Q4 Have you had any Israeli wines before? Tell us what you know! #WinePW
        11:20 am ET
      • Q5 Our thanks to Yarden Wines for the generous samples! Tell us about the wines you received. #WinePW
        11:25 am ET
      • Q6 Could you describe Yarden Wines Character? Old world in style? New world? Unique? #WinePW
        11:30 am ET
      • Q7 Did you pair your wine w/ food? Did you choose a regional food? #WinePW
        11:35am ET
      • Q8 How did your pairings go? Are there things you’d try in the future or anything to avoid? #WinePW
        11:40am ET
      • Q9 Have you visited Israel? Did your experience with these wines increase your interest in visiting? #WinePW
      • Q10 Many of these wines are kosher. Do you have friends for whom this is important? #WinePW
      • Q11 Open comment time, any thoughts or discoveries you’d like to share? #WinePW
      • Thanks again to Yarden Wines for providing samples for our exploration! #WinePW
        12:00pm EDT
        Thanks for joining our Yarden Wines Discovery at #WinePW!



4 thoughts on “The Eternal Light Shines in Galilee: Yarden’s Merlot, Pinot Gris with Acorn Squash Couscous, Tangerine Feta Spring Salad #WinePW

  1. Pingback: #RoséAllMay? #RoséAllDay! Three Rosé from Oregon with sushi, salad, seafood skewers for #AirportRules | wine predator

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