Gabe and Shimon posing with an award winning bottle of Power to the People on Purim

For years now those of us who have the great fortune of attending Jewlicious Festivals have had the pleasure of meeting the Weiss brothers, Gabe and Shimon. These are two very nice young men who are also phenomenal winemakers. In the past, they used to host the VIP wine-tasting event at Jewlicious by bringing in samples of fine kosher wines. A couple of years ago, they started to bring in some unmarked bottles with a wine they were developing as their own little label.

That wine is now part of their boutique winery, Shirah Wines. Yup, the brothers scrounged up the funds, worked nights and days off (not Shabbat, they’re observant) when not providing their superb knowledge and efforts to other wineries, and created their own line of wines.

I want to be completely clear about this: these are EXTRAORDINARY wines. Not good. Not very good. Great. These are great. These are Jewlicious! I am not a connoisseur of wines, but I enjoy a glass with dinner sometimes, and over the years I’ve tasted my share. I can’t recall the last time I enjoyed a glass as much as I did recently when I tasted two of their wines. And I’m not just comparing them to kosher wines. Any wines.

So you’re saying to yourself, “Okay, but he’s just an amateur little pisher wine drinker.” True, that I am. But now the Jewish Week in New York has put together a panel of non-little-pisher real wine-tasters who did blind taste-tests on 242 (that’s two hundred and forty two) kosher wines.

The 2012 winner in the Top Red Wines category and the Top Red Wines Over $25 category is Shirah Winery’s Power to the People, 2009, Syrah.

Yes, this tiny little winery, with a small number of cases available for purchase, beat out everyone else including some heavy hitters like Yarden. I know why. It’s because the Weiss brothers put all their knowledge into their wines and mix it together with a deep passion for wines and especially kosher wines. It’s a blend of grapes and love. Their wines are not called Shirah for nothing, they really do sing.

Here is how you can buy some, and if you can, I suggest that you do! And don’t be afraid to try one of their other wines as well. I had a chance to also taste The Coalition and thought it was excellent too.

Note: the Weiss brothers may not know who I am, but even if they do, they had no idea I or anybody from Jewlicious would be writing this free plug for their wine. I’m doing it because it is a great wine and these two brothers deserve to have it succeed from an economic standpoint so they can continue to do what they love. If anybody deserves to continue to make wines, it’s these two.

Shirah Wine - Power To the People - Award Winning Kosher Wine

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  • Totally agree. I was one of the judges for the Jewish Week and the Power to the People was an easy first choice – with pretty much 100% consensus across the board of judges. My full tasting note for the wine is below and their other wines (Counter-Punch, Coalition and the two Single Vineyard Syrah wines made from the two Syrahs that went into the Power to the People) are all really good as well. Exciting wines and worth your efforts (and rubles).

    Shirah, Power to the People, Syrah, 2009: Another hit from the Weiss brothers. If it is really true that many people select their wines solely based on the label รขโ‚ฌโ€œ the future is bright for them as they have the most awesome wine labels of any kosher wine. Following closely on their One Two Punch and Syraph wines, the black velvet label is simply gorgeous. Luckily for us, at least in this instance you can judge a wine by its label, as the contents are well-worthy of the awesome label. The 2% of Viognier with which this wine was blended (and fermented) shines through far more than one would expect for 2%, as initially the nose and palate were dominated by peach, apricot and guava flavors and was almost medium bodied (far from what was expected after the blockbuster Syraph). After half an hour or so, the delicious California Syrah reared its beautiful head and rewarded us with plums, cherries and a hint of ripe raspberry accompanied by plenty of smoky wood, some warm spice, dark chocolate, anise all wrapped in well integrated tannins and delivering a round, mouth filling and delicious wine with a medium cigar and chocolate finish with a minty tang. Not a typical Syrah but a great drinking experience (available directly from the winery) and a wine that should cellar comfortably for at least five years if not longer (and will continue to develop for at least a few more coming together perfectly over the years).

  • Jewlicious is amazing! Now let’s get more experts who agree ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Thanks for the good words Mr. Middle, whomever you may be.

    Shabbat Shalom