As a supplement to the interview, the paper listed some recommened venues for wine tastings and some wine sites. Since I only suggested some of these to writer Vered Kelner I'd like to expand on the tastings I can recommend first hand:
- WineRoute's beginner course was the one that actually got me into this hobby. If you attend their more advanced tastings regularly, you will eventually have a good idea what the major wine regions have to offer. They're very professionaly executed and reasonably priced most of the time. Decent food on the side.
- Giaconda offer exceptional, highly educational German wine tastings as well as various other tastings. I have attended only the German tastings and a New Zealand tasting (interesting, moderately priced, not a knockout like their better German tastings can be) and so have no opinion on their other offerings. They're on the expensive side and I think they should factor in the marketing value of these tastings and cut the prices a bit but I'm a sucker nonetheless. Interesting and tasty finger-foods.
- I've attended a couple of Burgundy tastings presented by Tomer Gal. They're not held regularly as far as I know; the ones I attended were held at private homes and the price was tailored to the audience's budget, at more or less the shelf price of the wines. Thus, not cheap but you can't beat Burgundy when it's on.
- For a certain type of Tuscan wines, that is to say modern wines with Old World notes, I'd send you to the Anavim store in Ben Yehuda. I don't like all their Tuscan wines but they deserve my eternal thanks for introducing me to Brundlmayer plus I adored the Paternoster Don Anslemo 1997 which they carry. They serve amazing cheeses at their tastings and Amir and Hagit are very friendly and knowledgeable. The tastings are decently priced and, since Tuscany is not a region I will personally buy 'blind', very useful.
Of course almost every wine store holds tastings and special events. I've heard only good things from people I trust about Andre Suidan's tasting at Special Reserve at Haifa but that's only hearsay. Just FYI, his special sales, when he holds them, can offer some amazing deals.
I'd also like to mention wine sites not mentioned in the paper. Besides the wine anorak, I'd like to mention his British peer, the Winedoctor, which is damned terrific. Make up your own mind about the rest of it, but the guy likes and understands sherry! I wish I could recommend Neal Martin's Wine-Journal but the guy not only sold out to Parker - which I can understand - but he also crapped out and removed all the old contents, even the musical reviews. Idjit!
Not to everyone's tastes but sure to mine is the Gang Of Pour site, which I'd recommend if only for the terrific word play on an old punk fave of mine (Gang Of Four, just in case).