Friday March 18, 2011
Purim Sameach to everyone in Kosher Land. It is the month of Adar Sheni and that means it’s time to get happy! So take off those conservative work clothes and don a fancy dress costume – don’t be shy … ’
cause this is when the party truly begins! Before it all gets too loud and noisy with greggars spinning a mile a minute, we wanted to zero in on a product that fits just perfectly within the Purim theme. Anyone have a corkscrew?
This week, we are so excited to showcase the Harkham Windarra Winery (www.harkhamwine.com). Are there really enough adjectives to do justice to the magic produced in the Hunter Valley? We will try! Okay, this is a big deal – not just in the kosher wine world, but in the rarefied air of those few well respected masters of viticulture. Friends, charge your glasses, ’cause the secret is out: – kosher wine can be and is ranked as top class - world class - and it’s beyond impressive.
If you enjoy a Chardonnay, then look no further than the glowing recommendation of award-winning wine columnist Andrew Jefford, who lists in the prestigious magazine, Decanter.com, Harkham’s 2010 Chardonnay as one of his top picks (in fact, third best!) across all regions of Australia. He also highlighted the 2009 Aziza’s Shiraz in the influential wine journal, The World of Fine Wine, “this is one of the best ‘no sulphur’ wines I’ve ever tasted in terms of purity, delicacy and allusiveness.”
Internationally renowned wine critic and author, Daniel Rogov, recently tasted Harkham’s varieties of Chardonnay and Shiraz and was incredibly impressed. Here is his description of the Chardonnay: “Pressed as whole bunches, fermented in oak and bottled without filtering or fining. Light golden straw in colour, a lively Chardonnay, showing appealing aromas and flavours of citrus and tropical fruits, those with a light overlay of spicy wood. Lively and fresh.” (We just couldn’t say it better ourselves ... )
You see, Aziza’s Shiraz is the Hunter Valley’s first natural, preservative-free wine. And managing winemaker, Richard Harkham, adds that it “is now stocked in top restaurants around the country. We really take pride in our winery, the only one in Australasia to exclusively produce kosher wine. And our production of non-mevushal wine also adds to our unique profile. Our relationship with the KA is great. Rabbi Groner is fantastic and kashrut is paramount!” (Note: non-mevushal wine means wine that isn’t cooked or boiled, for further information please see our kosher product guide subsection ‘Alcoholic Drinks’).
Richard continues: “At Harkham Windarra Winery we only use the very best grapes and are highly selective. Ours is truly a traditional wine-making process and there is no machine harvest in sight! Don’t forget that wine really represents the sanctity of the Jewish People and was used in the Beit Hamikdash, the Holy Temple.”
Harkham wines are available at Starks, Krinsky’s, Goulburn Cellars and Rose Bay North Cellars. Aziza’s Shiraz is stocked solely at Vaucluse Cellars and you can even enjoy a glass of Harkham wine with a meal at Pita Mix. So, whether your task-at-hand is to assemble mishloach manot baskets or arrange the drinks for your Purim seudah, consider including a selection from the award-winning Harkham Windarra Winery – adding that heady dimension of sophistication and elegance, yet remaining within a truly affordable price range.
Now speaking of mishloach manot, also known as shalach manos, we need to fill our Purim baskets with food and drink. It’s Purim, we have dressed up, and we have our Harkham wine – what’s missing? Yes, of course you know, it is hamentashen, delicious triangular pastries, also known as oznei haman.
We are very fortunate here in Sydney to have three wonderful kosher bakeries produce sensational hamentashen. Carmel Bakery, located in the heart of the Bondi Junction mall, offer five varieties: jam, poppy seed, walnut, date and chocolate. Owner Hanan Buskila proudly informs us that his winning recipe dates back through generations in his mother’s family. “Our customers’ consistent request for hamentashen has meant that we have baked some each and every day we are open over the past five years!”
If you are near Bondi Road, look no further than Glicks for two distinct varieties: yeast hamentashen, featuring jam, chocolate, poppy seed or cheese fillings; or shortbread hamentashen filled with jam, almond, poppy seed or chocolate (see images below). We say: why not hedge your bets and try both! Baruch Kluwgant, Glicks general manager, NSW, says that “here at Glicks, we sell thousands of delicious hamentashen, and we are really mindful to ensure that these Purim treats are offered at a fair and reasonable price.”
And finally in Rose Bay, we have Grandma Moses, who not only offer different flavours, but three distinct sizes as well. In all sizes, that is, small, medium and large, Grandma Moses hamentashen is available with jam, poppy seed, chocolate, and walnut fillings (see images below). Owner Lawrence Hoffman says that “we truly aim to cater to all tastes and hold our hamentashen, and in fact, all our baked goods, up to the highest standard.”
So there you have it! But wait … hang on to your Mexican sombrero (yes, we are still dressed up!), ’cause we have one more cool kosher party idea to share! Whether it’s for your Purim seudah or indeed, any time of the year, if you are hosting a kosher function and you want to add some fun to your fiesta consider calling the Liquid Group, Sydney’s premium beverage caterers, for all your cocktail needs. They are meticulous about sourcing kosher ingredients (checking the kosher status of products on our KA website) and have all their equipment kashered by our mashgichim. Sian O’Sullivan explains “we usually bring our kashered equipment on site to your party venue for birthdays, bar mitzvahs, any functions! By offering this kosher option, we are thrilled to have opened our market to a new demographic. To date, it has been really successful and we look forward to more kosher functions.” (Contact Sian on 8889 3770 or www.liquidgroup.com.au).
If you are a baker at heart and feel like putting your personal touch on your own colourful Purim challot, remember you can add a few drops of essences to give your challah that whimsical Purim touch – choose from Hoyt’s or Queen Fine Foods (check KA website). Or why not go all out and sprinkle the top of your home-made challot with 100’s and 1000’s by Nemar or Waldov.
So let’s eat, drink and be merry (responsibly, of course). We wish you all a Freilichen Purim!
The KA Team