Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Tasting Features New-Style Kosher Wines

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Tasting Features New-Style Kosher Wines

Article excerpt

Move over Mogen David and Manischewitz and make room for a new breed of kosher wines suitable for Passover.

The Parkway Jewish Center of Wilkins/Penn Hills, located at 300 Princeton Drive, is staging a kosher wine tasting intended not only for its congregation but for anyone wanting to learn a little more about this unique category of wine. To add to the excitement of the event, scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m. on March 23, organizers are giving the tasting a Latin theme and serving dry dinner wines from Spain, Chile and Argentina. They're also spotlighting tango music by a group called Aqui Tango and tapas and chocolates with south of the border flavor profiles.

"Kosher wine is not the same anymore," Cantor Henry Shapiro said. "What was once a selection of just a few extremely sweet wines, has become - like the rest of the wine industry - an explosion of quality and variety from all over the world."

Leading the tasting, Pete Hanowich of Hampton has extensive wine experience. For 27 years, he's been the bailli, which means leader or president, of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the prestigious Chaine des Rotiesseurs, an international gastronomic society founded in Paris in 1950 and devoted to preserving fine dining. He's also a member of one of the world's most significant wine tasting groups, Societe Mondiale du Vin.

"Over the years, I've managed to develop a sophisticated wine knowledge," he said. "As a former business developer for Rockwell International, I did a lot of traveling, including visits to the major wine producing regions of the world. If I was flying to, say, New Zealand, I'd buy a book on that country's wines and read it on my flight over. Monday through Friday, I'd work for Rockwell, but on weekends I'd visit the wineries at a time when wine tourism wasn't as big as it is today."

Mr. Hanowich also has a wine-related friendship with Ed Harrell, organizer of the Pittsburgh Wine Festival and member of the Chaine des Rotisseurs. One day while the two were talking, Mr. …

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