What is in a name? In wine speak, it means a lot. It can tell us what is inside the bottle. Welcome to the latest wine from Domaine Bousquet, Alavida but pronounced A La Vida, To Life! It is unique from other Domaine Bousquet wines because it serves a dual purpose. It is a kosher wine, organic, and Malbec. Have you ever heard of a Kosher Malbec wine? With Passover just around the corner, it is the perfect wine to celebrate. It is also an ideal wine to Celebrate World Malbec Day on April 17th.
The name Alavida is considered a Spanish riff similar to the Hebrew toast L’Chaim. The spirit of the wine also lies on the label with its artistic salute to toasting around the world.
Unique to Alavida is it fits into a wide range of categories for the wine drinker. Besides being organic and kosher wine, it is USDA- Certified Organic, vegan, gluten-free, and Ecocert-approved.
Alavida For Passover
At Passover, we ask the four questions:
On all other nights, we eat either bread or matzah. Why, on this night, do we eat only matzah?
On all other nights, we eat herbs of any kind. Why, on this night, do we eat only bitter herbs?
On all other nights, we do not dip our herbs even once. Why, on this night, do we dip them twice?
On all other nights, we eat either sitting or leaning. Why, on this night, do we eat while leaning?
With Alavida, we might ask these four questions:
Why is this Malbec a Kosher Wine?
The owners, Libid Ameri and Anne Bousquet of Domaine Bousquet split their time between their home in Miami and the winery in Argentina. In Miami, Anne & Labid have quite a lot of Jewish friends who, over the years, have jokingly complained about the disappointing quality of most kosher wines. They asked, “Why don’t you guys help out by making us a nice kosher wine?”
The idea kindled in Libid’s mind. It reminded Libid when he started Domaine Bousquet organic wines; they were viewed as kind of a new age thing, and very iffy at that. Labid figured that if they could do for kosher wines what they’ve accomplished in terms of producing quality organic wines, why not? As a result, Labid set his heart on making “an amazing kosher wine. Labid feels that for many things, the kosher seal of approval is considered a designation of quality – just not so much where wine is concerned. He ultimately took the challenge.
Why is this wine Kosher?
The processing of the wine is similar to most ones, with two exceptions. Ingredients like the yeast must be kosher and the wine physically made by a sabbath- observant Jewish team under the supervision of a rabbi. In this case of this Malbec, it required double the number of people involved, the Jewish tea member to handle the grapes and wine, paired with a home team member, who stands alongside directing the process. For Domaine Bousquet, winemaker Rodrigo Serrano gave the work orders, and the Jewish team executed those orders.
Upon the grapes’ arrival at the winery, the Jewish team takes over moving and processing the grapes. The team was experienced winemakers, but they were new to the excellent quality of grapes provided by Domaine Bousquet. At the end of each day, the rabbi locks up, ensuring that no one other than the team touches the wine.
Why did Labid Ameri and Anne Bousquet choose the particular Rabbi?
The rabbi grew up between Brooklyn, NY, and Buenos Aires. Today the rabbi lives in Mendoza. Along with the rabbi, there were two helpers from Buenos Aires. The rabbi was pleased with the results he arranged for payment in wine. The rabbi considers Alavida the best kosher wine he’s ever tasted. This venture created a good friendship between the rabbi and Labid.
Why is this Malbec Worth Purchasing?
If you have ever had the wines of Domaine Bousquet, you know that the grapes come from vineyards in the Uco Valley at the foot of the Andes.
This Malbec is probably the first Kosher wine created from this variety. The wine utilizes grapes for a reserve wine, making the quality superior to most Kosher wine. Garnering USDA certification is very rare in the wine industry. Laws require that to be USDA Certified Organic; no sulfites are used in the wine.
The Alavida Malbec, like its title, is vibrant with flavors of blackberry. The wine has an earthy quality, known to Malbecs from Argentina. The wine also has good acidity.
This Malbec is reasonably priced and is available at places like Costco.
So let’s lift our glasses to Alavida, whether it be for Passover, World Malbec Day, or any other celebration, and say L’Chaim, Saludi, cheers to life, Prost, or whatever toast is appropriate for you.
Note: Common to the wine industry, this writer received a hosted wine sample. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure.