5. Israel

Don't even think of Manischewitz (that particular sweet thing is made in America, anyway). And don't assume that it's all kosher wine here. These days, Israel is finally taking advantage of the expressive, idiosyncratic terroir it's been blessed with, and has been producing wines that, at their best, strike a delicate balance between the ripe fruit so typical of warm growing regions and the earthiness that great vineyard lands impart. As an added bonus, many ambitious (and often young) winemakers are training in places like Australia's Barossa Valley, France's Rhone Valley and Bordeaux, and even in California. The result is wine that, at its best, is made with technical care and is firmly rooted in the soils of this vinous oasis in the heart of the Middle East.
Inga Spence
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