Tourist Tip #304 / Jerusalem Wine Festival

Enjoy unlimited sips at the Israel Museum, and this year you get Herod the Great as a bonus.

Pssst! Yes, we’re talking to you, dear reader. We heard through the grapevine that the annual Jerusalem Wine Festival gets underway Monday, offering oenophiles and art-lovers a chance to sample the latest varieties, varietals and blends from dozens of Israel’s leading wineries.

This year, the festival marks its tenth anniversary, and the Israel Museum – which hosts the event in its picturesque art and sculpture garden – is allowing visitors to catch the “Herod the Great” exhibit at no extra cost (from 5:30 P.M. on). Enough about the art, you say, you want to know more about the wine? Well, for NIS 85, visitors get a glass that stays with them for the evening and gets filled with as many tastings as they like – or as many as their stomachs can handle.

Dozens of Israeli wineries take part in the event, including Golan Heights, Carmel, Binyamina, Tavor and other lesser-known winegrowers – many of which offer kosher reds, whites and bubblies as well. Amateur wine enthusiasts can pick the vintners’ brains, while chowing down on kosher food, including perennial wine partners cheese and bread. (There will also be somewhat more substantial food on sale at the event.)

If that’s not enough, the festival also features live music in a range of styles from jazz and reggae to country and Beatles covers. The museum recommends dressing warmly as it can get nippy in Jerusalem at night, although the wine is likely to keep you toasty (and toasting).

Hours: Monday, August 5 – Thursday, August 8, 7-11 P.M.

Tickets on sale on the museum website (http://www.english.imjnet.org.il/) and by phone at (02) 625-9703. Space is limited.

Courtesy Israel Museum
Courtesy of Israel Museum