Wine tasting event fills to capacity, garners praise

by | Mar 11, 2016 | Other News

Wine is poured for Mark Lipton and Stacey Neuman.

Wine is poured for Mark Lipton and Stacey Neuman.

The UJFT Business & Legal Society and the Maimonides Society kicked off the new year on Sunday, Feb. 21 with one of their most successful events since the professional societies began in 2011. More than 80 Jewish professionals gathered at the Holiday Inn North Beach for an exquisite Passover kosher wine tasting. The event was sold out, filling the room to capacity with many new faces, as well as good friends from both Societies.

Wine and conversation flowed as guests enjoyed a beautiful, panoramic view of the oceanfront and learned from professional sommelier, Crystal Cameron, of Crystal Palate. Seven kosher wines from Israel and around the world were served and paired with delicious hors d’oeuvres, some of which were Passover-themed.

Sue Gitlin of the Maimonides Society says, “Having a combined Maimonides Society and Business & Legal event was a great idea since both groups want to network and have social interests in the community. The wine tasting was excellent and has inspired me to have our own tasting and pairings during my family’s Seder —4 cups, 4 wines!”

This was exactly the idea behind planning the event prior to Passover: to educate the community about the wide assortment and exceptional quality of kosher wines that could be enjoyed at the Passover Seder, as well as year-round.

Many Jewish families default to sweet Manischewitz wine at the Seder, not realizing that there is a plethora of fine kosher wine options that could be enjoyed instead. However, these wines can be difficult to find at local distributors. There is clearly interest in these wines, and the local market is just beginning to be tapped.

Connecting and supporting Jewish businesses and professions is a key role of the Business & Legal Society. Therefore, this event also aimed to create new channels for the Jewish community and local businesses to mutually support each other. All wines served at the event were available for order, and a percentage of the proceeds were donated to the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Annual Campaign.

“I got to pour a few of the better Kosher wine selections—which was so cool because I visited with a lot of old friends and made a few as I walked around the full room. There was lots of good energy from a broad group of people in the community. The UJFT staff did a great job of creating a really fun program in a chill beach front atmosphere. We should do that again soon,” says Kevin Lefcoe.

The event’s exceptional turn out also reflects the growth that the Maimonides and Business & Legal Societies have experienced over the past year. The upward trend is expected to continue throughout 2016 and beyond. In fact, Wines from Around the World was a highly anticipated second installment of a successful wine tasting hosted last summer by the Societies.

Byron Harrell of the Business & Legal Society says, “The wine tasting was a great event! We had a nice opportunity to network with fellow business people and to hear about delicious kosher wines from an expert. My wife and I learned a lot about kosher wines and hope to do this event again next year.”

“Sharon and I thoroughly enjoyed the wine tasting. We really liked the kosher New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, we enjoyed the Passover food pairings, and there was great mix of interesting people, including lots of friends,” says Bill Nusbaum.

The Business & Legal Society and Maimonides Society present an array of events throughout the year attracting a diverse range of interests, ages and professions from the business, legal and medical fields. The Societies offer networking, social, and philanthropic opportunities for Jewish professionals. To get involved, visit, or contact Alex Pomerantz at Also visit and ‘LIKE’ the Business & Legal Society and the Maimonides Society on Facebook!

by Samantha Golden