There was a surprise party in honor of Mimi Ben Yosef, (aka in English as Michael Ben-Joseph), the doyen of Israel wine critics. It was organized by Chef Alon Gonen and was held at the home of very respected journalist Arik Lavie. The attendance included many of the major figures of the Israeli wine industry who came to celebrate Mimi's 87th birthday. Celebrity & radio presenter Amnon Peer acted as the Master of Ceremonies. Wine industry veteran Adam Montefiore, winemaker Arkadi Papikian, and organizer Alon Gonen spoke about Mimi's wine career and others spoke up about other periods of Mimi's life. Chef Alon Gonen provided the food and each winery donated special bottles of wine. There was a large turn out to show respect and love for a special person.
Mimi Ben-Yosef was born in Rumania, became a fighter pilot fighting in the wars to defend Israel and was involved in the legendary rescue at Entebbe. He served as a pilot for El Al Israeli Airlines for forty years. A wine lover for a long time, he studied, collected, tasted and became a connoisseur. In 1990 he wrote the first serious book on wine published in Hebrew. It was called 'Sefer Hayayin' (The Wine Book) and was published by Keter. A whole generation of Israeli wine lovers quoted that this book was the catalyst that brought them into the world of wine.
In 1996 he published a second book in Hebrew called 'Yayinot Israel' (Israeli Wines), published by Yedioth Achronot Books, Chemed Books. In 2002 he wrote the first book in English on Israeli wine, called 'The Bible of Israeli Wines'. It was published by Modan Publishing House. He has written continuously for wine magazines, newspapers and even today continues to be the wine critic for Cigar Magazine.
PHOTO: David Silverman
wines-israel.com wishes Mimi long life up to 120 and many years of writing, tasting and enjoying good wines.