Passover is a joyful holiday. The welcoming of spring and the celebration of freedom inspire a setting that includes the whole family. The acknowledgement of passing our history down to our children is touching and gives us a sense of purpose and responsibility.
One aspect of Passover’s past from the foodie’s perspective has been a lack of serious wine. Wonderfully prepared meals always taste better with wine, and the thought of Manischewitz makes me think more of sweet barbeque than of a symbolic family meal.
Great news! There are now some serious wines on the market that are Kosher-for-Passover! What started as one or two facings at your local wine shop has grown into a full-fledged category over the last few years. Kosher wines from all over the globe have sharply improved in quality, with Israeli regional wines particularly stepping up their game.
Naturally, with all of these new choices comes the stress of choosing the wine for you. Leave it to us to cut out much of the guesswork. Here are a few that stand out to Michael Koehler of Suburban Wines. Michael was just named LoHud’s Journal News’ Wine Expert for Spring 2013. Suburban is a strategic partner of the Women’s Advancement Compact.
Les Jamelles Chardonnay Essentiel ’10, Vin de Pays d’Oc $16
“A great Southern French bargain brand has finally sent us their Kosher-for-Passover Chardonnay bottling. The wine is creamy and silky, with a pleasant citrus/apricot/melon interplay and a lengthy finish. Pair with gefilte fish.”
Teperberg Semi-Dry Cabernet Sauvignon ‘11, Samson, Israel $13
“A much preferred alternative to that infamous upstate New York sweet Concord, this Israeli Cabernet is round, complex, and well-structured, finishing with just a touch of residual sugar. Fantastic as a Seder wine, as it won’t blast you with sweetness. Pass the tsimmis.”
Ella Valley Vineyards EverRed ’09, Ella Valley, Israel $21
“Perhaps the greatest Kosher-for-Passover red I’ve ever tasted, the EverRed is a single-estate Bordeaux blend from Ella Valley that has all of the hallmark “claret” traits….aromas of currants and tobacco, flavors of dark fruit, mineral, underbrush, and cacao. Brisket all the way.”