Passover Wine Recommendations #68

April 3, 2008   |   By (see 's Profile)   |   Filed Under Food & Wine 

While many of us shop for wine on a regular basis (or as my wife might put it, a much to regular basis), the majority of wine buying in America is conducted in the weeks leading up to Rosh Hashanah and Pessach.  Whether as a result of or the reason for, most large sales are also conducted during these times and present a good opportunity to stock up on wine at attractive prices.  This is typically the time that wineries and importers unveil new wines as well.Yarden Kosher Red WineThis newsletter and the editions over the next couple weeks will set forth lists of wines I highly recommend stocking up on in various price ranges.  This week I will list wines in the $10-20 ranges and in the following list will discuss wines in the 20-30, 30-40 and what I like to refer to as “Moshiach wines”.  These are those truly fabulous wines which, if I were ever so lucky as to have the Moshiach come to my door, I would be honored to serve and comfortable that they would stand up to the wines served at Seudat Moshiech, even though they might not be the perfect matches to “Shor HaBor (bull) and the “Levyatan” (whale)…

In general, and especially important at this price point, the following three tips are recommended (for an expanded discussion see recent newsletter #61):

  1. Israeli wines present the best bang for your buck at these values.
  2. Anything from Galil Mountain, Recanati or Yarden is going to be good.
  3. If you need Mevushal everything from Hagafen is good (even if you don’t need Mevushal).

As I am sure many others do as well, I try to serve my best wines over the Pessach holiday.  That said, I usually serve the top wines during the lunch and Shabbat meals since gulping down large glasses of wine in a short period before eating any food seems like cruel and unusual punishment to inflict on such treasures.  On the other hand, the four cups one drinks during the Seder should be appropriately honored and I usually try to find somewhat easier drinking wines that are enjoyable but will not be “wasted” in such a drinking method like the Recanati Petit-Syrah/Zinfandel or the Goose Bay Pinot Noir.Castel Kosher Wine Chardonnay

As to great wine events coming up – Gotham Wines is having its annual (amazing) extravaganza this Sunday at the Jewish Center (86th between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenue) between 2-5 PM.  For $25-30 you get to taste over 300 of the best wines available on the market as well as numerous workshops given by top folks in the industry as follows:

Workshop #1 Time: 2:20pm-3:00pm – Conducted by Howard Abarbanel of Abarbanel Wine Company.
Workshop #2 Time: 3:20pm-4:00pm – Conducted by Alex Haruni of the Dalton Winery.
Workshop #3 Time: 4:20pm-5:00pm – Conducted by Joseph Hurliman of the Herzog Winery.

I attend this event every year and find it highly enjoyable.  Please let me know if you intend on being there as I am always happy to meet fellow wine lovers and readers of my newsletter.

Shabbat Shalom,

Great Bets under $20 (for the most part the vintages are what’s currently on the shelves last I checked but this may change so all vintages of these are good, you should avoid white wines over 1-2 years old (except top flight wines like Yarden or Castel Chardonnays).  Most of these would qualify as a YH Best Buy but I have indicated those which I think especially qualify with an Astrix below.

Cantina, Gabriele, Sangiovese
Carmel, Late Harvest Gewürztraminer, 2005 (Dessert)*
Dalton, Barbara, Estate
Capcanes, Peraj Petita
Galil Mountain, Yiron, 2004*
Galil Mountain, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006 (needs a few minutes to blow off some “stink”)
Galil Mountain, Merlot, 2006
Galil Mountain, Pinot-Noir, 2005
Gamla, Cabernet Sauvignon
Gamla, Pinot Noir
Gamla, Chardonnay, 2005
Golan, Cabernet Sauvignon
Goose Bay, Pinot Noir
Hagafen, Chardonnay
Hagafen, White Riesling, 2005 (Dessert)
Recanati, Barbara, 2004*
Recanati, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006
Recanati, Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve, 2006
Recanati, Merlot, 2006
Recanati, Merlot, Reserve, 2005
Tabor, Merlot, Adama Bazelet 2005*
Tabor, Cabernet Sauvignon, Adama Bazelet 2005
Tabor, Mescha, Red Dessert Wine, 2003 (Dessert from Merlot grapes)
Yarden, Blanc de Blancs, 2000 (Sparkling)*
Yarden, Heightswine, 2005 (Dessert)*
Yarden, Cabernet Sauvignon
Yarden, Merlot
Yarden, Gewürztraminer, 2006 (2007 is the best I have ever tasted if you can find it)*
Yarden, Viognier, 2005
Yarden, Odem, Organic Chardonnay, 2005*
Yatir, Sauvignon Blanc, 2005

With permission, from the newsletter of oenophile, Yossie Horwitz


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