Jewish Food

Boozy Jew: Passover Seder Wine Crawl

Just because you’re eating box after box of matzah, that doesn’t mean you have to skip the wine. Read More

By / April 11, 2011

Passover is a time when food takes center stage, and we glutinously fill ourselves up until we physically can’t eat any more.  Brisket, Gefilte Fish, Matzoh Ball Soup, Roast Chicken, Chopped Liver, some of the most iconic dishes of Jewish cuisine are on the Passover table.

But just because food is center stage, doesn’t mean the wine should take a back seat!  This is the holiday where we are actually COMMANDED to drink wine!  And we aren’t told to drink just a sip or a glass, but four glasses of the delicious juice.  So here’s what I need you to do: I need you to go to the place where you keep your alcohol, open the bottle of Manischevitz that you never dare serve anyone except on Jewish holidays, pour a little out for your Bubbe’s Haroset recipe (or your dad’s…), and dump the rest of that crap down the drain.

Below are my suggestions for pairing wine with Passover, one glass at a time.

The First Glass: We’re just beginning the seder, we’re welcoming our guests to the Passover table, and nothing says welcome like a great glass of bubbly.  I prefer Prosecco, but champagne or an American Sparkler would be great as well.  Two fantastic Kosher options are Elvi Adar Cava and Hagafen Brut Cuvee.

The Second Glass: We’re about to move into dinner and many people will keep this glass of wine with them as they begin the first few courses of the Passover meal.  This is only the second glass, so you want to choose a wine that still has a pretty low alcohol percentage, around 11 or 12 percent.  For this glass I would choose a bright, acidic un-oaked Chardonnay or a lovely Pinot Noir.  One of the best Kosher Pinots on the market is the Goose Bay Pinot Noir from New Zealand.

The Third Glass: Dinner is winding down and most people have eaten three or four helpings of brisket.  You want a wine that can stand up to all the meat and strong flavors that close out the meal, so here you want a red with full flavors.  A peppery Syrah, a silky Merlot or a big Cabernet Sauvignon are good choices.  The Kosher bottles I like are Domaine Netofa Galilee, and the Tishbi Cabernet.

The Fourth Glass: Dessert has been served, and therefore go with a dessert wine to finish the meal.  Who says the fourth glass can’t be a Brandy or Cognac?!  Tishbi and Louis Royer make kosher Brandy and Cognac.


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