Kosher Wines for the Passover Table
Recommended wines and recipes for the upcoming Jewish holiday
This year, Passover begins at sundown on Wednesday, April 8. For those observing the weeklong holiday, which commemorates the exodus of the Israelites from ancient Egypt, this week is a time of preparation: cleaning the home, stocking up on foods that are kosher for Passover, consulting favorite family recipes, and seeking out good-quality kosher wines to be enjoyed with family and friends. To that end, we have put together a list of kosher wines that have been recently rated by Wine Spectator's editors.
The kosher wine market continues to expand, and kosher wines are now available from all of the world's major wine regions, in a wide variety of styles and price points. Herzog Wine Cellars in Oxnard, Calif., has recently released the first ever kosher wine from Napa's historic To Kalon vineyard; the Cabernet Sauvignon, called Generation VIII, retails for about $200. And Château Valandraud makes a kosher version of its Bordeaux red that retails for about $250. But as you'll see in our list of recommended wines, whose prices range from $15 to $40, enjoyable kosher wine can also be had for prices that reflect the current economic times.
If you'll be doing some or all of the cooking for Passover, be sure to take a look at these exciting kosher for Passover recipes from Todd Aarons, executive chef at Tierra Sur, the restaurant at Herzog Wine Cellars. To all our observing readers, we wish you a happy and healthy Passover season, surrounded by family, friends and great kosher wine.
GOLAN HEIGHTS WINERY Cabernet Sauvignon Galilee Yarden El Rom 2003 Score: 90 | $40
A crisp, minerally style, delivering luscious flavors of raspberry, blueberry and red plum. The lively finish features touches of mint and dark chocolate. Powerful. Kosher. Drink now through 2012. 1,027 cases made. —K.M.
GALIL MOUNTAIN Yiron Galilee 2004 Score: 88 | $22
This suave red offers lush flavors of red cherry, plum, raspberry and spice, with a very bright finish filled with currant and mineral. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. Kosher. 6,000 cases made.
GOLAN HEIGHTS WINERY Chardonnay Galilee Yarden Odem 2006 Score: 88 | $18
Fresh and full-bodied, showing apple, fig and pear flavors, with lots of tropical fruit and spice notes on the bright finish. Kosher. Drink now. 1,960 cases made.
BARKAN Shiraz Judean Hills Reserve 2005 Score: 87 | $24
This dense red shows dark plum and mocha flavors, with plenty of smoky notes. Dark chocolate fills the firm finish. Kosher. Drink now through 2011. 800 cases imported. —K.M.
ELLA VALLEY VINEYARDS RR Vineyard's Choice Judean Hills 2004 Score: 87 | $27
A dense red, with an herbal aroma and unctuous dark plum flavors that finish with plenty of mocha and espresso notes. Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Kosher. Drink now through 2011. 16,036 cases made. —K.M.
ELLA VALLEY VINEYARDS Syrah Judean Hills 2006 Score: 87 | $32
A juicy Syrah, with spicy notes accenting the red plum, berry and raspberry flavors that are fresh and lively. The finish is peppery. Kosher. Drink now. 9,012 cases made. —K.M.
RECANATI Merlot Galilee Reserve 2004 Score: 87 | $23
A crisp red, with red plum, currant and chocolate flavors that carry through to the fresh, mineral-filled finish. Kosher. Drink now. 2,000 cases made. —K.M.
CARMEL Shiraz Galilee Kayoumi 2003 Score: 86 | $37
A structured red, with roasted plum flavors and mineral notes. Quite smoky on the rich finish. Kosher. Drink now. 600 cases imported.—K.M.
RECANATI Chardonnay Galilee 2006 Score: 86 | $16
Supple, with concentrated ripe pear, apple and rich, spicy flavors. Finishes with touches of butterscotch and pineapple. Kosher. Drink now. 3,000 cases made.
GALIL MOUNTAIN Rosé Galilee 2007 Score: 85 | $15
A fresh rosé, with berry and cherry flavors and a crunchy, spice-filled finish. Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Barbera. Kosher. Drink now. 3,300 cases made.