March 30, 2009

Keeping it Kosher - Wines for Passover


In order for a wine to be kosher, it must be created under a rabbi's immediate supervision, with only Sabbath-observant Jewish males touching the grapes from the crushing phase through the bottling. While all wines require some sort of mold (yeast) for fermentation, kosher for Passover wine must be made from a mold that has not been grown on bread (such as sugar or fruit) and must exclude several common preservatives. All Israeli wines are Kosher for Passover and most (but not all) kosher wines are kosher for Passover. To be sure, check the label for the P. (from

Passover is quickly approaching and while I am by no means an expert on Kosher wines, I have tried quite a few and thought I'd pass along some reliable choices that are also budget friendly. There are a lot of online resources for Kosher wines these days and I've included a few links at the bottom so you may browse at your leisure.


hagafenSB.jpgHagafen Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2008 $17
On the nose, this highly aromatic Sauvignon Blanc shows pineapple, key lime, and mandarin orange. This bracing, mouth-watering wine fills the palate with a well integrated and creamy mix of apricot, citrus, grapefruit, and tangelo. This Sauvignon Blanc is produced from a well-established vineyard in the Eastern foothills of the Napa Valley, where the hot days and cool nights are ideal for creating crisp, clean, long-finishing food friendly wine. (from Wine Chateau)

recanatiChard07.jpgRecanati Chardonnay 2007 $16
This Chardonnay was made from Upper Galilee Chardonnay vineyards and aged sur lies, a technique used to produce wines that are buttery, complex and rich in flavor. These Chardonnay grapes were harvested in the earlymorning hours in Recanati's Upper Galilee vineyards at Kibbutz Manara and Kerem Ben Zimra, at the foothills of Meron mountain. These well-nurtured and quality vineyards, with their high quality low crop load, are characterized by scents and flavors of white flowers, grapefruit, pineapple and tropical fruit. The wine remained with its sediment and developed flavors and scents of vanilla, butter and toasted bread that combined with the wine's fruit flavors and full, robust body. (from Astor Wines & Spirits)

galil_voig_LRG.jpgGalil Mountain Viognier 2006 $13
Bright, golden straw-like color. Peach, ripe apricot and orange peel aroma with a refreshing blossom-like fragrance and hints of oakand butter characters. A medium-to-full bodied wine with balanced and gentle acidity and a long, pleasant finish. 60% of the wine underwent cold fermentation in stainlesssteel, with the remaining 40% fermented in new French oak barrels.The barrel-fermented wine aged on yeast lees for six months. The cold fermentation enabled the wine to preserve the variety's fresh characters, while wood and yeast characters were added to the barrel-fermented wine. (from

herzogChenin07.jpgBaron Herzog 2007 Clarksburg Chenin Blanc 2007 $8
Looking for a dry but soft, easy-drinking white wine that everyone can enjoy? Nice clean flavors with hints of melon, stone fruits, and savory herbs are wrapped in a smooth, medium-bodied package that is delicious on its own, but will also pair beautifully with a wide range of lighter foods. A terrific everyday white wine that's also easy on the wallet. (from The Wine Country)


galilpinot.jpgGalil Mountain Pinot Noir 2006 $17
Perfumed and silky with typical aromas of wild berries, violets and hints of tobacco and oak. Aged for 10 months in French oak barrels. Delicate and well balanced with an elegant structure and a fresh pleasant finish. (from

gamlamerlot.jpgGamla Merlot 2006 $17
Gamla Merlot was produced from Merlot and a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon, all grown in the Golan Heights. The cool climate, rocky volcanic soil and high altitude are ideal conditions for growing these classic varieties. Aging in oak barrels, mostly French with a bit of American, rounds out the berry floral and spice characters in this approachable and elegant Merlot. (from

golanCab.jpgGolan Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 $13
The Golan Cabernet Sauvignon offers ripe berry and plum fruit notes rounded out with rich vanilla, spice and oak. This aromatic, medium-bodied wine finishes off with loads of fruit. Although immediately approachable, it will age well over the next five years or so. We recommend drinking it with boldly-flavored foods, such as spice-rubbed well-marbled grilled steak or eggplant parmesan made with plenty of fresh herbs. The fruit comes from several vineyards in the central Golan Heights. The wine aged for six months in American oak barrels. (from

tishbiPS.jpgTishbi Cabernet Petite Sirah 2007 $10
Cabernet Petit Syrah Dry red wine Appelation: Zichron Yaakov & Kfar Tavor This young, refreshing wine is made of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah grapes. Fruity and fresh, it carries an aroma of strawberries and herbs. (from

Other great resources:
Kosher Wine Society
Online Kosher Wine

Main bottle image via Giora's Kosher Food Blog

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Posted by Noël Wallace at March 30, 2009 3:24 PM
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