Choosing the right wine for the Passover meal is often a tricky task. Lucky for us Yonatan Sternberg guides us through the myriad of choices in the Israeli wine market.
Choosing the right wine for the Passover meal is often a tricky task. Year after year the wineries and beverage stores bombard us with sales and specials that are hard to resist. Nevertheless, price often becomes the salient factor when standing in front of the overloaded shelves.
I went over my notes from the past several months and compiled a list of holiday wine suggestions and divided them according to price:
Up to NIS 50:
If you are looking for something white, try the Barkan, Chardonnay, Reserve, 2008. Recently awarded a silver medal at the international wine contest "Best Chardonnay du Monde 2010", the wine (60%) spent 6 months in oak and offers aromas of various white flowers, peaches and vanilla followed by hints of butter and honey. Medium to full bodied red wine recommendations at this price range include the Golan, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008, Galil Mountain's Shiraz, and Binyamina, Yogev, Cabernet – Shiraz. The Dalton Muscato would also be a good way to get the evening started, sweet and low in alcohol, even those who don't usually drink wine would enjoy this one.
NIS 50- NIS 90:
Another white wine suggestion is the Yarden, Chardonnay, Odem Organic Vineyard, 2008 – bright straw with gold reflections, medium bodied, the wine is showing pleasant aromas of green apples, pears, white flowers and a touch of lemon zest. At NIS 55-59 Recanati's, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008 offers pretty good value for money - medium to full bodied, the wine offers generous aromas of red & black berry fruits, plums, pepper, and thyme. Binyamina recently released the Gewürztraminer, late harvest, 2008. Straw towards gold in color this dessert wine suggesting aromas of tropical fruits, lychee, rose petals, honey suckle and a hint of spice.
NIS 91 – NIS 120:
If you get a chance, pick up a bottle of the Vitkin, Carignan 2007. from the Vitkin Winery. Dark almost garnet in color, the wine offers concentrated aromas of dark fruits, ripe plums fresh herbs followed by slight earthy notes. Adir Winery's latest offering include the Cabernet Sauvignon 2008. – youthful and firm, the wine is showing mild aromas of red berry fruits, plums, cherries and fresh herbs with a slightly green and alcoholic finish. The Adir Winery & Dairy is situated in the Upper Galilee and if you happen to be in the area, stop by their visitor's center to sample the wines and dairy products. Ella Valley, Cabernet Franc, 2007 is dense ruby towards purple in color, showing a variety of dark berry fruits, cherries, plums and black pepper along with hints of fresh herbs and a touch of smoked meat. NIS 121 – NIS 260:
In keeping with the Passover tradition of serving red at the festive meal, following are some suggestions for excellent Israeli red wines: Wines produced by the Margalit Winery are usually a treat – I haven't had the opportunity to sample Margalit's latest wines, but from what I understand they are definitely up to par with the winery's previous vinos. Additional suggestions include: Castel, Grand Vin, 2007, Barkan’s, Shiraz, Superior, 2006, Single Vineyards red wines from the Yarden series, Yatir Forest, Carmel Limited Edition, Flam Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2007, Clos de Gat, Sycra, Merlot or the Harel Cabernet Sauvignon, and the list goes on and on... Happy Passover!