8 Kosher Wine Ideas for Your Passover Seder

The world of kosher wines has changed dramatically over the last several years, which means that whether you’re hosting Passover or you’re a guest at someone else’s seder, picking out wine can be daunting. Here are 8 wines—one sparkling, three white, and four red—that you should feel comfortable opening for the holiday. Cheers! | AGlassAfterWork.com

8 Kosher Wines For Passover

As I discussed with The Swirl Suite a couple of weeks ago, the world of kosher wines has changed dramatically over the last several years, which means that whether you’re hosting Passover or you’re a guest at someone else’s seder, picking out wine can be daunting. Here are 8 wines—one sparkling, three white, and four red—that you should feel comfortable opening for the holiday.

SPARKLING

Deccolio Prosecco – At $14, this kosher sparkling wine from Italy is simple, food-friendly, and refreshing. It’s worth checking out, even if you’re not looking for a kosher wine. Rating 4 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

Deccolio Prosecco

The Deccolio Prosecco (winery) was a kosher sparkling wine from Italy that is perfect for both the kosher and non-kosher bubbly fan. It was light golden yellow with a lot of good bubbles. Both on the noise and in the mouth, this sparkler had a lot of Granny Smith apples, oranges, and hints of white flowers and honey. It’s simple, food-friendly, and refreshing, and won’t break the bank. I gave this wine 4 corks and purchased it for $14.

WHITES

Ben Ami Chardonnay -- At $10, this kosher Chardonnay from Israel is a nice white wine that would be nice both as an every day wine and as one to open on the holiday. It pairs well with roasted chicken or is enjoyable on its own. Rating: 4 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2013 Ben Ami Chardonnay

The Ben Ami Chardonnay (snooth) was from Israel and made with 100% Chardonnay grapes. It has a medium lemon-yellow color. This wine is all about tropical fruits—pineapple, guava, and hints of nectarine and lime on the nose with pineapple, honeydew and hints of lime, guava, and mango in the mouth. The wine had a medium body and bright acidity that made for a nice pairing with roasted chicken and mashed potatoes. I gave this wine 4 stars on Vivino and purchased it for $10.

Flam Blanc – At $28, this white wine blend from Israel is full of flavor. Whether you’re looking for a wine to pair with a turkey dinner or to enjoy over a steaming bowl of mazto ball soup, this wine is a fantastic option. Rating: 4 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2013 Flam Blanc

The Flam Blanc (winery, snooth) was an Israeli white wine blend that tasted full of limes, pineapples, and Granny Smith apples with hints of wet stone.  The wine had a light body and high acidity. It’s a fantastic food wine, just begging to be paired with a turkey dinner, but would also be nice with matzo balls or kugel. I gave this wine 4 corks and purchased if for $28.

Makom Grenache Blanc – At $30, this kosher white wine from California would please any crowd, kosher or not. It’s light-to-medium bodied with an acidity that makes it perfect for opening for a holiday dinner. Rating: 4.5 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

Makom Grenache Blanc

The Makom Grenache Blanc (winery) was made by Hajdu Wines. It was a beautiful lemon color with bright citrus, green apple, and something floral on the nose. In the mouth, the lemons were more like lemon curd mixed with apples, wet stone, and a hint of salinity. The wine had a light-to-medium body with good acid. It was a very fresh tasting that is sure to be a crowd pleaser. I gave this wine 4.5 stars on Vivino and purchased it for $30.

REDS

Casa De Cielo Reserve Malbec/Syrah – At $10, this kosher red wine is from Chile and has a quality/price ratio that would be difficult to match. It is a beautiful medium-bodied, well-balanced that is enjoyable on its own or perfect with a grilled London broil and polenta fries. Rating: 4 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2013 Casa De Cielo Reserve Malbec/Syrah

The Casa De Cielo Reserve Malbec/Syrah was Kosherwine.com’s private label, so it can only be purchased from their website. The wine was a blend from the Maule Valley in Chile. It was a beautiful medium-bodied, well-balanced red with blackberries and hints of cocoa dust and roses on the nose and blackberries, dark plums, tobacco and hints of cocoa and smoke in the mouth. While I enjoyed the wine on its own, it was absolutely gorgeous with a grilled London broil and polenta fries. I gave this wine 4 corks and purchased it for $10.

2011 LaTour Netofa Red – At $35 a bottle, this red wine from Israel is versatile kosher wine that offers a lot in a single glass. It can be used to accompany a holiday meal or just enjoyed on its own while talking the night away. Give it time to breath, and you won’t be disappointed. Rating 4.5 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2011 LaTour Netofa Red

The LaTour Netofa Red was is a full-bodied wine made from a blend of Mourvèdre and Syrah grapes. Both the nose and mouth were full of blueberries, blackberries, nutmeg, as well as hints of tea leaves, black pepper, dark chocolate, and dried roses. This was a wine that tasted like it was made to enjoy over a holiday meal with family and friends. I gave it 4.5 corks and purchased it for $35.

2014 Hajdu Wines Brobdinagian Petite Sirah – At $50, this kosher red wine from California is big, beautiful, and defies all the stereotypes about kosher wines. It’s still a touch young, but had nice fruit flavors and was delicious when paired with food. Definitely a wine worthy of a holiday occasion. Ratings 4.5 out 5 stars | AGlassAfterWork.com

2014 Hajdu Wines Brobdingnagian Petit Sirah

The Hajdu Wines Brobdingnagian Petite Sirah (winery) was a big and beautiful. It has nice fruit flavors and was delicious when paired with both a Florentine bistecca and chocolate chip meringue cookies. I actually brought this wine to a BYOB wine lunch with some diverse wine lovers, and not only did no one guess that it was a kosher wine, but also everyone loved it and went back for me. I gave this wine 5 stars on Vivino and purchased it for $50.

2012 Gva'ot Masada – At $80, this kosher red wine from Israel is a special occasion wine worth putting on your holiday table regardless of whether or not you keep kosher. It’s a big, bold, seductive wine that lingers in the mouth, calling for great food, conversation, and another sip. Rating 5 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2012 Gva’ot Masada

The Gva’ot Masada was the epitome of a special occasion wine, and I’m in love it. This wine as all about blackberries, black currants, and dark plums mixed with a smokey earthiness, and the slightest touches of dark chocolate, thyme, and blueberries. It was full-bodied with grippy tannins. with a medium-to-full body and nice tannins. This is a seductive wine that lingers in the mouth, calling for great food, conversation, and another sip. I gave it 5 corks and purchased it for $80.

Question of the Day: If you celebrate Passover, have you picked out your wines?  What are you planning on serving? And, where do you tend to buy your kosher wines?

Rosh Hashanah & a Hadju Grenache

The Jewish High Holy Days started last Sunday night with Rosh Hashanah, so there was none of my normal Sunday night cookie baking. Instead, I spent a couple of hours at synagogue. Monday, instead of heading to work, I was at synagogue again for most of the day. With the craziness of life right now, I didn’t plan a special dinner for the New Year. Instead, because Hubby works from home on Mondays and fall weather has finally arrived in DC, we decided that the best way to celebrate the New Year was with some hearty, slowcooker chili. And, of course, a kosher red wine!

2014 Hadju Winery Grenache – At $50, this kosher California red wine is a little pricey, but nice choice for a special occasion.  It’s an easy-to-drink, crowd pleaser that goes nicely with a holiday meal or can stand on its own with good company and conversation. Rating: 4 out 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2014 Hadju Winery Grenache

The 2014 Hadju Winery Grenache (winery) was a red wine from California. The wine was a dark ruby color. On the nose, there were cherries and strawberries mixed with hints of dried roses, leather, and baking spices. In the mouth, there were cherries, strawberries and cream, and leather with hints of baking spices and cedar. The wine had a medium body, tannins, and acid.

Is this worth a glass after work? Definitely!  If you see this wine in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed. At $50 a bottle, this wine is a little on the expensive side and definitely for special occasions. However, it’s worth opening during that holiday dinner because it’s a wine that can please almost every wine lover. The key, though, is giving it time to breathe. When I first opened and tasted it, I was surprised by the alcohol coming from the wine…there was just too much heat and it overpowered everything else. After using my aerator and giving the wine a little time to open up, though, it was beautiful. In fact, I really enjoyed the wine on Tuesday night, too. So, don’t be afraid to drink this wine over two nights.

The Grenache made for a good pairing with the chili, as the spices Hubby used to flavor the chili blended nicely with the baking spice flavors in the wine. My biggest concern was that the wine would accentuate the fieriness of the chili, but once the alcohol in the wine calmed down a bit, they actually complimented each other nicely.  All in all, it was a good choice and a wine I will likely order again for one of the Jewish holidays.

Question of the Day:  Has the weather by you started to change?  Have you switched wine and beer choices to match the fall weather?  If so, what are you drinking?

To everyone who is celebrating, may you and yours
have a sweet, healthy, and happy 5777!
L’ Shana Tovah!

Price: $50
Purchased at Hadju Winery
Overall: 4 Corks

Delicious Deccolio

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Deccolio Prosecco – At $14, this kosher sparkling wine from Italy is simple, food-friendly, and refreshing. It’s worth checking out, even if you’re not looking for a kosher wine. Rating 4 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

Deccolio Prosecco – At $14, this kosher sparkling wine from Italy is simple, food-friendly, and refreshing. It’s worth checking out, even if you’re not looking for a kosher wine. Rating 4 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

Several months ago, I mentioned on Twitter that I was having difficulty finding a kosher sparkling wine that was drinkable, much less enjoyable. Kosher Wine Review recommended the Deccolio Prosecco, and I’m so glad I took the suggestion. I’m a big believer that sparkling wine can be opened any day of the week, so not needing an excuse, I decided to open a bottle one night after work.

Deccolio Prosecco – At $14, this kosher sparkling wine from Italy is simple, food-friendly, and refreshing. It’s worth checking out, even if you’re not looking for a kosher wine. Rating 4 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

Deccolio Prosecco

The Deccolio Prosecco (winery) is from Italy. The wine was a light golden yellow with a lot of good bubbles. On the nose, there were Granny Smith apples, oranges, and hints of white flowers. In the mouth, there were Granny Smith apples, citrus fruits—oranges and lemons—and a hint of flowers and honey. The bubbly had light-to-medium body and bright acidity.

Is this worth a glass after work? Definitely!  If you see this wine in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed. At $14, this dry sparkling wine is exactly what I want in an everyday bottle of bubbly, and I recommend it even if you’re not looking for a kosher wine. It’s simple, food-friendly, and refreshing. My one word of caution is that it is very drinkable. I got so carried away with catching up with Hubby about my day, enjoying dinner, and then relaxing in the evening that before I knew it, I was several glasses in on a work night. Ooops!

Question of the Day: Will you open up a sparkling wine any day of the week or is it a special occasion type of wine for you?

Price: $14
Purchased at Whole Foods Market
Overall: 4 Corks

Loving LaTour

2011 LaTour Netofa Red – At $35 a bottle, this red wine from Israel is versatile kosher wine that offers a lot in a single glass. It can be used to accompany a holiday meal or just enjoyed on its own while talking the night away. Give it time to breath, and you won’t be disappointed. Rating 4.5 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2011 LaTour Netofa Red – At $35 a bottle, this red wine from Israel is versatile kosher wine that offers a lot in a single glass. It can be used to accompany a holiday meal or just enjoyed on its own while talking the night away. Give it time to breath, and you won’t be disappointed. Rating 4.5 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

While I don’t keep kosher throughout the year, during the 8 days of the Jewish High Holidays, I’m careful about the food I eat. There’s no bacon or pork chops, no cheeseburgers…and my wine is almost exclusively kosher. I was particularly excited about opening the 2011 LaTour Netofa Red this year because two blogs I trust–Yossie’s Corkboard and Kosher Wine Musings— had great things to say about it. And, what better way to celebrate the start of the Jewish New Year than with a wine that I had high expectations for?  So, after I came home from synagogue on the first night of Rosh Hashanah, I opened the LaTour while Hubby started dinner.

2011 LaTour Netofa Red

2011 LaTour Netofa Red

The 2011 LaTour Netofa Red (winery, snooth) was made in the Galilee region of Israel and is a blend of Mourvèdre and Syrah. It was a dark ruby color with a touch of garnet on the rim. The nose was big, with blueberries, blackberries, nutmeg and hints of tea leaves, black pepper, and dried roses. In the mouth, there were blackberries, dark plums, and hints of blueberries, black tea, and dark chocolate. The wine was full-bodied with big tannins and acidity.

Is this worth a glass after work? It’s worth more than one!  What are you waiting for? At $35 a bottle, this wine offers a lot in a single glass. It definitely needs to time to breath, so either decant it before drinking it or use an aerator when pouring. As long as you do that, it’s a wine you can sit and puzzle over, pair with a delicious holiday meal, and enjoy while talking the night away. It’s versatile and worth checking out, even if you aren’t looking for a kosher wine.

Question of the Day:  Do you have recommendations for a great red wine that is under $30?  My hunt for the elusive inexpensive kosher red is still on!

Price: $35
Purchased at Kosherwine.com
Overall: 4.5 Corks

Rugelach and Yarden Merlot

Chocolate Rugelach

Chocolate Rugelach

Sunday, September 20th was a pretty normal Sunday in the A Glass After Work household. The morning was spent doing yard work, while the afternoon was spent doing other chores around the house, preparing for the week ahead, and baking cookies. The universe of who gets cookies these days has expanded– several dozen are for my coworkers, a dozen are for my brother and sister-in-law who are in the military, and a half dozen or so go to the guys in the UPS office who do a fantastic job helping me package and ship cookies across the country every week. As my baking has continued, I’ve started focusing on cookies that fit the season or test my creative baking skills. So, with Sunday being in the middle of the Jewish High Holidays and figuring most of my coworkers and the UPS guys had never had homemade rugelach before, I decided that the Jewish cookie would be the best option. Sure, they’re a bit of work, but I opened a bottle of Merlot, turned on the radio, and was ready to go!

2009 Yarden Merlot

2009 Yarden Merlot

The 2009 Yarden Merlot (winery, snooth) was a deep purple with hints of ruby. On the nose, there were blackberries and hints of black cherry, tobacco, and vanilla. In the mouth, there were blackberries mixed with vanilla and hints of tobacco. The wine had a medium body, medium acidity, and medium tannins.

Is this worth a glass after work? Sure…you won’t be drinking anything out of the ordinary, but you’ll have a decent, reliable glass. At $30 a bottle, I wanted more from this wine. There was nothing bad about it, but there was nothing memorable either. It was a little thin, the flavors fell flat in my mouth, and the finish was short. The wine opened up after breathing a little, but even with that, each sip just left me wanting something different.  Maybe I would have felt different if this wine was half the price, but $30 just seems like a lot of money for an average wine.

The cookies, though, were a huge success. My coworkers devoured them all before lunchtime, and my brother texted to tell me they were “awesome…honestly, some of the best [he’d] ever had.” I will definitely be making them again.

Overall, the pairing the Merlot with the rugelach actually helped the wine, and the cookies stood up to the stronger drink choice. If you’re a rugelach fan, I would definitely recommend making these and pairing them with some wine.

Question of the Day:  How much impact does price have on your wine selection?  What about on your enjoyment of that bottle?

Chocolate Rugelach
Print Recipe
A Jewish pastry-like cookie that can be filled with chocolate, a mixture of nuts and raisins, or jam.
Servings
32 rugelach
Servings
32 rugelach
Chocolate Rugelach
Print Recipe
A Jewish pastry-like cookie that can be filled with chocolate, a mixture of nuts and raisins, or jam.
Servings
32 rugelach
Servings
32 rugelach
Ingredients
Dough
Chocolate Filling
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup chocolate , finely chopped (I used mini chips, but if you use regular sized ones make sure you chop them!)
  • 3 Tbs butter , unsalted; melted and cooled
Servings: rugelach
Instructions
Making the dough
  1. Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Place cubed, chilled cream cheese and butter in food processor. Process until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice to make sure everything is mixed.
  3. Add egg, vanilla, and sugar. Process until incorporated.
  4. Add flour mixture, and pulse until the dough starts to clump together. The dough will form large, curdlike clumps.
  5. Form dough into ball and divide in half. Chill dough for a minimum of 1 hour and up to 3 days.
Chocolate filling
  1. Melt butter and let it cool.
  2. Combine the sugar, cinnamon, and chocolate.
  3. When butter is cooled, pour into cinnamon-sugar mixture and mix thoroughly.
Assembling rugelach
  1. brush the butter over the rolled out rugelach, sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture, then press the chocolate down evenly over the dough. Roll up and bake.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line cookie sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
  3. Remove dough from refrigerator, and let it stand for 5 minutes or until it is malleable enough to roll.
  4. Flour work surface. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a 10 to 12 inch circle and until it is about 1/8 of an inch thick. When you are finished rolling, use a pizza cutter to trim the edges of the dough to make an even circle. As you're rolling, be sure to rotate and reflour as necessary. If the dough becomes too sticky to work with, you can briefly place it back in the refrigerator until it is firm enough to roll.
  5. Mark the center of the dough with the tip of a knife. Cover the dough with the filling, making sure to spread evenly. Avoid putting the filling in the very center of the dough, as the filling will push towards the center when the triangles are rolled up.
  6. Use a pizza cutter to cut the circle into 12-to-16 equal-sized wedges.
  7. Starting with the outside of the circle, roll each triangle tightly and carefully to make the classic rugelach shape. Place the rugelach seam side down onto your parchment.
  8. Place each rugelach on the baking sheet. It's best to put them seam side down to help keep them closed, although I wasn't as careful about that as I should have been.
  9. Bake for 10 minutes, and the rotate the baking sheet in the oven for even baking. After rotating, bake for another 5-10 minutes, for a total bake time of 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.
  10. Once the baking sheets are removed from the oven, let cookies set on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
Recipe Notes

**adapted from The Crepes of Wrath and The Baking Bible

Price: $30
Purchased at Total Wine & More
Overall: 3 Corks