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?

A White & A Red Passover Wine

2013 Flam Blanc and 2010 Shiloh Secret Reserve Merlot10 years ago, Hubby agreed to spend our third date at my Passover seder with 20 of my closest friends in DC, only two of whom he’d met a few weeks earlier.  Most of my friends weren’t Jewish, so I’d hoped that would help put him at ease, since he also isn’t Jewish.  Still, it was an intimidating scene for him to walk in on.  Those seders had been a long-standing tradition before we met, and continued even after we were together.  He always helped me host, even though it wasn’t a holiday that had religious meaning to him, because it served as a Spring Thanksgiving for my DC family and was important to me.  I would invite everyone over, regardless of religion.  We would read the Haggadah, eat my Passover food, and drink a lot more than the 4 glasses of wine called for in the Haggadah.

For a variety of reasons, Hubby and I haven’t done the big Passover meal for awhile, but we’ve continued to have wonderful Passovers.  This year, when we realized it was the first time in awhile that we didn’t have plans, he offered to make a special dinner so we could celebrate.  We bought a turkey breast, since he’s not a fan of brisket.  I made some knaidels (a modified version of what my Nana used to make), and Hubby made a “modern” potato kugel.  And, of course, ever seder has to have wine…and I happened to have both a bottle of white and a bottle of red.

2013 Flam Blanc

2013 Flam Blanc

The 2013 Flam Blanc (winery, snooth) is from the Judean Hills in Israel and is made from 55% Sauvignon Blanc and 45% Chardonnay grapes.  The wine was a light lemon yellow with a few small bubbles lingering on the bottom of the glass.  On the nose, there were limes, pineapples, and Granny Smith apples.  In the mouth, there were limes and Granny Smith apples with hints of pineapple and wet stone.  The wine had a light body and high acidity.

Price: $28
Purchased at: Kosherwine.com
Overall: 4 Corks

2010 Shiloh Secret Reserve Merlot

2010 Shiloh Secret Reserve Merlot

The 2010 Shiloh Secret Reserve Merlot (winery, snooth) is from the Judean Hills in Israel and had a deep ruby color.  On the nose, there were blackberries, cocoa dust, and instant espresso with hints of earth, cedar, and dark plums.  In the mouth, there were blackberries, cocoa dust, and dark plums with hints of cedar and nutmeg.  The wine had a medium-to-full body, medium-to-high acidity, and medium-to-full tannins.

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

Final Thoughts: The Flam Blanc was fantastic with the meal.  The high acidity cut right through the fat in the matzo balls and the heaviness of the kugel, as well as served as the perfect compliment to the turkey.  It kept my mouth refreshed, so that each bite after a sip emphasized the flavors of the food all over again.  If I didn’t know better, I would think this wine was made with a turkey dinner in mind (and yes, you should think about putting this on your Thanksgiving wine list).

2010 Shiloh Secret Reserve Merlot corkThe Shiloh Secret Reserve Merlot, on the other hand, was a brooding wine that also paired well with the turkey and potatoes.  Unlike the Flam, which kept the food tasting fresh, the Shiloh enhanced the spices of the meal, giving it a deeper flavor.  It made for slower eating and savoring.  This is a wine that that was gorgeous with dinner in 2014, but is also a wine that I would love to open again in 2018 or 2019.  It has characteristics that I think will age nicely, and at this price range, it wouldn’t cost too much extra to cellar a bottle or two.

That all said, the reality is both of these wines are out of the “everyday” price range for most of us, but the unfortunate reality is that kosher wines are often $10-$15 more expensive than their non-kosher equivalents.  If you keep kosher or are just willing to pay the a little more for a good wine, these are two wines that are worth it.  The Flam Blanc made for a better pairing with the meal, while the Shiloh Secret Reserve Merlot was the slightly better all-around wine.  Overall, though, they were both fantastic.

Question of the Day: What did you open for your seder on the first night of Passover?

Chag Sameach (Happy Passover) to everyone celebrating!