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 Wine Let Down

*** I received this wine as a sample. ***

Southwest marinated chicken and garlic sauteed spinach

Southwest marinated chicken and garlic sautéed spinach

While I’m one of those rare people that really enjoys running on the treadmill, I’ve started to enjoy early morning runs in my new neighborhood.  There are a lot of other runners out, plus neighbors walking dogs, and everyone says hello as they pass.  Plus, the brick sidewalks and tree-lined streets make for pretty scenery.   Since I knew March 25 was going to be a busy day just by looking at my calendar, I woke up early to get in my 3 mile run around the neighborhood before work.  And, to top it all off…it was my night to make dinner!

I kept things pretty simple, as it seems like those are the dinners that tend to turn out better.  I made Martha Stewart’s Southwest Marinade, which I then used on some boneless chicken breast that I grilled.  The side dish was even simpler…sautéed garlic spinach.  I definitely need to work on the presentation of my dinners, but I thought both turned out well.  Hubby, on the other hand, wasn’t a big fan of the marinade.  I think it was the combination of sweet and citrus that just doesn’t seem to work for him.

2013 La Fou Els Amelers Garnatxa Blanca

2013 La Fou Els Amelers Garnatxa Blanca

As I started preparing dinner, I opened a 2013 LaFou Els Amelers Garnatxa Blanca (winery), which is a 100% Grenache white wine from the Terra Alta region of Spain.  It was a very pale straw yellow.  On the nose there were nectarines and pineapples with a hint of flowers.  In the mouth, there was a touch of honey immediately on the tongue, followed by pineapple and stone fruits.  The wine was light-to-medium bodied with medium acidity and a very dry finish.

Is this worth a glass after work? Eh…if you have a bottle on hand, drink it, but I wouldn’t go searching it out either At $18, this is a wine just doesn’t deliver what I expect at the price range.  It was very enjoyable at the start of the sip, but the flavor falls off the cliff on the finish, leaving me disappointed.  Pairing it with the southwest chicken breast, though, was great, which is what makes it hard to rate the wine because it was a good pairing.  This was a wine I really wanted to like because it is so different, yet comes from a region of Spain that often makes wines I don’t just like…they generally make wines I love.  Maybe I would like one of the wineries other selections better, but honestly, pairing LaFou Garnatxa Blanca with the chicken isthe only way I would drink this wine.

Question of the Day: What do you do with a bottle of wine that you open but don’t love…do you finish it anyway?  Do you put it aside to cook with?  Do you dump it down the drain?  Something else?

Suggested Retail Price: $18
Received as a sample.
Overall: 2.5 Corks

Sonoma Grand Tasting at WBC09

I admit it, by the time the Sonoma Grand Tasting started, I was a bit overwhelmed. This was my first Wine Bloggers’ Conference, and up until this point, I’d never tasted more than 15-20 wines in one sitting. At the WBC, though, by 5pm there had already been wine tasting in the welcome room, wine tasting at lunch, and wine tasting at the speed tasting, so the Sonoma Grand Tasting was taking me further outside of my tasting comfort zone than I’d even been before. So, I was nervous, but I was also up for the challenge.

The Sonoma Grad Tasting was a roped-off patio area near the pool at the Flamingo Resort. As you can see from the pictures, there were a lot of bloggers in a very small space, but it served as a way for us to get to know each other very quickly. People were standing around talking, eating delicious cheese and spreads with crackers, and of course, tasting 2, 3, or 4 wines from every vineyard at the tasting.

The Grand Tasting was definitely a success for me. I tasted Murphy-Goode wines for the first time and was pleased with what I tasted, as I had never even heard of the winery before the contest for the Really Goode Job. I worked my way through some well-know, affordable everyday wines that I often look at in the wine store, but haven’t had a chance to purchase, as well as tasted some lesser-known, more-unusual wines that were pleasant surprises. While all of the wines were good, none of them knocked me off my feet. Admittedly, I was nervous that I was the only one who felt that way, but after talking with other bloggers throughout the weekend, it seemed that my opinion was shared by others.

My notes from this event aren’t very detailed, but here are some pictures and my overall ratings:

Murphy-Goode Winery (website)
2008 “The Fume” Sauvignon Blanc—$12.50 3 Corks
Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon—$20 3 Corks
2006 “Liar’s Dice” Zinfandel—$21
3.5 Corks



Chateau St. Jean (website)
2005 Cabernet Sauvignon—$30 3.5 Corks
2007 Chardonnay—$25 4 Corks



Souverain (website)
2007 Chardonnay—$13
3 Corks
2007 Merlot—$15
3 Corks



Frick Winery (website)
2006 Cinsault—$26
4.5 Corks
2007 Grenache Blanc—$27 4 Corks





Alexander Valley Vineyards (website)
2004 Syrah—$35
4.5 Corks
2007 Sin Zin—$17 3 Corks
2008 Dry Rose of Sangiovese—$12 3.5 Corks

Dutton Goldfield Vineyards (website)
2006 Sanchietti Vineyard Pinot Noir—$58
3 Corks
2006 Freestone Hill Vineyrd Pinot Noir—$58
3 Corks
2007 Dutton Ranch Pinot Noir—$38
3 Corks
2007 Dutton Ranch Chardonnay—$35
2.5 Corks