The coronavirus pandemic has taken the wind out of many family gatherings. For some, Easter (April 12) and Passover (April 8 to 16) events might differ this year without the presence of older generations, whose participation in the celebrations typically makes up a large part of these holidays’ traditions. Whether you have extended family over for a holiday meal or hunker down with your household, though, your Passover or Easter meals likely will continue as a vestige of normalcy.
Jewish households often select the wine to consume at Passover at the Purim celebration.
At the Passover Seder, every dish — including wine — is a character in the retelling of the story of the Book of Exodus.
I checked out some kosher wines, which are produced throughout the world in every style and are wines for any time and anybody. No, they are not all sweet wines. But they are particularly suited to the Passover table.
From Spain, the lean and balanced wine from Raimat 2018 Rosado offers a blend of cabernet sauvignon and tempranillo for a round mouthfeel, smells and flavors of fresh strawberry, and a pleasing tartness. This wine is an austere, flexible companion to the seder foods. $8. ★★★ 1/2
For a white from Raimat, you can try the rich 2017 “Saira” Albarino.
Families that adhere to strict dietary laws may look for a winemaking process known as mevushal, which is a heating of the wine. This used to entail actually boiling the wine, which changed its character — for the worse. New technology allowed producers to make such wines while avoiding many of the negative impacts of heating the wine.
Already aged and ready to drink, Barons de Rothschild Haut-Medoc 2013 has notes of licorice, black tea and currant with a light body and nicely aged tannins. $24. ★★★ 1/2
Primo V 2018 Veneto Pinot Noir from Northern Italy does show more a cooked, jammy character. The wine is a decent, affordable red wine but would not be confused with a fine pinot noir. This straightforward wine shows show ripe fruitiness and acidity. $13. ★★★
Other reliable producers of quality Kosher wines are Yarden and Galil Mountain Winery, both based in Israel.
GRADE: Exceptional ★★★★★, Above average ★★★★, Good ★★★, Below average ★★, Poor ★.