Four Cups and Beyond – the wines you need to drink at Passover

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Four Cups and Beyond – the wines you need to drink at Passover

Gabriel Geller, manager of wine education at Kedem Europe, highlights six wines for Passover

Drinking four cups of wine is a fundamental requirement st the seder. Outside of Israel, we have two Seders, so that is eight cups of wine! The holiday of Passover is celebrated for eight days, and so beyond the seder, there are many more meals at which we can enjoy some great wines. Therefore, I recommend here not only four but six wines for the upcoming holiday.

If you follow me on Instagram (@kosherwine_gg), perhaps you know that I usually drink rosé for the four cups at the Seder. This is because rosé wines are generally lighter in body, fruit-forward and lighter in alcohol than red wines, making them easier to drink quickly. Like many other Jews, I also have the minhag (custom) of using only red wine for the four cups – and rosé is considered red from a ‘Jewish legal’ perspective, at least according to most opinions.

Herzog Lineage Rosé 2021 is lovely, fun, and fruity. It is made from Pinot Noir grapes grown in the Herzog family’s estate Prince Vineyard in Clarksburg, CA. It features a vast array of tropical and berry fruit flavors, all well balanced by mouthwatering acidity.

While I use rosé for most cups at the seder, I typically open a bottle of special, properly-aged red wine from my collection to enjoy with the meal. Suppose you are lucky enough to own a bottle of Netofa Latour Red from the 2013 vintage or older. In that case, I highly recommend you open and enjoy it with your loved ones at the Seder! If you do not have an aged wine or prefer younger wines, Netofa Latour Red 2018 is already delicious now and should be considered. A Rhône Valley-style blend of Syrah and Mourvèdre, this medium- to full-bodied wine features a silky texture, medium acidity and soft tannins, with notes of black and red berry fruits, spicy notes of black pepper and roasted herbs, and savoury undertones of dried mushrooms and cured meats.

For those who have the minhag to use white wine at the seder, Cantina Giuliano Vermentino 2020 is a wonderful option. It is dry, with excellent acidity, with aromas and flavors of honeysuckle, lime, pear, and hints of cantaloupe and green apple. As I write this, I am making a mental note to drink this wine with matza ball soup (Yes! We eat gebrokts on Passover in our house!).

Most people drink exclusively red wine at the seder, as I explained above. Some also have the custom only to use non-mevushal wine. Here is an easy-to-drink wine with reasonable alcohol content, light-to-medium in body, neither oaky nor too fruity. Made from organically grown Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes (little to no pesticides used in the vineyard), Château Trijet 2020 is an honest, pleasant, balanced, and inexpensive non-mevushal Bordeaux.

Year after year, Terra di Seta makes some of the best-value kosher wines in Europe in general and in Italy in particular. The entry-level Terra di Seta Chianti Classico is always a winner, and the 2019 is no exception. Medium-bodied with red berry and cherry fruit notes, savoury with high acidity, this wine respects Italian tradition by being a great food-pairing wine.

The superstar value Elvi Herenza Rioja 2019 from Spain has same attributes as Terra di Seta and features all the elements of quality Tempranillo: red fruit, smoke, spiciness, coffee, toffee and balanced acidity, coupled with soft tannins and a velvety texture. Now is the time to brainstorm ideas for kosher l’Pesach tapas and paella! L’chaim, Pesach Kosher V’sameyach!

Kosher wines are available in selected supermarkets and kosher stores

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