Kosher Wines for Rosh HashanahBy Marisa D'Vari | September 23rd, 2008 | Category: Wine reviews | 1 Comment »
Kosher Wines for Rosh Hashanah
“This is delicious!” exclaims a friend, tasting a wine and requesting a second glass. “Are you sure it’s Kosher?”
If you are celebrating Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, this year, you are in for a delicious treat. For much of this century, most families sipped the sweet, grape-y Manishevitz. Today you will find some excellent, affordable, and delicious Kosher wines being produced in regions around the world that quite often outshine non-Kosher wines at a similar price point.
If you are hosting a large party, you might take the opportunity to stock up on several different Kosher wines so you can serve a few as an aperitif, and then pair them with different courses. At the end of the evening, you might also ask your guests which wines they liked the best, and make note of your favorites for your next trip to the wine shop. Most of these wines are so delicious you will want to serve them all year round.
Below are tasting notes on several Kosher wines readily available through an online wine shop or at your local wine store or market. As many of the side dishes served at Rosh Hashanah are sweet, these selected wines will pair nicely with honey cake, carrots, apples dipped in honey, and other delights that represent sweet good fortune for the coming year.
***2006 Baron Herzog Chardonnay Special Reserve Kosher, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, CA $13
Buttery croissant on the nose and medium-bodied palate of ripe, vanilla scented baked white-fleshed fruit on the palate. Medium-plus finish of spiced baked pear. Incredible value for the price, great structure and robust flavors. This wine can work as an aperitif on its own or to accompany full-flavored Rosh Hashanah dishes such as baked chicken or fish.
****2006 Herzog Wines Chardonnay Kosher Central Coast, CA $13 BEST BUY
Succulent aromas of jasmine, honeysuckle, and ripe tropical fruit leap out before a satisfying palate of citrus, pineapple, and ripe sweet mango. If you like the spiced baked apple style of Chardonnay with its butter style and hint of oak, this great value wine offers a new twist.
**2005 Weinstock Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Select Kosher Sonoma Valley, CA $10
Intriguing wine with its nose of heavy white flowers and ripe yellow-fleshed fruit. Near full-bodied palate reveals a walnut character along with the fruit, also apparent on the finish, which makes it an appropriate pairing for denser fish such as sturgeon.
***2007 Spencer Hill Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc Kosher Australia $17
Honeysuckle, soft ripe tropical fruit on the nose, juicy papaya and very ripe banana balances to balance the lime and racing acidity on the palate. Light yet complex with its interplay of delicate flavors, it’s a good match for light first courses and salads.
****2007 Goose Bay Pinot Gris Marlborough Kosher New Zealand $22
Quality wine to serve as a delicious mouth watering aperitif with its juicy ripe apple, marinated pear and vanilla bean flavors. Rich mouthfeel and long finish
redolent of baked spiced apple. Excellent choice for this high holiday dinner.
***2006 Binyamina Zinfandel Rosé Kosher Galilee, Israel $13
Delicious, easy-sipping aperitif or first-course wine with delicate yet lively ripe raspberry and strawberry aroma and flavors. Dry with a medium plus, pleasantly pungent finish of raspberry leaf, a great match for many Rosh Hashanah dishes.
**2005 Bartenura Provincia di Pavia Kosher Italy $14
Tiny tart strawberries and fresh-picked raspberries on the nose carry over to the palate, with just enough acidity to keep this delicate wine refreshing. A good pairing with lightly-dressed salads, vegetable-oriented appetizers, and light broth-based soups.
**2006 Barkan Sangiovese Rose Kosher Galilee, Israel $11
Fruit-forward (ultra-ripe strawberry, blackberry, red-fleshed ripe plums) with assertive tannins, this deeply-colored wine is intense enough to pair with dishes such as brisket.
***2005 Monte Olivio Opinioni Rosé Kosher Italy $17
Delicious Rosé with sharp red floral aroma and palate with attractive slightly bitter finish. Thirst-quenching as an aperitif that also stimulates one’s appetite and a great pairing with summer dishes such as poached or grilled salmon, salad, and most appetizers.
Ratings are on a four star system