Passover, the holiday celebrating the exodus from slavery in Egypt (followed by wandering in the desert for forty years!) is a major celebration filled with family and traditions.
Telling the holiday story, eating specific food items and asking the four questions are all part of the special seder meal and the holiday. So is giving up all types of grains, which leads me to one of my favorite parts: the consumption of four glasses of wine with dinner.
However, with four glasses of wine ahead of you, the paring of wine for a long and filling meal can be challenging. I hope to help anyone, from the most to the least wine savvy, with a few recommendations that will aid in enjoying the four ceremonial glasses as well as the rest of the meal.
For those who prefer a sweet wine, I have come up with a few fun possibilities. Alfasi Mistico is a young and sweet Cabernet Sauvignon made in Chile. This wine is sweet because the juice that is used is only fermented for a short period of time so that only some of the sugar has been converted to alcohol. The wine has a purple color and notes of cherries and other berries on the palate. It can pair with most rich cheeses as well as heavy chicken and light red meat dishes.
The Don Mendoza Reserve Malbec comes from the Uco Valley in Mendoza, Argentina. This wine is made of the most commonly grown grape in Argentina and is perfect for a long meal. The herbal aroma with dark fruit flavors and soft tannins makes this wine a winner in my book for briskets and other beef dishes.
On the lighter side of the seder table, white wines will work well, too. One that I consider to be a perfect sipper comes from Israel’s Beit Shemesh area, where the Ella Valley Winery is an amazing producer. The wines here have been made in the traditional French styles since the winemaker, Doron Rav Hon, studied winemaking in Burgundy. His Ella Valley Sauvignon Blanc is very elegant with grassy notes on the nose and citrus and peach on the palate. This wine is ideal with fish and poultry. It will even be perfect with some gefilte fish!
As for one more Passover wine that can take the seder meal to another level, check out Covenant “Lavan” Chardonnay from Napa Valley. This wine is aged in French oak providing spice and depth. The juice is filled with elegant notes of peaches, pears, figs, vanilla and jasmine. This is the wine I will be serving to my guests this holiday!