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Passover Wines: Four Minds on Four Wines

on 03/04/11 at 9:01 pm


After all the cleaning, cooking, table-setting and frantic preparation for the Passover Seder is over, you might think the easiest part of the meal would be opening a bottle of wine. But for some of us, after the Four Questions comes the dreaded fifth . . . “Cabernet or Chardonnay?” We invited four special guests to gather around our Joy of Kosher table to share their recommendations for the four wines to serve on Seder night.

Ari Erle

Ari Erie is the founder of the Israel Wine Company and an international winemaking consultant. Ari has worked at several famous wineries in the Napa Valley, such as Colgin Estates, Clos Du Val and O’Shaughnessy Estate Winery.

Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Veynerchuk is a self-trained wine and social media expert who has revolutionized the wine industry with his unconventional, often irreverent commentary on wine and his creative use of social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to reach an untapped audience to promote his video blog Wine Library TV and his family’s New Jersey wine shop.

Jay Buchsbaum

Jay Buchsbaum is the Director of Fine Wine Education for Royal Wine Corp., the largest producer, importer and distributer of kosher wines and spirits in the world.

Daniel Rogov

Daniel Rogov is the wine and restaurant critic for the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz. He is also the author of wine and culinary books, including Rogov’s Guide to Israeli Wines 2010 and Rogov’s Guide to Kosher Wines 2010.

The selections by our panel of wine-lovers span four continents and reflect the incredible quality and diversity of kosher wines that are widely available. “Simply stated,” says Rogov, “there need be no contradiction between fine wine and the laws of kashrut, and even the most dedicated of wine-lovers can now find a large selection of excellent wines that will fit comfortably on the Seder table.”

We hope you decide to enjoy some of these wines at your Seder, and we would love to hear about what you are planning to serve for Passover.

First Cup

Ari: 2005 Yaffo Cabernet Sauvignon (Ella Valley, Israel); $24. I love this winery. It is a really high-quality, small, family-run winery. It was originally opened as a city winery in Yaffo (hence the name), and they just finished building a winery in the Ella Valley. The family’s oldest son studied winemaking in Burgundy, and they own their own vineyards in the Jerusalem Hills. This fantastic Cabernet is from Yaffo’s vineyard in the Ella Valley. It spent 14 months in French oak barrels and has aromas of black plum, cacao, black chocolate and carob. Nice, dark color and big mouthfeel. The tannins are full and round and coat your entire mouth with a long finish. This wine is one of my favorites for the price.

Gary: 2008 Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand); $16. Yes, you can find good kosher wines being made all over the world, even in New Zealand! This fresh and crisp effort offers a blast of grapefruit and that razor-sharp acidity I adore in New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

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