The Jewish High Holidays are upon us and The Savory wants our chosen readers to enjoy their wine. Most Jewish celebrations culminate in the gathering of family and friends at a dinner table and include a spread of the most delicious foods ever to grace a table. But why should the wine suffer? Here is our guide to good kosher wines during this High Holiday season.
Almost all Jewish holiday celebrations require blessings that are said over a glass of kosher wine. To be considered kosher, according to kashrut (Jewish dietary laws), Sabbath observant Jews must supervise the entire winemaking process, and any ingredients used in any part of the process must also be kosher. When kosher wine is produced and sold commercially, it must either have the seal of approval from a kosher-supervising organization, from a rabbi who is a posek (a decider of Jewish law), or be supervised by a beth din (Jewish religious court of law).
The best-selling kosher wine in the United States is Manischewitz, often the butt of jokes for its overly sweet, grape juice-like taste. Though the brand has been a powerhouse since mid 1927, there has been an increased demand for kosher wines. Beginning with the revival of the Israeli wine industry in the 1980s, a number of wine-producing countries now make a wide variety of sophisticated kosher wines under strict rabbinical supervision.
Here are a few bottles that you may want to have on your table this Seder:
Dalton Alma Cabernet-Merlot-Cabernet Franc Blend 2010: Aged in French oak for 14 months, the wine shows notes of cherries and plum with a soft, buttery palate, offering essences of vanilla and dark chocolate.
Barkan Altitude Series 624 Cabernet Sauvignon 2009: Barkan is a true gem in Israeli wines. Their Altitude series grapes are grown in a high altitude vineyard at Moshav Alma in the Upper Galilee to achieve its intense body and taste, solid tannic structure and elegant finish. It is aged in oak for 15 months and generously gives the sweetness of raspberries, a hint of far east spices, as well as vanilla and cinnamon.
Covenant Chardonnay Lavan 2011: Unfiltered and born in the hills of California’s Russian River Valley, this Chard is the perfect balance between a rich texture and a bright acidity. Subtle notes of pear and fig share the bottle with citrus and mineral flavors.