Home > Daily Glass, Kosher wines, wine > Daily Glass: Kosher [and not only] Wines

Daily Glass: Kosher [and not only] Wines

DSC_0327 PsagotOriginally, this post was supposed to be titled Happy Passover! – but Passover started on Monday, and today is Wednesday… Well, considering that celebration technically continues for a week, I guess it is still appropriate to wish Happy Passover even on the third day… By the way, Happy Easter too – just in case I will not be posting anything on Sunday.

In our family Passover is rather cultural holiday than religious, which means that our Passover dinner (seder) takes just a little longer than the regular dinner (when it is done properly, you might have the first real bite of food closer to midnight). What is important for me here, as with any other holiday where dinner is a part of the festivities, I can pay special attention to the wine (not that I don’t do it every day, but holiday is a holiday).

Of course Passover dinner calls for the Kosher wine. About 10 years ago, selecting a kosher wine for Passover or any other holiday used to be a very dreadful experience – sweet grape-juice-more-than-wine Manischewitz was undrinkable, but still better than most of the actual “dry” kosher wines which were outright terrible. Over the last 5-7 years the situation changed dramatically, and now at the most of the stores you can find a great variety of outstanding kosher wines. You don’t need to take my word for it – here are kosher wine recommendations from Eric Asimov of New York Times, here is the list from Lettie Teague from the Wall Street Journal (subscription required, unfortunately), and here is a very interesting post from Alice Feiring describing her recent kosher wine tasting experience.

I had a great experience with a two different kosher wines. The first one was 2009 Psagot Merlot Judean Hills (about $25, 14.4% ABV). Psagot means “peak” in Hebrew, and the small community of Psagot is actually located on the peaks of the Benjamin region mountains, 900 meters above sea level – and this is where this wine came from, made at a boutique winery under the same name. It is 100% Merlot, aged for 13 month in small French oak barrels. On the nose and the palate this wine has perfect dark power (umph – I gave you one strong description, but you know that I often describe the wine emotionally rather than technically). Coffee, chocolate, dark fruit on the nose, same on the palate. Roasted notes on the palate. Excellent balance of fruit, acidity and tannins, very harmonious. Drinkability: 8-

DSC_0329 Flam ClassicoThe second wine was 2007 Flam Classico Judean Hills (about $30, 13.5% ABV). Flam winery is also situated in the Judean Hills area. It was founded in 1998 by the brothers Golan and Gilad Flam after they visited Chianti Classico region and fell in love with the wines. While “Classico” is the name of the wine I’m about to present to you, the wine itself is more of a super-Tuscan than an actual Chianti Classico. This 2007 vintage is a blend of 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, and if anything, it resembles classic Bordeaux (it is interesting to note that 2010 vintage is even more “classic Bordeaux” than the 2007, with the addition of small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot to the blend).

2007 Flam Classico has nice dark fruit on the nose and the palate, with a tiny whiff of Bordeaux greenness. Classic Bordeaux profile with touch of eucalyptus and mint. Very round and polished, smooth but with pronounced acidity, and literally unstoppable – in terms of not being able to stop drinking it until bottle is empty. Great wine which will evolve further (but it was my one and only bottle, sigh). Drinkability: 8

DSC_0330 picpoul de pinet cave pomerolsI have one more wine to tell you about. It is not kosher wine – but we still drunk it, and I liked it quite a bit so kosher or not but I would like to mention it.

2011 Cave Pomerols Picpoul de Pinet “Hugues de Beauvignac” Coteaux du Languedoc (about $10, 12.5% ABV) – this wine is produced by La Caves Pomerols and it is made out of 100% White Picpoul  grape. The wine was clean and refreshing on the nose, with touch of minerality. The same on the palate – white flowers, white fruit, round and easy to drink. Very balanced. Considering the price, this can be your every day white wine – and it will pair nicely with lots of different foods. Drinkability: 8-

This is all I have for you for now, folks. The usual “Wednesday Meritage” post still should be coming out today, as it is in the works already, so until then – cheers!

  1. PSsquared
    March 27, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Happy Passover to you and your family!

    • talkavino
      March 27, 2013 at 10:52 am

      Thank you!!!

  2. March 27, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Same here, happy Passover, Anatoli!

    • talkavino
      March 27, 2013 at 11:28 am

      Thank you, Stefano!

  3. March 27, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Happy Passover!
    Do Kosher wines taste any different than “regular” wines?

    • talkavino
      March 27, 2013 at 12:05 pm

      Thanks!
      The wines I’m talking about here taste exactly as any other good wines. in the past, many of them tasted a lot worse. Also, there is a special designation of “mevushal”, which requires wine to be pasteurized – those were heated up in the past, and you know what heat does to the wines : ) now it is mostly done using flash pasteurization methods, which don’t kill the wine. Bottom line – the kosher wines are not different from the rest of the wines – anymore : )

  4. March 27, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    I’m a big fan of the Picpoul. Great summer wine. I participated in my first Seder supper last year and was so moved by it. A wonderful experience that I look forward to doing again.

    • talkavino
      March 27, 2013 at 7:19 pm

      I’ve had various experience with Picpoul, but this one was definitely good. Glad you like the seder, it is an interesting experience!

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