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Wines for Passover

(article, Anu Karwa)

p(blue). Editor's note: Anu Karwa wrote the Culinate wine column, titled Swirl, from July 2009 through December 2010.

If thoughts of the four cups of wine ceremonially served at Passover make you cringe with memories of sickly sweet, grape-jammy Manischewitz, you're not alone.  

Luckily, it’s safe to head back to the table, because kosher wine has come a long way from your bubbe's tipple of yesteryear. Small- and large-production wineries from Israel to Chile are increasingly making premium-quality wine you'll want to drink, whether or not it’s for a Seder.  

For a wine to be considered “kosher,” a rabbi must supervise its making, and only Sabbath-observing Jewish men can handle the grapes after the grapes leave the vineyard. 

[%image reference-image float=right width=400 caption='If your wine is labeled "Kosher for Passover," its yeast originated from non-bread sources.']

Additionally, in order for a wine to be considered "Kosher for Passover," its yeast, an essential component of fermentation, has to have originated from non-bread sources (following the same reasoning behind non-leavened bread).

Look for these “Kosher for Passover” bottles before heading home for the holiday (prices are approximate): 

Galil Mountain Viognier, Galilee, Israel 2007: Orange blossoms and white peach burst from this characteristically mouth-filling wine ($17).

Goose Bay, Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand 2007: This is pure Marlborough-style Sauvignon Blanc with plenty of grapefruit and lemon flavors and a nice grassy note ($16).

Psagot, Edom, Judean Hills, Israel, 2007: A gorgeous, rich Bordeaux-style blend with dark fruit and spice with vanilla undertones ($25).

Capcanes Peraj Ha'Abib, Montsant, Spain, 2007: A blend of Garnacha and Carignan, this wine is rich and juicy and close in style to the pricey and well-loved wines of Priorat ($23).

reference-image, l