No matter how you celebrate Passover, you’re sure to need a lot of wine. How much? If you have a traditional Passover, there are the two sedarim, at which at least four glasses of wine are consumed per person. Then there are the six holiday and Shabbat meals over the course of the holiday, with a Kiddush at each meal. Many also serve wine with meals.
So, what to buy? Here are eight suggestions — four whites and four reds — to get the holiday rolling.
Golan Heights Winery, Hermon White, Galilee, Israel, 2016 ($11.99): Easy, breezy, crisp, fresh and tasty blend (of muscat canelli, sauvignon blanc, and viognier) offering aromas and flavors of stone fruits, orange blossom, honey crisp apples, pear, a little melon and subtle lychee. Nice underlying citrusy acidity helps keep it refreshing.
Unorthodox, Sauvignon Blanc, Paarl, South Africa, 2017 ($13-18, so shop around; mevushal): This is the second vintage for this creative brand that was first launched in 2016 by the Zandwijk Wine Estate (producers of the kosher Kleine Draken wines), and it offers simple, straightforward pleasure — crisp, bright tropical fruits against a mildly grassy backdrop, with zippy acidity. This is appealing and very easy to drink. The label is clever, too.
Recanati, Rosé, Upper Galilee, 2017 ($16.99): Made from 80 percent barbera and 20 percent merlot, this is crisp, bright and aromatic with notes of strawberry, raspberry, watermelon, under-ripe peach, a little pomegranate and some subtle blackberry that gives it a slightly weightier feel. Hints of soft spice and some refreshing acidity round it out further.
Recanati, Marawi, Judean Hills, Israel, 2016 ($34.99): With attractive floral and citrus aromas, this is less minerally rich than the previous vintage — though a mineral and slightly earthy quality remains. This is crisp and refreshing, and offers a nicely rounded character of stone fruits, citrus, honeydew melon and honeysuckle. Delightful.
Golan Heights Winery, Gilgal, Cabernet Sauvignon, Galilee, Israel ($16.99): This is fresh, juicy and tasty, with dark red fruits, some toasty oak, coffee beans, a little baking spice and enough tannins and acidity to quench one’s thirst while washing down meaty foods. Good value, as always.
Dalton, Estate Merlot, Galilee, Israel, 2016 ($23.99): Young and mildly, though noticeably, tannic, presenting enticing purple and red fruit notes, a little vanilla and a smidge of cocoa. Allow it to breathe, but otherwise a rewarding, straightforward, bright, fresh and lively offering.
Galil Mountain, Yiron, 2014 ($31.99): This delicious, supple, almost beefy, deep, medium to full bodied red blend — 56 percent cabernet sauvignon, 32 percent merlot, 7 percent syrah, and, 5 percent petit verdot — is seriously good, with enough complexity and elegance to command sustained attention. This is munificent with aromas and flavors of plum, black cherry, dark chocolate and dried herbs, against a general background of vanilla and oak, with nicely integrated — generous but not overpowering — tannins and a subtle but distinctive earthy quality. Nice finish, too.
Karmei Yosef, Bravdo, Landmark 2B, Samson, Israel, 2012 ($55): This enjoyable blend of 40 percent cabernet sauvignon, 30 percent merlot and 30 percent cabernet franc (aged for 24 months in a 75/25 mixture of French and American oak, and with a 75/25 ratio of used oak to new oak) is the best I have tasted from this winery in some time. Ready to drink now, this slightly creamy, medium bodied wine has an enjoyably savory, beefy nose, and on the palate offers generous dried fruit notes (cherries, dark berries, and plum), some nice forest floor earthiness, with a mild spiciness, and a little minerality.
Fill Joshua E. London’s email bag to the brim with your questions about wine and spirits: [email protected].