There are various customs for observing the dairy tradition on Shavuot, which begins at sundown, May 19. Some enjoy an all dairy meal, while others start with dairy and then switching to meat.
Whatever one’s custom, it wouldn’t be a festive holiday meal without wine. Here are some great options for those celebrating Shavuot with a dairy meal:
Elvi, Viña Encina, Rosado (D.O. La Mancha, Spain), 2017 ($12; mevushal): This 100 percent tempranillo rosé is fresh, fun and fruity with notes of strawberry, raspberry and watermelon, a little green peppercorn and a hint of savory meaty notes (more chicken than beef). It is mighty tasty on its own or with fruit salad, soft cheeses or even lighter meaty meals.
Herzog, Lineage, Chardonnay (Clarksburg, California), 2016 ($20; mevushal): This is a nice, bright, easy drinking, citrus-driven Chard with balance, grace and just enough buttery oak to interest those who seek that style, but not enough to put off those who don’t. Some agreeable vaguely tropical fruit notes and decent acidity help round it all out. Very appealing.
The Abarbanel, Les Chemins de Favarelle, Batch 30, Chardonnay, Unoaked (Pays d’Oc, IGP, France), 2016 ($15; mevushal): Sourced once again from a single vineyard in the Aude River Valley of the Languedoc in southwest France, this latest vintage is fresh, clean and inviting with notes of citrus and stone fruits, a little spice, and nice balancing acidity. From year to year, this represents consistently great value.
Domaine Les Marronniers, Chablis (Burgundy, France) 2016 ($33; mevushal): This is wonderful Chablis. It is crisp, flinty, restrained and elegant with apple, citrus and earthy and herbal flavors, and a fabulous, almost saline foundation upon which other fruit notes lovingly swim.
Gito, Lavan (Judean Hills, Israel), 2016 ($38): This exceptional chardonnay is focused and restrained, with great balance between fruit and acidity, lovely depth and deftly integrated oak. The wood here makes it creamy, rather than buttery and subtly heightens the minerality and fruit. A stunning release.
Covenant Winery, Mensch, Zinfandel (Lodi, California), 2016 ($20; mevushal; available online directly from the winery with limited retail distribution): This budget-priced, value-driven wine from the consistently great Covenant Winery is rich yet softly textured and fruit forward. It is practically bursting with clean and lovely black cherry, raspberry and boysenberry fruit. It also has notes of cocoa and hints of rosemary and black licorice on the finish. Very tasty.
Shiloh, Shor, Barbera (Israel), 2016 ($34; mevushal): This enjoyable, balanced, fruit-forward, medium-bodied barbera offers an Eastern Mediterranean twist on an Italian classic — with aromas and flavors of plum, blackberry, strawberry, violets, Mediterranean herbs, dark cocoa, a bit of spice and a touch of espresso. There is a nice earthy note dancing in the background; pleasing finish, too.
Baron Herzog, Late Harvest, Chenin Blanc (Clarksburg, California), 2016 ($25; mevushal): This luscious, aromatic, fruity yet serious sweet wine offers notes of pear, honey, peach, apricot, mandarin oranges, mango, custard and a smidgen of candied ginger. Served lightly chilled. L’chaim.
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