A Fresh Observation
These kosher wines deserve yearlong attention
Like cherry blossoms or the Gonzaga basketball program, kosher wine gets the attention it deserves for only a few fleeting moments each spring. It's a shame, because kosher wine has come a long, long way, and wineries around the world are now making premium bottles that might make you consider keeping kosher all year.
The kosher resurgence was initially spurred by a boom of quality wine production in Israel, but there are hotbeds of kosher winemaking in France, Spain, California and Chile as well. There's nothing about the kosher winemaking process that harms the wine. In fact, as with biodynamic practices, all the extra attention often improves the end product.
A reminder: Wineries must follow a lengthy list of rules to keep kosher, but to be deemed "Kosher for Passover," the yeast used to ferment the wine must have originated from non-grain sources. To be sure your wine is up to snuff, check for the "P" symbol on the label. Then pick up one of these Passover-approved bottles for Wednesday night's Seder.
2007 Galil Mountain Viognier Galilee (Israel, $15) From a top Israeli producer, this Viognier has aromas of orange blossoms and white peach and the grape's characteristically soft, mouth-filling texture (gothamwines.com).
2004 Yatir Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Shiraz Judean Hills Israel (Israel, $40) This deeply concentrated blend brims with black cherry flavors and a refreshing dose of minerality (unionsquarewines.com).
2005 Capcanes Peraj Ha'Abib Montsant (Spain, $60) In response to Spain's growing Jewish community, this winery created a rich, vibrantly juicy blend of Garnacha and Carignan comparable in style to those made in Priorat (franklywines.com).
2007 Alfasi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Valle del Maule (Chile, $10) When you have to stock up for the Seder, it helps to have a value-priced bottle on hand, especially this easy-drinking Chilean Cabernet (parkaveliquor.com).