Wine: Great Picks for Passover and Easter

It is April already; Spring is almost in the air and important holidays like Easter and Passover are upon us next week. As ever, these holidays are times for special family gatherings, laughing and feasting together. Households all over are busy working on menus and what wines to serve. Whether you are celebrating Easter or Passover, here are a few wines that I think will complement your meal well.

Thankfully the range of kosher wines has improved tremendously and we are no longer restricted to the very sweet Manischewitz style. Today, delicious modern kosher wines are made all over the world. Below are a few of my favorites that I think are worth considering for your upcoming seder gatherings.

For Easter gatherings, there are no religious or cultural traditions to follow when choosing a wine. As lamb is the traditional fare at this Spring feast, I've selected a few wines that I think will work perfectly for any Easter meal.

Passover Wines

2000 Yarden Blanc de Blanc Sparkling Wine (Israel) $22 - A sparkling wine to rival many a Champagne. Elegant, refreshing with a fine persistent fine mousse.

2007 Dalton, Reserve Chardonnay,(Israel) $22 - Lovely balance of stone fruit, pears, apples and toasty vanilla. Smooth with a long finish.

2008 Teal Lake, Chardonnay, (Australia) $13 - Great value and tasty wine. Bright ripe notes of melon, pear, pineapple and citrus aromas and flavors.

2006 Galil Mountain Barbera (Israel) $19 - A powerful Barbera from Israel. Pronounced cherry-berry aromas, interlaced with toasty vanilla, allspice and coffee. Rich, smooth and full-bodied, with some heat on the finish.

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2006 Baron Herzog, Cabernet Sauvignon, (California) $14 - Full-bodied wine, packed with ripe dark fruit, cassis and black cherry with notes of spice, cedar and vanilla.

2005 Ramon Cardova, Rioja, (Spain) $18 - Rich and smooth. Lots of red fruit aromas and flavors - cherry, strawberry, with hints of leather, tobacco and spice.

Easter Wines

2007 Ponzi Pinot Gris, Willamette (Oregon) $19 - Bright, light, fresh, full of tropical fruits - pineapple, mango and lovely floral notes. Just the thing for Spring.

2006 Shaw and Smith, M3 Vineyard Chardonnay, Adelaide Hills (Australia) $30 - okay so I have pushed the boat out price-wise, but this is a great example of a cool climate Chardonnay. Elegant, crisp, layers of fruit and complexity. A treat.

2007 Leitz Dragonstone Riesling, Rheingau (Germany) $16 - Slightly off-dry, this wine is crisp and refreshing, packed with flavors of peach, apricot, citrus and great minerality on the long finish

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2007 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara (California) $22 - Black fruit profile, with lots of cherry, wild raspberry aromas and flavors with hints of earth and spice. Rich, velvety palate and long length.

2007 Delta Vineyards Pinot Noir, Marlborough (New Zealand) $19 - Concentrated red and black cherry with pretty floral notes of roses and violets and inviting woodsy notes. Smooth, silky tannins and persistent, elegant fruit across the palate.

2006 Domaine Parent, Bourgogne Rouge, Burgundy (France) $20 - Refreshing and medium bodied with bright red fruit, strawberry, red cherry and savory herbal notes.

So whether you are celebrating Passover, Easter or just the arrival of Spring, it is always fun to try new wine pairings.

Until next week!

Related: Thanksgiving Wines: Keep it Simple

(Images: Lemon-Coconut-Almond Haroset, Becky Luigart-Stayner for Cooking Light; Lamb Chops Marinated in Red Wine, Ann Stratton for Country Living)

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Drinks, Easter, Passover, Wine

Mary Gorman-McAdams, MW (Master of Wine), is a New York based wine educator, freelance writer and consultant. In 2012 she was honored as a Dame Chevalier de L'Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne.

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