Passover—the biblical story of Exodus wherein Moses lead his people from enslavement in Egypt to a new land—is one of the central holidays of the Jewish religion, and involves multiple days of celebration.
However, Manischewitz isn’t your only choice for refreshment, as there are plenty of quality Kosher wines being produced all over the world. Here are some selections to help fuel your Passover commemorations, with bottlings from Israel and beyond.
Kosher Red Wines
Recanati 2014 Reserve David Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Galilee); $30, 93 points. This deep ruby wine offers a bouquet of blackberry, cassis and a slight touch of bell pepper. The full palate is bolstered by opulent tannins, offering flavors of black cherry, black currant and vanilla, with fennel, black pepper and a hint of spice on the finish. Editor’s Choice. —Mike DeSimone
Psagot 2014 Peak Red (Jerusalem); $50, 92 points. Aromas of blackberry, strawberry and chocolate open for flavors of blackberry, Red Delicious apple peel, aniseed and vanilla. This wine is harmonious on the palate with understated tannins and breakthrough notes of summer peach on the finish. Editor’s Choice. —M.D.
Yaffo 2011 Heritage Cabernet Sauvignon-Cabernet Franc (Ella Valley); $45, 92 points. Dark ruby in color, this wine has a nose of black cherry with a hint of bell pepper. It offers a pleasing balance of fruit and savory flavors, especially blackberry, roasted tomato, smoke and espresso. Grippy tannins coat the palate, releasing their grasp as notes of cherry jam and smoke permeate the finish. Editor’s Choice. —M.D.
Dalton 2013 Alma Scarlet Red (Galilee); $22, 92 points. Dark ruby in the glass, this wine’s simple cherry fragrance does not do justice to its black cherry, blueberry, vanilla and clove flavors. It’s bright from the first sip, with silky tannins and black pepper and sage notes that continue into a finish punctuated by a burst of bright cherry. Editor’s Choice. —M.D.
Jerusalem Wineries 2012 4990 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Judean Hills); $28, 92 points. Inky-ruby colored, this wine has a complex bouquet of strawberry, watermelon, chocolate, violet and bell pepper. There is a nice interplay of fruit and cool herb notes, featuring flavors of black cherry, orange zest, eucalyptus and mint. A strong but subdued network of tannins recedes at the finish, making way for a pleasing jolt of bright acidity. —M.D.
Psagot 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon (Jerusalem); $34, 91 points. Aromas of cherry, blueberry and rose petal prepare the taste buds for flavors of cherry pie, vanilla custard, black pepper and Turkish delight. Tannins can feel momentarily stiff, but they are soon outweighed by bold acidity that carries into bright black cherry finish. Editor’s Choice. —M.D.
Montefiore 2013 Aria Reserve Red (Judean Hills); $45, 91 points. Aromas of black plum, raspberry and sage set the stage for flavors of black cherry, raspberry, nutmeg and clove. There’s a nice sense of spice piggybacking on luscious fruit, while strong but not overpowering tannins fill the palate and gently subside into a soft savory finish. —M.D.
Flam 2014 Classico Red (Judean Hills); $30, 91 points. Aromas of blackberry and cured meat give way to flavors of black cherry, dark plums, fennel bulb, lavender, thyme and a hint of smoke. This wine is surprisingly bright considering the depth of flavor and strength of its chewy tannins, with acidity that holds its own right into the orange-zest finish. —M.D.
Hacormim 2014 Adi 13 Shiraz (Israel); $10, 88 points. Aromas of black cherry and dark chocolate prime the palate for flavors of black cherry, black plum, mocha, smoked meat and a hint of bell pepper. It is vibrant on entry, with a sense of brightness that stands out above firm but subtle tannins. Best Buy. —M.D.
Kosher White Wines
Tabor 2014 Zohar Adama II White (Galilee); $24, 88 points. This refreshing wine offers aromas of honeydew melon and guava. A palate-pleasing combination of green apple, nectarine and eucalyptus culminate in a mint-tinged finish. —M.D.
Recanati 2015 Yasmin White Chardonnay-Sauvignon Blanc (Galilee); $12, 88 points. A bright nose of pineapple and grapefruit prepares the palate for flavors of passion fruit and guava with light floral notes. This wine is full in the mouth, with tropical fruit flavors that persist into a lingering rose-petal finish. Best Buy. —M.D.
Carmel 2014 Kayoumi Vineyard Riesling (Galilee); $24, 88 points. Medium straw in the glass, this wine offers aromas of apricot and cantaloupe. It fills the mouth with appealing fruit flavors of white peach, cantaloupe and apple that barely fade on the bright and lingering finish. —M.D.
Kosher Wines Beyond Israel
Koenig 2014 Riesling (Alsace); $14, 89 points. Friendly, earthy scents of buttercups and dandelions make appearances here. The palate follows with brisk, clean freshness and zingy, lemony appeal. It finishes dry, shot through with zesty freshness. Best Buy. —Anne Krebiehl MW
Château la Clide 2011 Moulin du Château la Clide (Saint-Émilion); $89, 89 points. The wine is tight with tannins and a dense texture. It has plenty of fruit underneath to allow this blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot to balance out. Perfumed and with fine acidity, the wine should be ready from 2019. —Roger Voss
Covenant 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley); $100, 93 points. This is a blockbuster of a wine, impressive in its smoky oak and crisp black currant brightness. Soft, integrated tannin supports a full-bodied, lush palate that has plenty of length and breadth, seasoned with black licorice, pepper and clove. —Virginie Boone