Cindy Grosz
#cindyscorners

Wines & Spirits Complete Your Pesach With Cindy’s Corners

Here is a sample of some of the best wines you will want this Pesach:

What Makes Kosher Wine Kosher:

There’s a common ‘urban legend’ that wine is rendered kosher after being blessed by a rabbi – that is incorrect. Actually, for a wine to be made kosher there are strictly supervised purity guidelines that need to be followed from the moment the grapes enter the winery to when the wine is bottled.

To be considered kosher, Sabbath-observant Jews must supervise and sometimes handle the entire winemaking process, from the time the grapes are crushed until the wine is bottled. Any ingredients used, including yeasts and fining agents must be kosher.

Some Kosher wines are processed as Mevushal, which means ‘cooked’ in Hebrew. Some wineries produce their Mevushal wines by heating the must (grape juice) prior to fermentation, while others apply that procedure on the final product, prior to bottling.

When kosher wine is produced, marketed and sold commercially, it will bear kosher certification granted by a specially-trained rabbi who is responsible for supervision from start to finish.

Royal Wines distributes many of the wines and spirits you will drink this Pesach and year round. Royal Wine’s PR Director, Gabriel Geller, recommends new bottlings to explore for the “Feast of Freedom” – the commemoration of the redemption of the Jewish people, some 3,500 years ago, from centuries of slavery in Egypt. His suggestions pair exceptionally well at the Seder table or any other special occasion, and run the gamut of varieties and price points.

Promising Rosés

Herzog Lineage Rosé from Clarksburg, CA (SRP $19.99) as a delicious, fruity, and herbal complement to light starters. Other good bets include Gush Etzion and Flam (SRP $24.99 and 34.99 respectively). These wineries, both located in Israel’s Judean Hills, were among the first out of the gate with their new rosés this year.

Complex Reds

Carmel Limited Edition 2014 (SRP $79.99), a Bordeaux-style blend from Israel.” Also of note is Domaines Rollan de By, owned by Jean Guyon. The extravagant designer just released the first-ever new kosher run from his estates: Chateau de By Medoc 2016 (SRP $27.99). “Well-balanced and medium-bodied, this Bordeaux from an exceptional vintage is silky in the mouth and pairs well with many types of dishes,” claims Geller. would be a good choice for the Passover Seder.”

Lineage Choreograph a field blend of more than a dozen different grapes comes from an experimental plot on the Herzog estate vineyard — the wine is soft and inviting while at the same time complex and flavorful, and very reasonably priced (SRP$20.00)

Herzog Wine Cellars also recently released Herzog Special Reserve Quartet 2015, a blend of varieties grown in prime regions of California. The wine, as its name indicates, comprises 4 grape varieties: Malbec, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Full-bodied, rich, complex, and spicy, it impresses with its remarkable balance, while showcasing the unique characteristics of each variety (SPR:  $39.99).

Geller also noted that Italian wines have been gaining in popularity among kosher consumers. Wine Spectator recently awarded the Terra di Seta Chianti Classico Riserva (SRP $34.99) an impressive 93 points. Now that the 2013 has made its way to the shelves, Geller predicted that this superior vintage will outperform its predecessor.

Sweet Endings

A long meal such as the Passover Seder also requires some fine dessert wine to end the night on a sweet note. Chateau Guiraud, which was absent from the kosher scene since 2001, recently made a comeback with two new wines available for the first time in a kosher version.

G de Guiraud 2017 (SRP $39.99) is a satisfying, dry blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, while the chateau’s second Sauternes, Petit Guiraud 2017, is a luscious, wonderful dessert wine (SRP $74.99). Herzog Late harvest Orange Muscat 2018 – don’t be fooled by this wine’s orange tinge and floral near orange aromas.  Its 100% Orange Muscat Grape has great lively acidity and sweetness, all rolled into this floral, long-lasting luscious wine (MSRP $22.99).

New Kosher for Passover Spirits:

· Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol Anejo
Sotol is from the northern state of Chihuahua in Mexico. Sotol is not made out of Blue Agave like tequila, but Dasylirion wheeleri, otherwise known as Desert Spoon, or Sotol in Spanish

(My wife translated that for me).

This Anejo Sotol is rich and smoky with slight hints of Grapefruit.

•Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol Reposado

Like a typical Reposado from Mexico this is aged only for 6 months. A special uniqueness to Sotol is the oak used for ageing the product is Virgin oak unlike tequila which does used bourbon barrels. The fresh oak gives added tannins and spice to this tasty item.

· Godet Fine de Cognac

A wonderful blend of eau-de-vie from the Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne growing regions. These two growing regions have very chalky soil which helps to make a very aromatic eau-de-vie, which is distilled to make this special cognac.

For me, I always need a good vodka to make a sangria, martini or just on the rocks. LVOV is unique because it’s made from beets. Personally, I love beets. It is a smooth vodka that blends nicely to recipes too.

Psagot Winery

I could not write a wine article without including Psagot. The Falic family should live until 120 years and see only Mazel for all the good they do for Jews around the world. The wines are exceptional and even my non Jewish friends ask me to purchase them for host gifts.

Psagot is known today for its thriving small community and award-winning winery. The winery has a selection of wines being grown within a young, vibrant growing community. Located in the region of the Jerusalem mountains, it is a area ripe with awe-inspiring remnants of biblical-era vineyards and wineries. During the vineyard’s construction, an ancient cave from the Hasmonean Dynasty period was discovered, and in it, a coin dating back to the Great Revolt of 73–66 BC. The coin’s front face is stamped with the words “For Freedom of Zion” and adorned with a vine leaf, while the back face reads “Year Two” (to the Revolt), alongside an image of an amphora – an ancient container used for storing wine. That coin embodies the essence of our story, and its image is born upon a selection of our wines. For us, the coin is a reminder of our deep connection to the earth and to our roots. As we walk through the vines, we hear the echoes of our ancestors, experts in their time, who made the finest wines for the temples of Jerusalem and emperors of Rome as early as two millennia ago

Nadiv Winery

Another favorite group of wines is manufactured by Nadiv Winery. Nadiv Winery is unique in that it was started by a French family who love Israel and its unique terroir. Nadiv means “generous” in Hebrew. The name also refers also to HaNadiv, the name attributed to Baron Edmon de Rothschild in the 19th century. The winery blends old, romantic European French winemaking traditions with modern Israeli techniques. Wines are produced in the southern Judean Hills where it produces wines with locally grown grapes.

Food, Fun, Family and Friends…Everything Food In Recipes and Restaurants From Cindy’s Corners

During my visit to Psagot Winery

Cindy Grosz can be reached at cindyscorners@gmail.com

About the Author
Cindy Grosz is an accomplished activist for pro-Israel and Jewish interests. She writes about “Everything Jewish” and has appeared in multiple media outlets. She is a Contributor on The Jersey Joe Radio Show on WOR710AM, syndicated through iHeartRadio. Grosz is the author of Rubber Room Romance, Everything You Need to Know and Ask About the Education System. She can be reached at cindyscorners@gmail.com.
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