Passover is almost here. We’re scrubbing our houses, changing dishes and silverware, purchasing tons of kosher for Passover food, shopping for new clothing, and many are wondering which wines to buy for the Passover seders in which we are commanded to drink four cups of wine.
Medical Interpolation: Seraphic Secret does not drink wine, does not imbibe liquor, period. The reason? Drink leads to migraines that can flatten yours truly for days. Hence, I have nothing to say about wine. But, I am well-connected.
Seraphic Secret has invited my cousin, the award-winning and very cool wine critic Alice Feiring to sample and recommend the best Passover wines on the market.
Take it away Alice.
Everyone around me is in a panic. Pesach is coming and it’s emotionally charged. Wine is needed. So here’s my advice for the Four Cups, Eliyahu’s goblet, or just something to uncork when you unwind and watch one of the obscure silent movies my cousin Robert admires.
Domaine Netofa (Israel)
Made by Pierre Miodownick, the gent who makes wine for Herzog’s European kosher line up. Nice guy and he brings that French finesse to his own wines.
2010 White: $22
Chenin blanc from 40 year-old vines. High praise here: I found it drinkable. It had little structure and a little blowsy wasn’t really messed with much, but left on its own, flavors like a plump baked apple.
2009 Red: $22
A mixture of mourvedre and syrah, that has a bit of sour on the finish, but I appreciated the spice and warmth. In fact, it’s almost like a besomen box.
If I needed champagne, I’d hit the —
Drappier Champagne Cote d’Or, $59. (Champagne,France)
I love Drappier champagne in its secular guise, and was excited to taste what they had for those who need kosher. Not great, but I’m spoiled. However it’s really not bad. In fact it’s kind of like real live champagne, it’s quite snappy and lively, if a little direct and simple. However, I did like that Champagne limestone lilt, a little cream and a little ginger.
From the Cellar Capçanes (Montsant, Spain).
Peraj Petita 2009: $16
I little too woody, but a decent wine at a decent price, though closed and not too expressive. Think tobacco and prune. And if I was going to splurge, I’d head for the—
Peraj Ha Abib 2008: $52.00. These wines need time. Try to get hold of one with age. Pretty nice! Metallic but interesting with an herbal undertone.
Pontet-Canet 2003: $125 (Bordeaux, France) Have to admit, it tasted like bordeaux to me, but at that price?
Covenent Cab, 2009: $100 (Napa,California) Too much of a 1-2 punch for me, but the Covenant wines are probably the most poignant example of why some love Napa. This one is full of tooth-coating chocolate and cocoa. A knife and fork might help…or brisket.
Sauvignon Blanc, 2010 (Sonoma, California) The whites don’t get much attention but this a pleasing, fresh citrusy wine—which sounds about right for a Sonoma Sauvignon B. ($22)
For me, Four Gates from Benyamin Cantz in the Santa Cruz mountains is my go-to for interesting wines. But you’ll have to get them directly from him.
Have a happy and Kosher Passover!
Back to cousin Robert.
Check out Alice’s wine blog Feiring Line.
And to get an in-depth look at the world of wine, Alice’s two books are beautifully written, charming, deeply personal and filled with characters who seem right of 1930′s screwball comedy. Wine people are, um, seriously eccentric.
Here’s my completely unbiased review of Naked Wine