Two Seders, a myriad of holiday meals, Chol Hamoed outings, Shabbat lunch and dinner…Chad Gadya, Chad Gadya. The challenge of which wines to serve family and friends during the upcoming Pesach holiday season always requires out of the box solutions.
On the holiday when we declare ‘Next year in Jerusalem,’ serving wines grown in Israel adds an extra dimension to the holiday. The fact that Israel produces quality wines is no longer a secret. You can find award- winning Israeli wines in restaurants and quality wine shops around the world. Today consumers have the opposite issue…which one of the many great wines to choose from?
We turned to Yael Gai, International Marketing Manager for Golan Heights Winery, to help pick the perfect Israeli wines for your Pesach celebrations. “Serving a quality Israeli wine produced from grapes grown in the Holy Land’s lush vineyards, adds special significance at the Seder table and during the Pesach holiday as a whole,” said Gai.
“Many people want to drink red wines during the Seder,” Gai explained. “My recommendation is diversify and start with straight-forward, younger red wines and then gradually switch to fuller and more complex reds that will also go well with the meal.”
Gai suggests starting with the fruit-flavored Mount Hermon Red or Galil Mountain Syrah. Then switch to more complex wines such as the full-bodies classic Gamla Cabernet Sauvignon or the smooth silky Galil Alon . If you really want to serve up something special, try the luxurious Yarden Malbec or the Yarden Cabernet Sauvignon, which was once again awarded as the best Israeli wine (Mondus Vini 2018).
If you wish to celebrate the holiday of Jewish freedom in style, then Gai says that toasting the holiday with friends and family with Yarden Blanc de Blancs is a must. “Made in the traditional Champagne method, the Yarden Blanc de Blancs is aged for minimum 5 years on the yeast and will stay in peek condition for years to come,” Gai explained. “It’s one of the best kosher sparkling wines available on the market.”
We all have that one family member who really knows about wine. Gai suggests that you pick up a bottle of the new Galil Yiftah Single Vineyard red wine to please your most knowledgeable guests. This powerful and elegant wine is produced from a blend of Merlot and Petit Verdot. “What makes this particularly special is that it’s a ‘single vineyard’ wine, meaning that all the grapes are grown in the same vineyard. Because only small quantities can be made from one vineyard, the decision to make a single vineyard wine is only made when the grapes are of superb quality. In fact, the Galil Yiftah is the product of a decade long process by Galil Mountains’ winemakers to create a distinctive wine in this region of Israel.
For an easy-drinking, accessible wine to please even the most infrequent drinkers, Gai recommends the Mount Hermon Moscato. Naturally fizzy with a sweet flavor and low in alcohol (only 6% ) , it is a great dessert offering or just a fun treat to serve throughout the holiday. In fact it’s just so popular that you might have to keep a safe eye on it. “Watch out or you’ll find this is the first year that Eliyahu drinks the whole cup!” Gai quips.