Serve Elijah Something Better

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Photo: iStockPhoto.com

Kosher wine gets a bad rap, since the ubiquitous Manischewitz is essentially alcoholic syrup. There’s no need for kosher wine to be any worse than its treyf brethren, however. (To be certified as kosher, wine must be handled only by Orthodox Jews from the blending stage onward.) We sat down with City Winery’s Michael Dorf to learn about some of the best kosher wines for Passover — “the first primitive wine pairing,” he observes. His suggestions include when in the meal to drink the wine, but note that they all pair well with brisket.

Wine: Domaine du Castel Blanc du Castel (Israel), $39
Tasting Notes: 100 percent Old World Burgundian–style Chardonnay, aged twelve months in new French oak barrels, Bordeaux-ish, great sense of terroir, flinty
When to Drink It in Seder: First glass

Wine: Herzog Special Reserve Zinfandel (USA), $25
Tasting Notes: Classic Zinfandel spice: notes of nutmeg, almost cinnamon
When to Drink It in Seder: Second glass

Wine: Golan Heights Yarden Mt. Hermon Cabernet Merlot (Israel), $30
Tasting Notes: Very New World; notes of cherry and darker fruits up front; great terroir
When to Drink It in Seder: Second glass

Wine: Capcanes Monstant Peraj Petita (Spain), $51
Tasting Notes: From the Priorato Hills — 60 percent Garnacha, 20 percent Tempranillo, 20 percent Carineña; earthy, complex
When to Drink It in Seder: Third glass

Wine: Covenant Red C (USA), $44
Tasting Notes: 100 percent Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. Classic American fruit story; lots of fruits up front, but less on the follow-up
When to Drink It in Seder: Third glass

Wine: Four Gates Merlot (USA), $28 to $36 (order directly from winemaker; can also be purchased by the glass at City Winery)
Tasting Notes: Organically grown in Santa Cruz mountains; tiny production; very Old World, extremely full-bodied
When to Drink It in Seder: Third or fourth glass