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Fact Sheet: Holiday Wines | Easter and Passover

Passover and Easter have at least one thing in common: Both are celebrated with traditional spring feasts that are (hopefully) accompanied by good wine.

Passover Seder Supersweet Manischewitz is far from the only wine choice, since elegant kosher reds and whites are being made all over the world, from Israel to Italy. In fact, flash pasteurization, now used by some kosher winemakers, may also enhance a wine's body and aromas. Château de Beaucastel, the great estate in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, actually uses a process that is related to flash pasteurization, not in order to make its wines kosher but simply to make them more delicious.

Easter Dinner The two most common dishes served at a traditional Easter dinner, lamb and ham, both pair quite well with a wide variety of wines—red, white and even rosé.

10 Top Bottles

PASSOVER WINES
2003 Bartenura Moscato D'Asti ($12) This Italian warm-weather favorite in a cobalt-blue bottle is classically light, mildly fizzy and flamboyantly sweet. It's traditionally served as an aperitif.

1997 Yarden Blanc de Blancs ($20) This prestigious Golan Heights producer has crafted an Israeli sparkling wine that could rival French Champagne. It's mouth-filling, with a crisp finish.

2002 Alfasi Malbec-Syrah Reserve ($10) From Chile's Maule Valley, this medium-bodied red is a seamless blend with a polish that belies its affordability.

2000 Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon Chalk Hill Warnecke Vineyard Special Edition ($60) One of the pinnacles of kosher winemaking, this velvety, refined Sonoma Cabernet is well knit, with classic cassis and ripe-plum flavors.

2002 Carmel Emerald Riesling and Chenin Blanc ($10) Israel's largest winery does great things with the usually lackluster Emerald Riesling (a Riesling-Muscadelle hybrid). Blended with Chenin, this kosher white is juicy and just off dry.

EASTER WINES
2002 Avery Lane Sauvignon Blanc ($7) From a Washington State producer with a remarkable commitment to value, this lively, medium-bodied Sauvignon Blanc (in only its second vintage) has bright fruit and a well-integrated cut of citrusy acidity.

2002 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé ($27) A fruity but dry Provençal rosé is especially good with a salty ham. This bottling has the body of a red wine and the juiciness of a white.

2000 Museum Crianza ($14) This red from north-central Spain's Cigales region is a lot like a lively, lightly aged Rioja. It's medium-bodied with flavors of spicy black pepper and crushed plum.

2001 Potel-Aviron Morgon Château-Gaillard ($19) A fine Beaujolais may be the most flexible wine you can buy—able to complement heavy grilled meats but not so intense that it overwhelms lighter dishes. This elegant, fruity version is from dynamic Burgundy négociant Nicolas Potel.

2001 Le Serre Nuove di Tenuta dell'Ornellaia ($50) Grilled lamb is a Tuscan specialty, and this generous Italian red from the Tuscan region of Bolgheri is the meat's perfect match—with soft, refined tannins and an appealing youthful suppleness.

Published April 2004
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