Best of the Bunch

My Favorite Wines of the 2013 Annual Pesach Wine Buying Guide

Don’t let the title of this newsletter instill fear in your oenophilic hearts, I have not turned to the dark side and this isn’t a newsletter dedicated to mevushal wines.  While such a newsletter (or at least a dedicated webpage on my site,) is coming, Pesach is far from the proper time for such a missive (especially given the tradition to avoid such wines at the Seder).  With Pesach just hours away (and already quite underway for my Israeli and European readers) I wanted to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Passover and a Chag Kasher Ve’Sameach!  Wherever and however you are spending the holiday, I hope you are surrounded with friends, family and copious quantities of great wines to properly honor the Chag, including at least a few Moshiach Wines, which will hopefully be utilized in their intended capacity by the end of the holiday…

While the proliferation of incredible kosher wines is a true blessing, sometimes the sheer quantity of choices can seem confusing, even paralyzing, leading us to give up on finding new treasures and sticking with the tried and true wines we have been enjoying for years, even with so many “better” options on the market.  I hope that my annual Pesach Wine Buying Guide was helpful in navigating the pre-Passover sales offered by nearly every retailer of quality kosher wines and that you were able to stock up on some old favorites and were tempted to try some new wines as well (despite its moniker, the guide can be used as a helpful assistant for wine buying all year round).  Notwithstanding my attempt to winnow down the thousands of kosher wines released annually, I realize that even 150 choices spread across four price ranges can still be a bit overwhelming.  To that end, listed below I have included my five favorite wines from each category, plus five dessert wines to end the Pesach Seder on a sweet note (pre-Afikoman of course).

Under $15.99

(1)                  Capcanes, Peraj Petita, 2011
(2)                  Dalton, “D”, Fume Blanc, 2012
(3)                  Elvi, Cava, Brut, n.v.
(4)                  Galil Mountain, Alon, 2010
(5)                  Vignobles David, Le Mourre de L’Isle, Cotes du Rhone, 2010


(1)                  Dalton, Alma, Shiraz-Mourvèdre-Viognier, 2010
(2)                  Ella Valley Vineyards, Cabernet Franc, 2009
(3)                  Hagafen, Roussanne, Lodi, 2011
(4)                  Golan Heights Winery, Yarden, Blanc de Blanc, 2007
(5)                  Recanati, Mediterranean Reserve, Petite Sirah-Zinfandel, 2011


(1)                  Brobdingnagian, Petite Sirah, 2010
(2)                  Four Gates, Cabernet Franc, 2007
(3)                  Gvaot, Gofna Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010
(4)                  Hagafen, Late Disgorged, Brut Cuvé, 2007
(5)                  Recanati, Mediterranean Reserve, Syrah-Viognier, 2010

Moshiach Wines (for more Moshiach Wines, check out my Best Wines of 2012)

(1)            Carmel, Limited Edition, 2007 (2005)
(2)            Covenant, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009 (2004)
(3)            Golan Heights Winery, Yarden, Katzrin, 2008 (2004)
(4)            Segal, Unfiltered Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009 (2005)
(5)            Yatir, Forest, 2009 (2006)


(1)                  Château Guiraud, Sauternes 1er Cru, 2001
(2)                  Domaine Netofa, Port-Style, 2010
(3)                  Golan Heights Winery, Heightswine, 2008 (Shmittah)
(4)                  Hagafen, Prix, Late Harvest Chardonnay, 2006
(5)                  Porto Quevedo, Ruby Port, n.v.