Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.
Yep, it’s true. Mere days before Passover, Manischewitz, the most well-known maker of kosher wine (not to mention matzos), has been sold. The announcement came this past Tuesday; the buyer was Sankaty Advisors, an affiliate of Bain Capital.
Never mind that Bain’s most famous co-founder was, of course, Mitt Romney, who’s Mormon and a non-drinker—there’s some sort of cosmic unlikeliness there that’s just too strange for the brain to handle. But I am going to go out on a limb and say, regardless of who will now profit from all of those many bottles of Manischewitz Concord Grape wine, there are other choices out there for Passover. And some of them are actually very good.
Here are five to look for.
2012 Baron Herzog Clarksburg Chenin Blanc ($12)
The flavors suggest nectarine and citrus, with a light touch of sweetness on the finish (but nothing even close to Manischewitz levels). It’d be a fine aperitif, and also a good partner for seafood or smoked fish.
NV Freixenet Cava Brut Excelencia ($15)
Freixenet, whose black-bottled Cordon Negro is many people’s go-to party fizz, has just released this kosher cava to the US market. (Cava is Spain’s equivalent to Champagne: same process, but Spanish grape varieties.) It’s appealingly fruity, with bright green apple notes.
2012 Segal’s Fusion Red ($15)
Israel has been in the middle of a wine renaissance in recent years, with quality soaring—along with the number of wineries in the country (more than 250 now). This affordable, fruity Merlot blend from the Galilee Heights is a definite bargain.
2011 Celler de Capçanes Peraj Petita ($20)
Spain’s Capçanes winery, located in the Montsant region southwest of Barcelona, makes a line of kosher wines in addition to its acclaimed Montsant reds. This one, Peraj Petita, is a spicy, red-fruited blend of Grenache, Tempranillo and Cariñena.
2013 Red C Sauvignon Blanc ($23)
Napa Valley–based winemaker Jeff Morgan makes this crisp white with fruit from Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley. (Note: For people who really want to splurge, he also makes a very impressive, high-end, kosher Napa Cabernet called Covenant.)
More from Food & Wine:
Modern Passover Recipes
Delicious Desserts for Passover
Beautiful Passover Fish Dishes
Gail Simmons’s Favorite Passover Recipes
Passover horseradish – rooted in tradition
Add the flavor of barbecue to Bubbe's brisket
More Passover recipes from around the globe
5 ways to modernize your seder
Passover recipes from Israel, Estonia and India
Stephanie Izard's favorite matzoh toppers
Seder meal 101: From matzo to lamb bones
L'chaim! Israeli wines for Passover
© 2011 American Express Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.
Nothing like Manischewitz with a kosher ham and cheese sandwich.
Reblogged this on Escape from Pa.
Tea party patriots salivate at the thought of kosher roadkill.
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