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Food

4 Kosher Wines — And One Tequila — You Have To Try This Year

The 2018 Kosher Food and Wine Experience (KFWE) in NYC brought together 2,500 wine insiders and enthusiasts, who collectively guzzled 1,300 bottles of wine. Image by Royal Wine Co.

The 2,500 attendees of the 2018 Kosher Food and Wine Experience in New York City collectively guzzled more than 1,000 bottles of wine over the course of an afternoon and evening. While I didn’t personally sample quite that many, I made it my mission to discover the best-of-the-best and underrated wines in order to help Forward readers separate the hype from the greatest hits.

What follows are my unscientific picks for best white, red, rosé and fruit wine at the show, as well as one tequila that was so delicious I would have been amiss not to include it in our roundup. All the wines are kosher for Passover, and the owner of the tequila company told me that they are in the process of securing certification for next year’s batch.

Any of these wines would be welcome company at any Purim party or Passover Seder.

White: Pascal Bouchard Le Classique Chablis 2015

Pascal Bouchard Chablis, a delightful kosher for Passover white wine.

$35

Mevushal

Kosher for Passover

Light, earthy, lemony and ever-so-slightly fruity, this French dry white wine tastes exactly like dry white wine should — and won’t break the bank in the process.

Red: Jezreel Reserve Icon 2014

Jezreel Winery’s newest red kosher wine, Icon, will be available soon.

$90

Not Mevushal

Kosher for Passover

To call this latest creation from Jezreel Winery an Israeli red wine would be an understatement — this is the Israeli red wine. Tasting Icon is like seeing a flash frame of everything good that’s ever happened to the Jewish people jet across the sky. I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of trying some incredible wines in my life, and this is hands-down the best wine I’ve ever had.

It was so good that I reached out to the winemaker, Yehuda Nahar, who told me he’ll let me know as soon as Icon becomes publicly available. Icon is made from a blend of Syrah and Carignan, then aged in French oak barrels. If you have the great fortune of acquiring one of these bottles, it shouldn’t pass your lips until it’s been open and allowed to breathe for at least one hour.

Rosé: Hagafen Brut Rosé 2015

Hagafen brut rosé is dry and bubbly.

$48

Mevushal

Kosher for Passover

I’ll admit it: This is the only wine at KFWE that I went back to “sample” again — twice. This rosé is not for those who want something sweet and smooth, as it’s dry, extremely bubbly and has a very foamy finish. I would serve this wine at a boozy brunch to temper the sweetness of breakfast foods, or at a Shabbat dinner with dessert.

Fruity: Morad Wild Berries

Morad winery wild berries wine

$18

Mevushal*

Kosher for Passover

If you don’t like wine, you will like this wine*. Morad Winery is known for its sticky-sweet wines, and their newest addition is very sweet and bursting with the flavor of blackberries, blueberries and currants. If you’re looking for something dry, this is not for you. The staffer giving samples suggested throwing in some tequila for a great cocktail.

*It’s not technically a wine, according to Jewish law.

Bonus: One With Life Tequila

One with life tequila is certified kosher and organic.

$35-40

Certified Organic and Kosher

Not Yet Kosher for Passover

Speaking of tequila, if you like tequila, oh, man, do you have to try this tequila. It’s critically acclaimed; it’s made using sustainable traditional methods; it’s smooth and pure and certified organic — and the company was founded by a Jewish woman. What’s not to love?

Laura E. Adkins is the Forward’s deputy opinion editor. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter, @Laura_E_Adkins

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