May 29, 2024
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Chill Out or Warm Up; No Need to Choose

This year, Sukkot presents us with somewhat of a culinary and vinous dilemma. Over these recent weeks, we’ve witnessed a bit of a roller coaster of weather changes and temperature fluctuations. Deciding between a hearty chicken salad and a succulent roast won’t be an easy task. This predicament is further complicated by the uncertainty of whether we’ll be dining al fresco in the sukkah or, chas v’shalom, indoors in the dining room. Baruch Hashem, “wine gladdens the heart of man” (Tehillim, 104:15). So, regardless of the weather, we’ll still have excellent wine to celebrate Sukkot and Simchat Torah.

It’s important to remember that whites and rosés are not exclusively reserved for summertime sipping, and such wines will be just as enjoyable if it’s chilly out. Consider, for instance, the Sonoma Loeb Dignitary Chardonnay 2021. It was made in cooperation with Herzog’s head winemaker, David Galzignato, and hails from Sonoma County, California. Its harmonious blend of generous acidity and delicious tropical fruit notes render it both invigorating and a great pairing with a stuffed veal pocket. The Jezreel Rosé 2021 is an excellent rosé that despite being now two years past harvest, has retained its freshness. It is the perfect choice for cooling off during those warm moments in the sukkah. It also makes for a delightful accompaniment to challah, lox and cream cheese during shalosh seudas, since the first day of Sukkot falls on Shabbat this year.

Many of us eagerly anticipate indulging in some barbecue galore on Chol Hamoed, or even on the second day of chag. Château Malmaison 2021, a classic Bordeaux, would complement the grilled and meaty flavors magnificently. This Château hails from the Moulis-en-Médoc appellation, in the northern Bordeaux’s wine country and belongs to the heirs of the late Barons Edmond and Benjamin de Rothschild. The recent improvements and updates to the winery’s facilities and equipment, along with a talented winemaker, have resulted in a wine characterized by richness and a velvety texture. While it may initially taste somewhat fruity, proper cellaring is likely to reveal earthy aromas and layers of additional flavors and complexity over time.

Les Roches de Yon 2020, a classic Right Bank Bordeaux from Saint-Emilion, offers layers of elegance and intricate notes of red fruit, earth, graphite and minerals. Regardless of whether you opt for a chilled chicken salad or a big steak, this wine will significantly elevate your meal.

With numerous meals and copious amounts of food, there’s a delightful way to unwind before a nap or while engaging in Torah study: indulging in a digestif. A digestif, customary in Europe to aid digestion, finds its worthy representative in the world-class Poire Prisonnière from Massenez in Alsace. With notes of sweet Anjou pear, this spirit shines when served ice-cold but also provides a comforting warmth when savored at room temperature on chillier evenings. Last but certainly not least, nothing exudes the elegance of a yom tov celebration quite like a glass of Cognac. Whether enjoyed neat or paired with light snacks like caramelized pecans or salted peanuts, a sip of Roland Bru XO Cognac will undoubtedly bring a smile of satisfaction to your festivities.

Chag Sameach and l’chaim!


Gabriel Geller is director of public relations and wine education for Royal Wines.

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