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Monday, September 26, 2022
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Everyone has their favorite traditional Passover dishes, but what to drink with them? We sat down with Jay Buchsbaum, Director of Wine Education for Royal Wine Corp. for some insight on pairing wines this Passover. For each dish Jay notes three suggestions from various locations and at different price points. Now onto the food and wine!

Gefilte Fish with Horseradish Jay’s pairing suggestions – Gefilte fish is one of those love it or hate it dishes and I love it! The rich fish flavor and with a touch of sweetness from the carrots cut by the piquant horseradish (the hotter the better in my opinion) goes great with a fresh and fruity white. The theme of the three pics below are ripe fruit flavors that evoke a sense of sweetness and stand up to the “fishiness” of the gefilte fish and boldness of the horseradish.

Baron Herzog Chenin Blanc, California $8-$10 – A fresh and round mouth feel with intense fruity notes of nectarine, gooseberry and pine with a bright, clean finish.

Elvi Cava Brut, Spain, $18-$20 - Bubbly and dry, with interesting floral, mild citrus, and strawberry notes. Crisp and clean with a lingering finish. Be sure to serve well chilled.

Carmel Single Vineyard Kayoumi White Riesling, Israel $25-$27 - Fragrant, delicate nose of citrus blossom, green apple and lime.

Matzo Ball Soup – Almost as devisive as gefilte fish, but for other reasons. Whether you prefer dense or light and airy Matzo Balls, one thing remains the same, everyone’s mother makes the best Matzo Ball Soup. Chicken soup is rich and flavorful and the matzo balls have a wonderfully eggy and salty flavor that goes great with these medium bodied whites.

Carmel Selected Sauvignon Blanc, Israel $9-$11 – delightfully aromatic with floral notes and a backdrop of fresh cut grass. Flavors of tropical fruit are balanced with a clean citrusy finish.

Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand $20-$22 - A vibrant, crisp Sauvignon Blanc with a bouquet that includes Gooseberries, lush tropical fruit with a slight hint of oak.

Herzog Reserve Russian River Chardonnay, California $28-$30 - Rich and complex, drawing on pear, citrus, hazelnut, and mineral flavors, all framed in a creamy-smooth texture with plenty of toasty oak.

Brisket – What is Passover without brisket? I’m a big fan of brisket, it’s rich and beefy flavor with an equally rich sauce (I braise mine with a full bottle of wine, and remember, if you wouldn’t drink it on its own, why would you cook with it?) One of the things I find amazing about brisket is how all the flavors and aromas come together and simultaneously can be individually picked out. I chose some big reds to pair that are big, bold and will stand up to the richness of the dish.

Baron Herzog Old Vine Zinfandel, California $13-$15 – Full bodied wine with rich concentrated flavors and lush mouth feel. Big effusive aromas of ripe blackberry and raspberries balanced with vanilla and spice from the French oak aging.

Tierra di Setta Chianti Classico Reserva $20-$25 – Full bodied, velvety and elegant. Slightly balsamic, it offers a grand structure with a rich and fruity bouquet of cherries and wild berries, aromas of spice and violet.

Domain du Castel Grand Vin, Israel $70-$75 - Full-bodied, bold, concentrated, and with layer after layer of aromas and flavors that linger on. Look for currants, cherries, plums, and spices on the palate, with hints of cedar.

Lemon Almond Cake - What a pleasant way to end a meal. When pairing wines with desserts, you want to match the sweetness, but not overwhelm the dessert with something that overpowers the flavors. The brightness of the lemon shines and the almonds give it a rich layer of complexity. The wines chosen are delightful with the perfect level of sweetness and acidity to keep all the flavors and aromas in harmony

Muscat de Baumes de Venise, France $18-$20 - Very aromatic, with apricot, peach, lychee and some candied orange peel notes. A touch of viscosity in the mouth and a well-balanced acidity.

Herzog Late Harvest Chenin Blanc, California $20-$22 - Very aromatic nose of honey and fresh apricot. Sweet but very well balanced with bright acidity and a lush and full mouth feel with lingering fresh fruit finish.

Binyamina Reserve Late Harvest Gewürztraminer, Israel - rich and complex aromas of tropical fruit, lychee, red grapefruit and rose water. Its sweetness is beautifully balanced by a natural crispness and fruity overtones $26-$28.

Remember, whether pairing wines with the latest culinary trends or dishes passed down for generations, one thing remains the same, drink what you like! Wine is such an important part of the holiday and can elevate even the simplest dish, but the best thing to pair with wine is family and friends! L’chaim and have a Chag Kasher V’Sameach!

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