Every year, as is probably the case in many Jewish homes, my dear wife Yael and I discuss what to include in our mishloach manot packages. Like everyone else, we distribute them on Purim to rabbis, teachers, friends and relatives around town. I call it the Mishloach Manot game.
There is often an inner feeling that the package is not “good” or “original” enough, whatever that means. Every one of us has his/her sense of what is adequate to give out in our Purim gift packs. When it comes to wine, there is a growing diversity of options ranging from the inexpensive, straightforward wine to some of the finest kosher wines now available in small 187ml or 375ml formats.
One of the most popular choices remains the Bartenura Moscato in its signature blue bottle. Suppose you want to go more sophisticated and appeal to those who like it sweet. In that case, you can choose the delicious Carmel Signature Late Harvest Gewurztraminer, a delicious dessert wine that will be great to pair with jelly-filled hamantaschen. For those who would like to gift a fun, sweet wine but go for something more affordable, the Bartenura cans are perfect. You can even choose between the classic white Moscato and the Rosato. For yet another high-end option besides the aforementioned Carmel, a favorite of mine that is just as original, there is the Covenant Zahav Late Harvest Chardonnay.
We should also certainly remember our dry wine-loving friends, especially since the festive meal on Purim is a seudas mitzvah, which requires meat according to many opinions and customs. And thus, here is a selection of 375ml formats for some of the best kosher red wines, including Mevushal and non-Mevushal wines. Château Les Riganes is a line of inexpensive yet lovely Bordeaux wines meant to be enjoyed young. It will go well with relatively light dishes such as a charcuterie platter. And it is available in both the 375ml and 187ml formats. Even Château Roubine, the top-notch Provence winery specializing in high-quality dry rosé wines, offers its flagship Premium Cru Classé rosé in a 375ml bottle.
For the pièce de résistance, some options are much fuller-bodied in a variety of styles and grape varieties:
Celler de Capçanes Peraj Ha’abib
Shiloh Secret Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Psâgot Cabernet Sauvignon
Château de Parsac by Baron de Rothschild
These excellent wines should pair with a roast or steaks wonderfully.
So wine-tune your Purim game however you and your friends like it. L’chaim, Purim Sameach!
Gabriel Geller is director of public relations and wine education for Royal Wines.