Recommended 'Kosher for Passover' wines

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

These recommended wines are all labeled "Kosher for Passover" and are listed here based on a nonsectarian appreciation of their quality.

Recanati Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Galilee, Israel, $15

The back label boasts that this wine was aged for eight months in French oak barrels, which obviously is not true. The importer explained that a new winemaker shortened the barrel aging to four months to showcase the wine's fruit, and the winery neglected to alter the label. In any event, the change of strategy paid off, as this wine is delicious. It offers bright, dense fruit flavors and just enough oak to lend structure but not overpower. By any measure, this is a good-value cabernet for the price.

Palm Bay/Republic National: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods Market Glover Park. Available in Maryland at Decanter Fine Wines in Columbia, Village Wine & Liquors in Baltimore.

Yarden Syrah 2005
Galilee, Israel, $25

Rich and soft in a New World style, this syrah nicely balances its fruit with oak.

Frederick P. Winner: Available in Maryland at Rodman's in Wheaton and Rockville, Kosher Mart in Rockville, Beers and Cheers in Gaithersburg, DeWine Spirits and Village Wine & Liquors in Baltimore; on the list at Kosher Bite in Baltimore. Winebow in the District and Virginia Imports in Virginia (carries Yarden, but not this particular wine).

Cantina Gabriele Pinot Grigio 2008
* 1/2
Veneto, Italy, $14

Bright and refreshing, with vibrant fruit, this is delicious pinot grigio. This label has a wide variety of kosher wines, including a nice Montepulciano d'Abruzzo.

M Touton Selections: Available in the District at Ace Beverage, Bell Wine & Spirits, Cairo Wine & Liquor, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor, Paul's of Chevy Chase, Potomac Wine & Spirits, Wine Specialist. Available in Maryland at the Bottle Shop and World Gourmet Wine & Beer in Potomac, Silesia Liquors in Fort Washington, and Old Farm Liquors, Riverside Liquor and Westridge Liquors in Frederick; on the list at Pomegranate in Potomac. Available in Virginia at Cecile's Wine Cellar in McLean, Unwined in Alexandria and Belleview, the Wine Seller in Herndon.

Ella Valley Vineyards Ever Red 2005
* 1/2
Ella Valley, Israel, $25

This wine offers a gorgeous nose of berries and woodspice, reminiscent of a young Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon. I suspect the wood might dominate with further aging, but right now it is drinking quite nicely.

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