Be ready for Easter, Passover with the right wines

March 23, 2020

Observant soldiers usually were alert to an impending large-scale “surprise” operation. The markets were denuded; most food animals were hidden in the forest, and TP was difficult to locate, always a field problem. Somehow, the hoi polloi anticipated the event. I decided to take a walkabout around 8 p.m. Sunday to check things out. Sorry to report it was Old Mother Hubbard time in the four major food chains. I plan on revisiting the stores later and will report my findings. 

Passover and Easter are rapidly approaching. As usual, I have a list of appropriate selections. Those who are of the Judeo-Christian persuasions are aware the first day of Passover is known as Holy Thursday in the Christian religion. You see, Christ and his apostles were all Jews and they had gathered to share the Passover Seder. Those who wish to learn more can read the Old and New Testaments, a worthwhile undertaking.

To cover more ground, I will only list several wines with my rating and define a white, a red, a sweet bubbly and a Rosé. Bartenura Moscato D’Asti $13, 88 points, has been successful for a long while. It is a sweet sparkler with peach aromas and juicy Moscato flavors served in a striking royal blue bottle, 6-7 percent ABV, under $14, 87 McD. They also produce a Prosecco Brut, 86 McD under $18, and a Pinot Grigio, $13, that I think is slightly better than Herzog’s, 87 McD under $12. Herzog Cellars Lineage Sauvignon Blanc shows a lime, pineapple and honeysuckle bouquet, opens to tropical fruit riding a crisp mineral frame, 86 McD under $15. Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc, NZ, will run $22, McD 88, and their South Island Sauvignon Blanc Sur Lie Spencer Hill label is 89 McD, $21.

How about a 92-point kosher Pauillac Bordeaux that won’t break the bank? Chateau Grand Puy Ducasse 2016 can be easily found around $46. This is young, so aeration thru decanting is a must. Worth the effort. The Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste 2013, ’14 and ‘15 are 94 McD. You can buy the 2013 for $60, and that’s the way I would go. Here is a listing of recommended kosher wines for your holiday. I’d like to thank Vicki Garfinkel of Royal Wine for providing some ideas.  Domaine Les Marronniers Chablis 1er Cru 2018, Château Gazin Rocquencourt Blanc 2018, Château Giscours Margaux 2017, Barons Edmond-Benjamin de Rothschild Haut-Médoc 2016 30th Anniversary Edition, Herzog Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Calistoga 2016, Alfasi Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, Segal Wild Fermentation Chardonnay 2018, Jezreel Valley Gewurztraminer 2019, Tabor Adama Roussanne 2019, Binyamina Chosen Petite Sirah 2014, and Domaine Villebois Pouilly Fumé 2019.

Most of these are moderately priced, well under $40. Chateau Giscours is a steal around $100 for well-aged, ready-to-drink-now wine. Look for 2014 or 2005. I saw a case of six 2014 Magnums for $708. These still have plenty of shelf time but are drinking beautifully now. Regulars are aware, but for the benefit of modern-day, less-aggressive drinkers, I’ll relate that John Sears, in an article titled Magnum Force: Why Bigger Wine Bottles Are Better, said that 750ml, or 1/5 of a gallon, was said to be a suitable ration for one man with dinner, “back in the days when men were men and most wine was low in alcohol.” Therefore, my opinion is that since Mags age better and slower, they are best for couples. The headaches, however, can be a bit much. Single bottles are also available under $60.

Finally, about Rosé. Until you’ve sampled a wonderful Rosé from Provence, your window is half opened. Too many of us are exposed to middle-of-the-road, pale pinkish-amber, sweet, flabby, mundane Rosé that sells under $10 as entry-level wine. Sure, there are also many choices under $10 that are quite lovely. Yes, many enjoy sweet wine with low acidity, and that’s OK with me. I’ve yet to meet a person who sampled a $20 Château La Tour de l’Evêque Regine Sumeire Pétale de Rosé from Provence, which consistently rate 88-90 points depending on vintage, who hasn’t smiled. Mme. Sumeire is one of Provence’s first female winemakers. A third-generation proprietress, she is a Chevalier-ranked member of the Académie du Vin de France.  

On Tuesday, it appeared the grocery supply chain worked!

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