Passover this year begins at sundown, March 30. Is there a seder in your immediate future? Lucky you. Enjoy the brisket. It doesn't matter in the context of most of the products below. They're all kosher, yes. But I've chosen a few that are probably much cheaper in price than they would be had they not been pigeonholed as Passover potables and forced to languish in the kosher corner of a liquor store.
Remember, according to custom, one must drink four cups of wine during a seder. I advise you to bring your own cup and your own wine. Size and quality matter. The night may be long.
Terrenal Seleccionado 2015, Spain
SCORE: 91 PRICE: $15.95
A blend of cabernet sauvignon and monastrell (a.k.a. mourvèdre) from the Yecla region of eastern Spain. Luscious and sweetly ripe, with plum, raspberry, coffee and earth notes and a salty edge. Impressive structure. Kosher for Passover. Available in Ontario.
Golan Heights Winery Mount Hermon Red 2016, Israel
SCORE: 90 PRICE: $25.65
A Bordeaux-style blend from high-altitude vineyards in the Upper Galilee, the coolest growing region in Israel. Medium-full, succulent, juicy and precision-ripened. Plum, blueberry jam and notes of spice, chocolate and coffee. Kosher for Passover. Available in select Ontario stores at the above price, $21.75 in Quebec.
O'Dwyers Creek Sauvignon Blanc 2016, New Zealand
SCORE: 90 PRICE: $20.60
Light and silky, with a sweet mid-palate suggesting lemongrass, lime zest, green melon and grapefruit. Round and huggable for a sauvignon blanc. Kosher for Passover. Available in select Ontario stores.
Tzafona Cellars Cold Climate Unoaked Chardonnay 2015, Ontario
SCORE: 88 PRICE: $22.95
Medium-full, round and smooth. Sweet apple and citrus with balanced acidity, gentle vanilla, roasted nut and oak spice. Kosher for Passover. Available in Ontario.
Tenuta San Giorgio Pavolino Pinot Grigio 2016, Italy
SCORE: 87 PRICE: $10.95
Soft-textured for a pinot grigio, especially an Italian one. Maybe that's the flash-pasteurization talking. This is not only kosher but also mevushal, a designation demanding the wine be heated, if quickly, for religious reasons. Fine for the money, though, with poached-pear fruitiness, subtle spice and a chalky-stony quality suggesting quarry dust. It grows on you. Available in Ontario.
Rives 1880 London Dry Gin, Spain
SCORE: 90 PRICE: $29.95
There are many traditional rituals of the Passover feast. The martini is not among them. But there's always room for added cheer, no? Rives, a Spanish house founded in 1880, has answered the call with a fine and well-priced kosher gin. Pleasantly oily and initially sweet, it quickly turns spicy and fragrant with pine-like juniper, bitter citrus peel, smoke and coriander-led spice. Good, classically styled gin.
Globe and Mail Update