Text Size:-+
04.14.2011

Passover and Kosher Wine: Time to Graduate from Manischewitz

mani_no.jpgGrowing up, my attendance at Passover seders was spotty at best, not for any lack of cajoling or even demands on my mother's part. I suppose we hadn't ever gone regularly enough for it to feel like a family tradition, so despite all the usual methods used to make it tolerable for kids, I found the whole thing interminable. Despite being a poor-excuse-for-a-Jew, I do have fond memories of my few encounters with Manischewitz. With just the right combination of verboten and high sugar content (especially for a hippie kid that didn't get much sugar at a young age) it was certainly the high point of the few seders I did go to.

After a long time, and with a palate now spoiled by a burgeoning interest in wine, I tried everyone's favorite Passover drink again, and found it, well, vile. Which is why I was amused and quite enchanted to hear it both referred to as the 11th plague, as well as its origins so nicely researched in this piece in the Atlantic.

Despite the nostalgia and tradition behind it, as someone who loves wine, and more importantly good wine, I do have to urge you to move on, however, tradition be damned. There is plenty of decent kosher wine out there, as I wrote a couple of years ago for Epicurious.

There is even some truly stellar kosher wine out there, if you can manage to buy some before the gentiles scoop it all up.

Of course, if you want to look at your yearly four glass dose of concord grape syrup as yet another symbol of our people's suffering, that's your prerogative. But life is too short to drink bad wine, no matter how much it reminds you of childhood.

Comments (5)

04.15.11 at 3:23 PM

The sweet, heavy sacremental-like kosher wine is truly (and very thankfully) a thing of the past. These days there are incredible kosher wines available from nearly every region and type across the globe, although the largest selection and highest quality comes from Israel, California and France.

Ernie Weir wrote:
04.17.11 at 5:11 AM

As we intended when we began in 1979 to produce Napa Valley wines that were also kosher, there is now a second generation that enjoys our fine wines and others with much less, if any, reference or connection to the square bottle wine types of previous generations. Time heals many things including poor taste. Luscious Cabernet Sauvignon from the Silverado Trail also heals. Enjoy this as one of our freedoms in modern times.

marjuna wrote:
04.18.11 at 3:40 AM

nice article....

Karen S. in Michigan wrote:
04.18.11 at 3:09 PM

Alder, you crack me up!! Great piece, full of laughs. Let's have some wine!

Robert Sweeney wrote:
04.24.11 at 4:57 PM

Alder,
Great piece-"who knew"! How about "Mevushal Manischewitz" . You need to visit the Golan Heights wineries and Baron Edmond de Rothschild winery in Carmel,Israel. Also Domaine du Castel Jerusalem-Judean Hills makes a good Bordeaux blend. Have been to Israel twice in past 3 years with Hadassah and had a great time.
Bob

Comment on this entry

(will not be published)
(optional -- Google will not follow)
Yes
 

Type the characters you see in the picture above.

Buy My Book!

small_final_covershot_dropshadow.jpg A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.

Follow Me On:

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Instagram Delectable Flipboard

Most Recent Entries

Vinography Images: Divine Droplets Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets US 2014 Vintage - Early, Fast, Eventful Vinography Images: Big Shadow Come Explore The Essence of Wine with Me in Healdsburg: October 30th, 2014 Vinography Unboxed: Week of October 5, 2014 Another Idiotic California Law Screws Wineries Vinography Images: Vineyard Reflections The Fake Tongue Illusion and Wine Tasting 2014 Wine & Spirits Top 100 Tasting: October 21, San Francisco

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo, Toyama Prefecture Wine.Com Gives Retailers (and Consumers) the Finger 1961 Hospices de Beaune Emile Chandesais, Burgundy Wine Over Time The Better Half of My Palate 1999 Királyudvar "Lapis" Tokaji Furmint, Hungary What's Allowed in Your Wine and Winemaking Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Appreciating Wine in Context The Soul vs. The Market 1989 Fiorano Botte 48 Semillion,Italy

Archives by Month

 

Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.