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Wine Experts Reveal Their Top Picks for the Passover Seder

From Ari Lockspeiser, Fine Wine Consultant, Kosherwine.com and Jwines.com

Ari Lockspeiser began learning the nuances of wine as a teenager when his uncle ran Israel wine tours in the early 2000's. Ari was a frequent member of the tours, tasting, learning, and experiencing the winemaking process and the complexities of wine. Upon returning to the states, Ari continued to taste and research wine and is now working as the Fine Wine Consultant for kosherwine.com and jwines.com, recommending wine to the kosher consumer. He also runs Kosherwine’s tastings and events with the goal of educating others about wine. Ari recently earned his Sommelier Certification and continues to explore wine and tastes hundreds of wines a year. As a kosher consumer looking for the ultimate wine expert, Ari is the one you'll want to consult and drink wine with.

Cup 1: Beaujolais Nouveau 2017

A festive bright purple French wine harvested in Beaujolais, exhibiting fruit flavors of banana, grape, strawberry, kirsch, and pear. Light and fun, this bottle should be slightly chilled before serving. Perfect for the first cup.

Cup 2: Chateau Larcis Jaumat 2015

This Saint Emilion Bordeaux presents aromas and flavors of cassis, raspberries, ripe strawberries, and a hint of smoke with a soft earthy character. On the palate you get smooth tannins, a medium plus body, wonderful acid, and an elegant finish. A great QPR wine for the second cup, although it would store well for 6-8 years from vintage.

Cup 3: Flam Rose 2017

This pink-orange rose is bright and almost translucent. The aroma is very citrusy with lots of grapefruit and nectarine. The wine has a refreshing and light mouthfeel with good acid. Stronger alcohol presents towards the back of the palate making this a very dry but pleasant wine. Serve this wine chilled for the third cup at the seder.

Cup 4: Nevo Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

The Nevo Cabernet Sauvignon is a meticulously crafted gem, with bold red fruit flavors supported by a deep purple color and floral notes. The grapes are grown at 700 meters above sea level in small plots for a high quality wine sold in limited amounts. This wine has dense tannins that will allow the wine to age beautiful for an additional 5+ years.


From Jay Buchsbaum, VP Marketing and Wine Education, Royal Wine Corporation

Jay Buchsbaum is the Executive Vice President of Marketing and Director of Wine Education for Royal Wine Corporation, the world’s the largest producer, distributor, and purveyors of kosher wine. He is considered by many to be the world's foremost authority on kosher wine and is credited to a large degree with getting the kosher wine industry to where it is today.

Cup 1: Lineage Pinot Noir 2016

Lineage Pinot Noir is infused with berries, cherries, a medium to lighter body, and classic pinot noir aromas. This is a “first cup” wine.

Cup 2: Flam Classico 2016

The new vintage of Flam Classico is at once textured, complex, and quite delicious and has the heft to carry you through the meal.

Cup 3: Les Marronniers Chablis 2016

A good, fresh, clean chardonnay from Burgundy, France is a classic white wine that's light enough for this moment at the seder.

Cup 4: Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Also a true classic. Fresh, clean, lively fruit and perfectly balanced. This wine goes great with food, but is also a tart palate cleanser. A wonderful way to end your evening.

These wines are delicious and appropriate for the seder and brings the diaspora together from all parts of the world.


From Gabriel Geller, Director of Public Relations, Royal Wine Corporation

Gabriel Geller is the Director of Public Relations and a wine educator with Royal Wine. With over 14 years of experience in the wine industry, Gabriel has been a wine store owner, a writer, and a critic for a variety of media outlets as well as a consultant to wineries, hotels, importers, distributors and wine shops in Israel, Europe, and in the US as well.

Cup 1: Flam Rosé 2017

The first rosé release of the year, just in time for Passover. Start the seder off with this bottle. Many if not most people have the minhag (custom) to use exclusively red wine for the Passover seder. It is not easy however for everyone to gulp down a glass of red wine after hours of preparation and prayers without any food in the stomach. According to most rabbinical opinions, rosé can be used instead, as pink counts as a shade of red. That is great because rosé is so light and refreshing, and it typically has lower alcohol as well. This blend of syrah and cabernet franc showcases a seductive light pink color with orange reflections. The nose is bursting with aromas of spring flowers, strawberries, and peach. Light in body, this is a vibrant rosé with notes of red berries, stone fruits, as well as earthy minerals. The finish is balanced with mouth-watering acidity.

Cup 2: Les Roches de Yon-Figeac Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2015

Most high-end Bordeaux wines require years of patience until they reach their optimal “drinking window” and are ready to be enjoyed. This wine is an exception to the rule as while young and full of promises for an even brighter future, it is nonetheless delightful now. Medium-bodied, silky smooth and featuring lovely notes of red fruits, smokiness, as well as earthy undertones. Easy enough to drink for the second cup which is also the cup that comes right before the meal, this wine would pair superbly with a cast array of traditional and less traditional dishes.

Cup 3: Herzog Lineage Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot noir is a delicate grape variety that yields delicate yet flavorful wines. It is also light enough to be ideal to drink at the seder table. Produced from grapes grown in Clarksburg, California, this pinot noir boasts intense aromas of red cherry and milk chocolate. Soft notes of ripe black cherry and strawberry jam are noticeable on the light to medium-bodied palate. A touch of oak from the barrel aging brings out hints of sandalwood and cinnamon towards a smooth and lasting finish.

Cup 4: Celler de Capçanes Peraj Petita Dolce 2012

This is the dessert wine of Capçanes winery from the Monstant region in Spain. A sweet yet not too heavy blend of Garnatxa (aka Grenache Noir or Garnacha) and Samso (aka Carignan or Cariñena), this is great to end the night on a sweet note. Featuring earthiness, spiciness, hints of black olives but primarily chocolate and mocha, this will leave a smile on your face at each sip. Happy Passover!


Joshua London, Prominent Kosher Wine Critic

Joshua E. London writes regularly about kosher wines and spirits for The Jewish Week, the Washington Jewish Week, and a variety of other Jewish publications around the country. He lives in Potomac, Maryland.

Cup 1: Flam Rose 2017

The seder requires focus and patience, and staying alert is fairly important. I usually like to start with something lighter yet hugely pleasurable. So for kiddush I recommend this aromatic, fresh, fruity yet subtle and elegant rosé; it has enough crisp acidity, spice, and minerality to keep it all sunny, dry, crisp, and refreshing.

Cup 2: Gush Etzion Winery Spring River GSM 2014
The Maggid cup should be not only tasty and of high quality, but also charming with a slightly serious side. So for this cup I recommend the engaging and thoroughly enjoyable blend of 54% Syrah, 36% Mourvedre, and 10% Grenache; it is less Rhône and more Eastern Mediterranean—light, bright, fresh, and refreshing. Medium-bodied with forward and generous dark fruit notes, decent spice, a touch of oak, and a hint of earth, balanced by soft tannins and nice acidity; offers a deeply pleasing finish. This is very yummy, with a subtle but enjoyable brooding edge.

Cup 3: Shiloh Shor Barbera 2016
For the cup of Barech to be recited at the end of the meal, I seek refreshment, pleasure and flavor—something that will nicely complement the feast I’m concluding and add agreeably to the happy flavors of the night. This enjoyable, balanced, fruit-forward, medium-bodied Barbera offers an Eastern Mediterranean twist on an Italian classic—with aromas and flavors of plum, blackberry, strawberry, violets, Mediterranean herbs, dark cocoa, a bit of spice, and a touch of espresso. There is a nice earthy note dancing in the background; pleasing finish too.

Cup 4: Golan Heights Winery Yarden Rosé Brut 2011
To accompany Hallel, I want a fourth cup that is festive, delicious, and energizing. This lightly-pinkish delightful blend of 70% chardonnay and 30% pinot noir, offers aromas of citrus (lemon and perhaps grapefruit), strawberries, stone fruits, and brioche, all draped in flowers. Most of this reappears on the fine, brisk, and effervescent palate along with sour cherries, baked apple, ripe pears, almonds, and lemon peel. The bubbles are nicely sharp and concentrated, and the acidity is zippy and zingy, keeping it all fresh, refreshing, and nicely balanced. A great way to conclude a seder!\



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