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Wine & Food Pairings July 25, 2018

Rosh Hashanah Wine Pairings

By Ari Lockspeiser

As the summer is winding down, it’s time to start thinking about the High Holidays. With the growing trend towards better food, better wine and a better understanding of how they’re intertwined, let’s discuss our Rosh Hashanah pairings. Rosh Hashanah is a day focused on structure and tradition, and the food served generally echoes that feel. However, even traditional foods can have a classic flavor profile or take a more modern approach to the flavor, and it is the same with wine as well. Below we’ve selected the perfect complementing wine to each of your classic Rosh Hashanah foods.

Circle Challah:

On Rosh Hashanah, we put honey on our challah for a sweet New Year. Whether your challah is round as per the custom, or a simple braid, we’re looking for the perfect matching wine. We want to make sure that the wine will be sweet enough to pair well with the honey and not leave the wine tasting bitter and acidic. I would recommend the Adir Barbera Rosé 2017 here - it’s a rosé with just a hint of sweetness that will be a great start to the meal and beautiful accompaniment to the challah and honey.

Fish:

While we eat gefilte fish year-round on Shabbat, on Rosh Hashanah we specifically eat a fish head, so we’ll have a good year (heads and not tails). For the fish you’ll want a wine that has plenty of flavor and acid to carry the fish taste while not overpowering it. In this case, I would go with the Gito Shenhav Chardonnay 2016. This light and crisp chardonnay packs a punch of acid but is still light enough to enjoy with a fish course.

Roasted Chicken:

I have fond memories of having a whole roasted chicken on Rosh Hashanah night, complete with herbs, vegetables and all the good trimmings. This hearty meal calls for a hearty wine, and the Psagot Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 is just the thing! This wine is full-bodied and flavorful. It has just enough of a green character to match the herbs of the chicken, and enough of a body to pair well with this your main dish.

Tzimis:

This Rosh Hashanah staple dish is made of carrots, sweet potatoes, and prunes and is a personal favorite. The earthy root vegetables have a tinge of sweetness and spice and pairs perfectly with chicken or meat. I would recommend pairing this traditional dish with the Shiran The Conductor Rosé 2017. This Rosé is made from grapes that portray a very earthy character while having enough acid to balance the sweetness of the dish.

Meat Roast:

What’s a Yom Tov meal without the classic meat roast? Whether it’s brisket, corned beef, or any other type of meat roast, you’ll probably meet this a few times throughout the holidays. For the roast we’re looking for a big flavorful wine, one that can stand up to any meat dish your heart desires. The Shiloh Secret Reserve Merlot 2016 is a perfect match with its silky tannins and big oak flavors. Decant the wine, serve the meat and I’m coming right over!

Apple Kugel/Strudel:

Apples and Rosh Hashanah go hand in hand, so we must not forget our apple dish. Is the apple kugel served as a sweet side dish or a delicious strudel dessert in your home? For now, we’ll view it as a dessert, so the wine will pair accordingly. The Dalton Anna is a sweet wine that’s a perfect fit. It’s made from Muscat grapes and has some baked apple notes, which will match beautifully with your sweet apple dish.

Enjoy! Shop the full pairings below: