First up, full disclosure: I am a Gentile. Not having had the good fortune to be born Jewish, I have to live vicariously through my Hebrew friends. Quickly becoming a tradition for my wife and I is joining our friend’s family for Passover seder each year (this year’s the second time we’ve enjoyed the holiday with them).
Last year, during my first seder, I was introduced not only to traditions like the seder plate, the Four Questions, and leaving the door open (the cold be damned!) for Elijah, but also to Manischewitz wine, that kosher mainstay at Jewish holiday dinners (and, apparently, at just about every 13-year-old’s B'nai Mitzvah), made primarily from Concord grapes (which, as we know, aren’t even vitis vinifera!), and sickly sweet enough to give you a toothache and stomach rot… or tooth rot and a stomach ache, I’m not sure which is worse.
So, this year, leading up to Passover, I decided to track down an affordable bottle of kosher-for-Passover wine to bring to the seder that would be more drinkable (and, frankly, made from actual wine grapes). To add to the task, I decided I wanted a wine specifically from Israel, and my friend requested that it be a white, since her parents don’t drink red wine (apart, it seems, from the Manischewitz).
From the Golan Heights Winery in Israel, made from 50% Chardonnay and 50% Sauvignon Blanc grapes from vineyards in Galilee, comes the Yarden Mount Hermon White. Costing between $10-$15 and marked “kP” on the back of the bottle (kosher, and specifically kosher for Passover), it was something I was more than happy to bring along to seder this year. It was something of a hit, as well, as the host, who usually drinks no wine, had himself a second glass. Mazel Tov!
The wine is almost clear in the glass, but what color is there is a pleasant golden glow. The nose is very clean, and the Sauv Blanc elements seems to stand out here more than the Chardonnay elements: the nose is rich with apple and floral notes, and even have a hint of honey (it seemed, actually, more Viognier-like than anything else).
On the palate the wine is crisp and light-bodied, and the predominant notes are the honey and floral notes from the nose. It’s a pleasant quaffing wine. Nothing to write home about, but certainly light years beyond Manischewitz, and a decent QPR to boot.