I already kvetched about shlepping to Wilson to find Kosher for Passover wine in yesterday’s post. I did check the LCBO at King and Spadina for fun treats, as well as the one located on St. Clair West at Avenue Road. I was done. I know I could head to Summerhill for the really great selection, but frankly, I didn’t have half a day to spend browsing that store or a pocketbook deep enough to pay for all the treasures I would find there. Especially if I’m supposed to be giving my kitchen a deep cleaning for Passover… Right. That’s not happening, but we’ll pretend it is and call it a day.

Which is how I ended up selecting a bottle of Chateau Chizay Moscato 2016 from the decent selection available at the Wilson LCBO. I was hungry and tired, and since I already went rogue with a bottle of Moldovan Merlot (mostly for the alliteration, I’ll be honest), I thought I’d go even more off course and pick up a bottle of Ukrainian Kosher for Passover white wine for $17.25. The price point was in line with what I was willing to spend, and I have never tried Ukrainian wine before so I thought I’d give it a try. Former Soviet republics for $400, Trebek. It looks like Chateau Chizay is in western Ukraine, about 10 km from the Hungarian border in the Transcarpathian foothills. I’ve had some palatable Hungarian whites before, and I wondered if it would extend to a decent Ukrainian offering, and the region has a fairly lengthy viticultural history with ample influence from neighbouring countries. I also felt like I was channeling the vague answers I got from my grandparents as a child about where their parents came from. “Eastern Europe. The old country.” There might have been an ancestor from that area, but who really knows?

It seems the winery is not exclusively a Kosher production but rather produces part of their vintage each year as a Kosher product. I think. The website switches very quickly to the Cyrillic alphabet, and although I am a rather cunning linguist, I don’t read Ukrainian or Russian. Imported for the Canadian market by the United Stars Corporation, Chateau Chizay is one of a small handful of Kosher offerings brought in by this corporation.

Appearance: Dark golden colour, watery youthful rim.

Aroma: Peaches and peach blossom. Clementines, fresh pineapple rings. Pretty true to style for the grape varietal.

Palate: Heavy stone fruit flavours, including red plum, ripe peaches and nectarines, blossoming white flowers. It really reminded me of the Passover citrus candies that my great aunt always served at Seders. I definitely ate an entire box of them last week in a slightly altered state and this wine tastes like those candies in liquid form.

Body: Medium body, medium plus acid that is hiding behind a fairly high residual sugar content. It’s only 12% alcohol.

Aftertaste: Tinned pineapple rings, like the kind you would put on Hawaiian pizza (pineapple does NOT belong on pizza).

Suggested food pairings: The sweet version of gefilte fish (WHO BUYS THAT???), smoked turkey breast, or a potato kugel that your Zaida hid raisins in just to mess with you.

Overall: Pretty true to style for a Moscato, I was pleasantly surprised that I could finish my glass. I am not a huge fan of this grape varietal as it’s sweeter than I like my wine, but the wine delivers on everything you would want a Moscato to deliver on. A good buy if you know that turkey and chicken are on the menu at your host’s Seder.

Shawna O'Flaherty

Shawna is a 30-something Montreal native transplanted to Toronto in 2010. Wine loving, beer sniffing and rum swilling come naturally to her, and she is also a certified Irish whiskey taster. She has hosted beer and cheese pairing events in the past.

Shawna has visited vineyards in 6 countries on 3 continents, and has a knack for finding the hoppiest beers around. A dedicated Booze Hound, Shawna completed the Wine Specialist Certificate at George Brown College in 2018.

She can be found drinking alka-seltzer and coconut water in the morning.

Email: shawna@torontoboozehound.com