I feel the need to clarify a misconception about Kosher wines, especially since I perpetuated the stereotype that they are pretty bad. They don’t all suck. There are some great Kosher wines out of Australia, New Zealand, Italy, France, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, and Israel. I just haven’t found a good one made in North America yet. Maybe I just cannot fathom pairing a sweet red wine with my brisket at dinner?
But we found a great one from Mendoza, Argentina. The soil and growing conditions in Mendoza make a great terroir, and the Malbecs from this area are world class. I was overjoyed to find a box of Don Mendoza Reserve Malbec 2013 mevushal dry red wine at the LCBO this week, hidden underneath a box of Manischewitz. This bottle is a steal at $11.40 for 750 ml at 13%, a very affordable offering in a sea of really lousy Kosher for Passover options. Consider this one a life raft, and pick up a few bottles to make the 4 required glasses of wine an enjoyable process at this year’s Seder. Suddenly your grandmother asking you why you’re not married yet, or your more successful younger cousin’s stock options aren’t such a pain in the tuchus, are they? Don’t be a mensch, pass the gefilte fish and the matzos balls.
Appearance: Deep maroon colour.
Aroma: Yay! This one actually smells like wine, instead of grape popsicle! Rich peppery and earthy aromas, oak barrel imparts a pleasant smokey scent.
Taste: Full bodied, with notes of dark cherry and unripe pears. Earthy notes and pepper flavours come through for a rich flavour. Tasted a bit more like a Pinot Noir than a Malbec, but it was a hearty wine. Perfect for your bubby’s brisket and potato kugel.
Aftertaste: Lingering smokey aftertaste, nice dry mouth feel.
Overall: This should be your go to bottle for Passover. Cuts the rich flavours found in so many Passover dishes. It’s an attractive bottle of wine at an attractive price point, and it vastly outshines some of the more expensive semi-sweet offerings.
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.
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