img_20160410_210259185.jpgIt’s a good year for VQA Kosher for Passover wines. Last year, we couldn’t find any options that were local. This year, we have two vineyards making Ontario Kosher for Passover wines, and Tzafona Cellars actually has TWO products available at the LCBO. TWO. This 12% ABV Riesling prices out at a relatively modest $19.95 at the LCBO – not a bad price point for a Kosher wine, to be honest. Tzafona means “northward” in Hebrew, a nice salute to Ontario’s latitude within the wine growing world.

Tzafona Cellars falls under Diamond Estates‘ branding out of the Niagara Peninsula, produced with Avi Gislason and Toby Berkel and under the supervision of Mehadrin Toronto – Rav Shalom Hirsch Adler. Unlike Huff Estate’s Off-Dry Riesling, Tzafona stands out as being the only VQA wine available at the LCBO. I made the trek to the Summerhill LCBO as they have by far the best selection of wines – Kosher or not. I was not disappointed.

In addition to being Kosher for Passover, the wine boasts on the label that it is vegan friendly. Now you can finally pour a glass for cousin Esther at your Seder and meet all of her dietary restrictions!

Appearance: Pale straw with greenish hue. No sediment. A bit of residual CO2 from bottling – bubbles were apparent in the glass.

Viscosity: Medium-low viscosity. img_20160410_210502901.jpg

Aroma: Bartlett pears, green apples, lemon peel and a faint petrochemical scent that is signature in Riesling.

Palate: Dry on the palate but still a fairly high amount of residual sugar, at 16g/l. No tannins. Very pear-forward on the palate.

Acidity: Pleasantly medium-high acidity. A proper wine to serve with your Passover Seder to keep your palate clean.

Body: Medium-low body. A simple wine that is refreshing

Suggested food pairings: Serve with your chicken and matzos ball soup course, and replenish your glass frequently through the night. There is a lot of wine involved in a 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.

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

Email: shawna@torontoboozehound.com

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