I find choosing wine for our sedarim a worthy endeavor to apply some effort too, especially given the teaching by our sages that wine gladdens the heart and there is no joy without wine (and meat). With wine such an integral part of the Pesach holiday, physical and spiritual aspects combined, my hope is that this annual guide makes the task easier and hopefully helps in enhancing the strangely unique seder we are each about to undergo, regardless of our personal circumstances. Whether you are back to a large family gathering or continuing to celebrate on a smaller scale, take the opportunity to recognize all you have and take some time to contemplate the nature of the holiday – it will serve to enhance things dramatically.
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With wine such an integral part of the Pesach experience, the massive number of choices can create a particularly stressful shopping experience as one contemplates the near-endless number of choices on the shelves or webpage of your favorite retailer. Exacerbating the issue are several mitigating circumstances including the sheer number of mediocre-at-best available wines (along with an unacceptable amount of true drek) and the unfortunate tendency of many retailers to part you from your hard-earned shekels by selling these less than worthy wines. Typically stemming from a lack of knowledge, occasionally more sinister reasons are at play so, caveat emptor. Other aggravating obstacles include lack of vintage transparency and the oenophilic “bait and switch” – advertising great deals for allocated wines without having them in stock and then selling you copious amounts of sub-par wines. Adding to the fun is the terrible fact that many stores and online purveyors continue to sell wines that are so far past their optimum drinking windows that it’s practically criminal.
Amongst other considerations, he provides his recommendations for wines in different pricing tiers: (1) Under $18, (2) between $18-29.99, (3) between $30-49.99, (4) Over $50, and (5) Moshiach Wines (“wines that I would proudly serve the Moshiach, were I ever sufficiently deserving for him to grace my Seder table”, he writes).
If you’re still considering kosher wines for the Passover Seder, or just in general, feel free to give it a look.