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Mar 31, 2008 02:27 PM

Israeli Wine

I was hoping to buy a bottle of red for Passover. Any general suggestions? I am hoping to spend between 20-30 dollars.


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  1. Israeli wine? Or merely wine that is Kosher for Pesach?

    As with any question regarding wine:
    -- where do you live?
    -- what are you serving?
    -- what kind of wine(s) do you like?
    -- and, are you looking for something dry or sweet?

    4 Replies
    1. re: zin1953

      Thanks Jason,

      To answer your questions:
      1. I live in Boston
      2. It does not have to be Kosher. I think I would rather an Israeli wine; no one is strictly Kosher.
      3. I am attending a Passover wine, not hosting it. But traditional food will be served - brisket, etc.
      4. Personally, I enjoy Cabernet, Shiraz, Malbec, and Bordeaux.

      Thanks Again

      1. re: drewames03

        Well, my preference would STRONGLY be for something like Hagafen Cabernet Sauvignon. It's Kosher for Passover. Problem: it's from Napa Valley, and as good as any Napa Cab up to 2x the cost (and better than most).

        I've yet to have an Israeli wine that impressed me, period -- more like, "you know, for an Israeli wine it's not bad." That said, there have been marked improvements in Israeli wine over the past five years or so, but most of the top wines are very difficult to find here in the US. Those wines which can (relatively easily) be found -- like Yardin and Golan -- are vast improvements over Carmel, but still leave a great deal to be desired.

        Sorry I can't be of more help.


        1. re: zin1953

          Strange. I browsed thru all their web site pages, I couldn't find a single mention of Kosher certification, much less Kosher le Pesach. Even the labels pictured on the web site don't show a hechsher.

          All I found is this vague statement:
          "We are proud of our success and honored to be able to produce these fine wines according to Jewish dietary laws" which I wouldn't call a statement of kashrut...

          Am I missing something here?

          1. re: RicRios

            Unless they got "de-certified" somehow, they ALWAYS have been.

    2. Jason and others may want to reassess Israeli wine. I'm not impressed with the big growers like Gamla/Yarden and Carmel's new single vineyard wines. But definitely worth a look are:

      Clos du Gat
      Ella Valley

      Well crafted wines: Ella Valley and Yatir are new world style, Clos du Gat and Castel are elegant, traditional clarets.

      5 Replies
      1. re: chefdilettante

        It's not a question of reassessing. If you look at what I posted I actually said: "[T]here have been marked improvements in Israeli wine over the past five years or so, but most of the top wines are very difficult to find here in the US."

        What's to reassess? Do you disagree that there have been great improvements? It doesn't seem so from your post. I guess I'm just confused.

        1. re: zin1953

          I was responding to the initial remark: "I've yet to have an Israeli wine that impressed me, period," but in the name of discussion, not argument. I do agree with you that the improvements have been tremendous. There's still plenty of average wine (and some worse), but recent visits to several Israeli wineries and speaking to the winemakers have left me excited about some of the top wines and the future of the winemaking scene there. Cheers.

          1. re: chefdilettante

            how about chateau musar 95 or chateau kefraya 99.

            its from the bekaa valley so more or less a neighbourhood wine.

            1. re: pecandanish

              Both are superb, but perhaps NOT what you want to serve at Passover.

        2. Just read this rather good review of 10 or so wines from Israel:

          Check with the individual wineries for distribution info in the US.

          1 Reply
          1. re: maria lorraine

            And, in today's San Francisco Chronicle Wine Section, wines for Passover are reviewed, and some of the selections are surprisingly familiar. To echo Zin1953,
            two of the recs are for Hagafen wines. Here's the link:

            1. Apparently there's a new online vendor specializing in Israeli wines (aptly called "Israeli Wines Direct"). Have no idea where they ship to and where they don't, but it might be worth a try:


              1 Reply
              1. re: olivethegreat

                Hi! I'm the founder of Israeli Wine Direct - thanks for mentioning us. Actually, our first shipment of 800 cases of wine from 9 boutique wineries is making the sea voyage to California right now (arriving in May). Meanwhile, I recommend trying Yiron from Galil Mountain winery - good-value red blend from Israel that just happens to be kosher and readily availble. We'll be shipping to 13 states - wine is available for pre-arrival ordering now.