Rosh Hashanah means apples and honey, family, and food. It also, for many people, means wine. Kosher wine. While Daphne Merkin’s ode to Manischewitz is unparalleled (“I liked everything about Manischewitz’s Concord grape wine, from its deep burgundy color to its cloyingly sweet taste—like a heightened, fermented form of grape juice. I liked that you didn’t have to get used to it, the way you had to work your way into a fondness for other adult libations, from Scotch to coffee”) there’s a wide range of options these days when it comes to kosher wine—even rappers drink it.
This year, Wine Spectator put together a list of their top recent kosher wine recommendations based on their ratings system, so there’s no excuse for showing up to Rosh Hashanah dinner empty-handed. High scorers from Israel are Recanati Merlot Galilee Reserve Manara Vineyard 2010 ($25), Binyamina Merlot Galilee Reserve 2009 ($25), and Barkan Tzafit Assemblage Judean Hills 2010 ($34). From California, they suggest Covenant Chardonnay Lavan Sonoma Mountain 2011 ($38), Baron Herzog Chenin Blanc Clarksburg 2011 ($8!) or Covenant Sauvignon Blanc Dry Creek Valley Allan Nelson Vineyard 2011 ($24).
And with that, may your new year be sweet—or flowery, earthy, fruity, woody, or brilliant. L’chaim.