Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Passover: Wines to enjoy with gefilte fish

By Jessica Yadegaran
Wednesday, March 31st, 2010 at 4:10 pm in Corkheads.

My Hebrew friends. Passover is in full swing, and I for one am already sick of corn flakes and macaroons. However, for most of us heebs, the culinary self-flagellation continues another six days, so why not have some fun?

Judd’s Hill winery in Napa Valley certainly knows how. Recently, winemaker and social media powerhouse Judd Finkelstein organized a tasting at nearby Cindi’s Backstreet Kitchen to tackle the fifth question of the Passover holiday.

Not ‘Why is this night different from all other nights,’ but ‘What wine goes with gefilte fish?’

It’s a good one. After all, the fish pops up on both nights of the seder meal and throughout the week if you have leftovers. As much as we kvetch –  gefilte fish can have an odd off-gray color and the jarred variety is often slimy – most of us attach the slightly sweet flavors of the fish loaf to fond childhood memories. And the homemade version can be truly delicious. It was at my seder this year.

For Finkelstein’s video of the gefilte tasting, he assembled a worthy team – including rabbi and foodie Oren Postrel and about a half dozen bubbes – to determine their favorite match for the fish. They felt the Judd’s Hill Sauvignon Blanc had the brightness and acidity to add refreshment and even stand up to the horseradish that often accompanies gefilte fish. For those who like red wine with gefilte fish, they selected Judd’s Hill 2008 Estate Pinot Noir for its softness, balance, and versatility.

If you want a kosher sauvignon blanc, go with my staple, Goose Bay. True to its New Zealand home, the 2008 wine is full of the citrus notes and mouth-watering acidity needed to add brightness to dishes such as gefilte fish.

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