Passover and the Significance of Wine
Wine’s symbolic significance during the Passover Seder, is observed in Jewish households around the world. During a Seder dinner, each adult, (Grape juice for kids) drinks four cups of kosher wine, representing the redemption of the Israelites from slavery under the Egyptians. Four cups of wine are drunk as part of 15 rituals practiced during a Seder dinner. Kadesh, a blessing over wine and the first cup is drunk. Maggid, the telling of the Exodus story (the longest section of the Seder) the second cup is drunk. Barech, grace after meals, and the third cup is drunk, and a cup is poured for the prophet Elijah. Hallel, singing psalms of praise, and the fourth cup is drunk.
Celler De Capcanes, Peraj Petita 2014
A great example of today’s “Kosher for Passover” wine. By marring modern and traditional wine making techniques under the strict supervision of the, Orthodox Union, this blend of 60% Grenache, 15% Tempranillo, 15% Merlot, 10% Syrah, comes from the first winery in Spain to produce a kosher wine in the 20th century. Malolactic fermentation and 8 months of Sur-Lie aging help to give this wine it’s easy to drink chartered. The wine is partly aged in French and America oak barrels for ten months, adding complexity and a subtle oaky note. Beautiful raspberry ruby in color the wine offers aromas of cherry, raspberry, and soft herbal notes. Medium in body with fine tannin structure that has just the right amount of grip, this wine has flavors of earth red berries accented by minerality and slight cinnamon like spice that lingers in the finish. This is a really good wine for paring with food and the fact that its “Kosher for Passover” is bonus. You will find this wine in Corks Kosher and Spanish selections
Thank you to the members of the United Synagogue of Hoboken who helped Cork curate our kosher selection, during a tasting two weeks ago, as this wine was one of the favorites.
Traditional to the Seder table is the Seder plate, made up of
Zeroah, a lamb's shank bone symbolizing the ancient Passover sacrifice,
Beitzah, a roasted egg symbolizing the temple sacrifice and the continuing cycle of life. Haroset, a paste of fruit and nuts symbolizing the mortar used to build the pyramid of the pharaohs. Mar'or, a bitter herb (like horseradish) to represent the bitterness of slavery.Karpas, a green vegetable (usually parsley) representing spring. A bowl of salt water to dip the karpas symbolizing the slaves' tears. In addition to the traditional Seder plate here is a great recipe to include in your Seder celebration.
Wine Braised Brisket with Tart Cherries
What you will need:
1/4 cup matzoh cake meal
Kosher or fine salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (6- to 6 1/2-pound) first- or second-cut beef brisket
3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
16 medium shallots (about 1 pound); peeled, leaving root ends intact
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cups Pinot Noir
2 cups chicken stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups (8 ounces) dried tart cherries
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 whole star anise (see Cooks' notes)
2 pounds young, slim carrots in bunches (not pre-cut variety), peeled
Special equipment: A nonreactive large, heavy-bottomed roasting pan.
How to prepare it:
Heat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
Whisk together matzoh meal with 1 tablespoon kosher salt (2 teaspoons fine) and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Pat brisket dry and dredge in matzoh mixture, shaking off excess. Set the roasting pan across 2 burners and in it heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat until oil shimmers. Brown the brisket (fat side down first if using first cut) on both sides, 3 to 5 minutes per side.
Transfer to a large platter or rimmed baking sheet. If necessary, add remaining tablespoon oil, then reduce heat to medium, and cook shallots, turning occasionally, until they begin to brown, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute.
Add wine and boil until liquid is reduced by half, and then stir in chicken stock, cherries, sugar, balsamic vinegar, star anise, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt (1/2 teaspoon fine salt). Bring to a simmer and return brisket, fat side up, to pan. Cover pan tightly with heavy-duty foil or a double layer of regular foil, and braise in oven for more 2 hours.
Meanwhile, blanch carrots in a 3-quart pot of well-salted boiling water. Drain and transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Drain again and pat dry. Add carrots to roasting pan (after meat has braised for 2 hours), then cover again tightly with foil, and continue to braise in oven, until meat is fork-tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours more.
If serving soon, transfer meat to a cutting board and let it rest, loosely covered, 15 minutes, then slice meat across the grain. Skim off any excess fat from surface of sauce, then discard star anise, and season to taste with salt. Reheat sauce, and then return sliced meat to sauce to reheat before serving.
Serve meat with sauce and carrots on a large deep platter. Recipe adapted from epicurious.com
L'chaim, The Wine Guys