Wines to Bring to a Hanukkah Party

by Sam Kimball
Tis the season and the holidays are officially upon us!

December usually kicks off the holiday spirit but this year, we get to start the month with Hanukkah.

A little background for you: On the Jewish calendar, the lunar calendar, the holidays are the same days every year.

However, Western society follows the solar calendar which has about 11 extra days, which is why it shifts things by a couple weeks every year.

Tis the season and the holidays are officially upon us! December usually kicks off the holiday spirit but this year, we get to start the month with Hanukkah. A little background for you: On the Jewish calendar, the lunar calendar, the holidays are the same days every year. However, Western society follows the solar calendar which has about 11 extra days, which is why it shifts things by a couple weeks every year.

Anyway, tonight is the 6th night of Hanukkah, and a Friday, which means you probably have some Hanukkah parties to attend this weekend! We’re here to help you pick out the wine that you’re definitely bringing because your mother taught you to always bring a gift for the person hosting.

The Classic

Okay, yes, Manischewitz is the *traditional* drink of the holidays so you could technically bring it. But maybe bring something else that people actually want to drink. Although the extreme sweetness does make fantastic sangria if you wanted to get creative.

The Wine from the Homeland

Israel actually has some incredible wineries, even though most of the country is a desert. Up in the very top of the country, right across the way from Syria, is a gorgeous place called the Golan Heights and there is a fantastic winery there. It’s a little hard to find but if you look in the kosher parts of town, you can probably find it, and it’ll go a long way with your host.

The Wine that Pairs with All the Potatoes

Latkes and kugel are both found on Hanukkah tables so with a good Chardonnay, you can be paired with both. Latkes are fried in oil and kugel is made with a whole lot of butter so go with an unoaked bottle to provide some of that necessary acidity to cut through all that tasty fat.

The Wine For the Brisket

Brisket, the holiest of all foods, is a tender, fatty roast that is a Jewish staple. Some people actually braise theirs in red wine, others with onion soup mix. Either way, treat it like you would any red meat and go with a red wine. You could go with something intense like a Cabernet Sauvignon but if you want to play it a little safer, go with a crowd-pleasing Malbec.

The Wine for the Sufganiyot

By the time you’re eating your jelly doughnuts, you have probably stuffed yourself quite full. Keep it on the light side with something dry and sparkly to cut down the sweetness. Plus, a good glass of bubbly is always necessary during the holidays.

Happy Hanukkah!



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