What is most fascinating about traditional Jewish cuisine is that it's not really traditional. So many of these recipes are an amalgamation of dishes brought over from Eastern Europe and the Ashkenazi Jews that have survived, adapted, and modernized. Due to the symbolism of cooking with oil around Hanukkah, rich fried foods are where it's at. And to our ears, that's where our wines with vibrant acidity really shine.
Fried potatoes are among the world's most wine-friendly foods, but pairings get a little more complicated once the toppings come in to play. For versions with apple sauce and sour cream, we suggests our dry Riesling from Kick on Ranch. The green apple and lemon character of the riesling complement the flavors perfectly while the bright acidity cuts through the richness of the sour cream and potato.
If lox is on the agenda, latkes almost serve as a stand-in for caviar and blinis. Our go-to pairing is our 2014 Blanc de Noir. It is a wine rich enough to handle the oiliness of the salmon, while both bubbles and acidity keep it refreshing.
Brisket tends to be a fatty cut of meat, requiring a savory red with tannins and pronounced acidity. One wine that delivers on all fronts is our 2014 Kimsey Vineyard Syrah from Ballard Canyon. It is super concentrated with intense aromatics of braised meat, black fruits, olive brine and char.
Kugel can be slightly sweet, and can work with a sweet or dry wine says Kahn. We recommend finding a wine that aromatically gives the impression of sweetness but is completely dry on the palate. Our 2016 Mormann Vineyard Chardonnay is fruit-forward on the nose, but finishes salty and dry. The fresh acidity will also compliment the the rich, buttery quality of Kugel.