Q. What wines do you recommend for Purim and why?
A. Light semi-dries for the day and try to stick with low alcohols like Bartenura Moscato, W wines, Carmel Moscato and the new Gamla Moscato. This is what you serve those that come in out to drop off shlach manot etc .....but of course NEVER GIVE ANY WINE TO ANYONE WHO IS DRIVING OR UNDER 21 YEARS OLD!!! For the seudah, three drier but lighter wines- Pinot Noir from Barkan, Baron Herzog Chardonnay or Ramon Cordova Rioja (Spain). There are also new very delicious reserves from Israel - Binyamina or Gamla Wineries.
Q. Do you have a drinking game plan you can suggest/map out for folks who want to fulfill the mitzvah but don’t want to feel sick?
A. Stay away from overly sweet wines - the sugar alone will get you sick. If you intend to drink a lot stretch it out over the entire day, not all at once. Bear in mind "alcohol is alcohol, mixing is what's bad" is a myth. Total consumption is what counts. One shot of whiskey is equivalent to one glass of wine is equivalent to 12 ounces of beer or light wine ie Bartenura.
Q. As inclusion in Mishloach Manot? Which wines would you recommend? We’re looking for safe selections, suggestions that most will enjoy - real crowd-pleasers?
A. Any of the Moscatos mentioned above including as well the new Teal Lake Moscato D'Aussie. I really love the new Moscato Gamla - nice fresh packaging; and of course everyone recognizes the 'blue' bottle which dresses up a shlach manos nicely; but to your credit the new W wines are a great gift. They are light, pretty and a great price. They are delicious wines too for a wide variety of consumer pallates, even for those that want a drier wine.
Q. What wine compliments with the sweet perhaps over indulgence of candy?
A. Delicious and in a new guise is the Herzog Late Harvest Reisling now made from botrytus effected grape (more on this another time) that makes the wine even more intense and delicious.
Q. Which wines are more easily tolerated than others?
A. Again, lower alcohol NO sugar added wines eg Concords etc.
Q. Any more Purim drinking tips?
A. It's illegal and dangerous to drink and drive. Do not serve any underage person, leave the decision of whether a minor should drink or not to their parents. Do not serve anyone who you believe has already had too much to drink. You could be held responsible if they do something wrong as a result of their intake.
Do you have any Kosher Wine questions for Jay, our wine expert? He would love to answer them. Please leave your questions and comments in the comment section below. L'Chaim!