Forget Manischewitz: The 8 Best Wine Pairings For Hanukkah

No matter what you've heard — that all kosher wines are sweet and syrupy, for example — we think you'll be pleasantly surprised when you taste our suggestions below. Sure, there are great wines coming out of Israel (especially the Judean Hills region), but there are also excellent kosher bottles coming from Italy, Spain, California, and New Zealand — and not just of the dessert variety. 

Latkes: Notte Italiana Prosecco 2013 ($18)

Whether you decide to start out your meal with latkes going the traditional route or the unorthodox, the flavor profile of most latkes calls for a light sparkling wine. Made to be an apéritif, this kosher Prosecco from Italy is a festive way to kick off dinner. 

Cholent: Tzora Vineyards Judean Hills Regional Blends 2012 ($29)

Though there are many versions of this specialty, the hearty stew made with potatoes, beans, and onions is traditionally eaten for lunch on Shabbat; NPR called it "the original slow-cooked dish." It calls for a medium-bodied red blend, like this one, spearheaded by cabernet sauvignon, hailing from the Judean Hills of Israel.   

Kugel: Elvi Cava Adar Brut NV ($21)

Traditionally made with a base of either egg noodles or potato, kugel is a sweet baked bread-pudding-like casserole, and calls for a light white. This fine kosher sparkler hailing from Spain's Catalonia region has light citrus flavors that will counteract the traditional richness of the kugel. 

Brisket: Teperberg, Terra, Malbec, 2012

Brisket is the most popular traditional dishes served during Hanukkah after latkes, and deserves a rich red with berry and oak flavors. This malbec from Israel is the perfect pairing. 

Salmon: Cantina Gabriele Pinot Grigio 2013 ($14)

This Italian kosher pinot grigio features notes of citrus fruits and florals that pair well with salmon.

Roasted Chicken: Goose Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 ($21)

This New Zealand kosher sauvignon blanc, featuring flavors such as gooseberry and tropical fruits. pairs well with baked or roasted chicken. 

Short Ribs: Domaine du Castel Petit Castel 2011 ($54)

This well-rated entry from the Israel's Judean Hills region is a bold blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and petit verdot, and holds its own against short ribs and the bold sauces that accompany it with notes described as leather, red fruits, and a hint of spice.

Sufganiyot: Baron Herzog Chardonnay 2013 ($15)

Able to cut through the heaviness of the fried dough without muting the flavors of jelly, this kosher white from California's central coast is a great ending to the meal.