Just like most holidays, Hanukkah is a holiday with deep culinary traditions. The most traditional foods are usually fried in oil to remind participants of the Biblical miracle, in which one day’s worth of ritual olive oil lasted the Maccabees eight days and nights, long enough for more oil to be pressed. Nowadays we have seen the menu broaden to include non-fried foods, but the focus is still on traditional kosher dishes. With traditional food there must be traditional wine. Luckily, there’s been a surge in options!

 

So the question is, which wines should we pair with traditional Hanukkah dishes? From potato latkes, to the round jelly doughnuts called sufganiyot, there’s a wine that compliments every dish. Kosher wines are said to be sweet and syrupy, but no matter what you’ve heard, you might really enjoy these five unexpected pairings, and with Coravin you can give them all a go and finally find freedom by the glass!


Latkes

When you decide to start out your meal you’ll want to do it right. Go for the traditional latkes! Because latkes are shallow-fried potato pancakes, naturally starchy and heavy, they will call for a light sparkling wine. Prosecco, from Italy, is a festive way to kick off dinner and enjoy your latkes to the fullest!


Cholent

Though there are many versions of this meal, this stew made with potatoes, beans, and onions is traditionally eaten for lunch on Shabbat. This meal will best pair with a medium-bodied red blend Cabernet Sauvignon, to bring out the dense and hardy components of this dish. A match made in Hanukkah heaven!


Kugel

Traditionally made with a base of either egg noodles or potato, kugel is a sweet baked bread-pudding-like casserole, and is best paired with a light white wine to complement its sweetness. A fine wine with light citrus flavors will counteract the traditional richness of the kugel, giving you a pleasantly surprising experience.


Brisket

Brisket the most popular and traditional meat dish served during Hanukkah. This dish deserves a rich red, with berry and oak flavors, to have the seasoning truly pop. This pairing would be a fantastic for brisket, specifically because brisket is usually the main dish. This wine choice would also pair really well with an array of side dishes you’d like to add to accompany your brisket.


Salmon

The best pairing for a nice, succulent salmon would be a cool Pinot Grigio, featuring some citrus and floral notes. The combination between the citrusy Pinot Grigio and the seasoned fish really hits the spot and keeps the perfect balance between sweet and salty. An unbeatable combination!

 


With these pairings you’ll likely be in for an unforgettable Hanukkah season. The best part (other than your mother’s juicy brisket or your grandmother’s famous latkes)? Being able to showcase your expert wine pairings without ever having to compromise the whole wine bottle!