Hanukkah has begun. It’s time for lighting the menora, 8 nights of gifts and best of all latkes and jelly donuts. But the wine? Manishevitz doesn’t do it. My pick is bubbly. Sparkling wine pairs terrifically with crisp latkes (fried potato cakes) or sufganiyot(fried donuts filled with jelly) which are traditional Hanukkah foods. Actually bubbles go with ANY fried food and this is a holiday that celebrates oil. Go ahead, try a glass with French fries or potato chips. Why sparkling? The bubbles help cut through the oil and refresh the palate. Plus sparkling wine is versatile and goes with both sweet and savory dishes, so you only need one wine.
Yes, French Champagne is expensive, but the American sparkling wines are more affordable and equally fantastic, if not better in some cases. For every day value you can’t go wrong with Domaine Ste. Michelle, a producer in Washington state. You’ll find bottles of their blanc de blancs for $10 – $12. Another good one is Mumm Napa’s brut prestige that goes for about $15 – $18.
For a little splurge – it is the holidays – two of my favorites. Iron Horse makes a wonderful classic vintage brut ($33) and Schramsberg’s blanc de blancs ($36) is a nice choice too.
What about kosher sparkling wine? I haven’t had it, but Baron Herzog offers a brut. I’d love to know if you’ve had a kosher bubbly and what you think of it.