Mar 30, 2012
By Scott P. Moore
Standard Staff Reporter
Passover and wine go hand-in-hand when this time of the year rolls around. Wine is central to the celebration of the Passover, especially during the consumption of the four cups during the Seder. Stocking up for an important holiday is at the top of the list for many of The Five Towns’ Jewish population and the best places to go for Kosher for Passover wines or Kosher alcoholic beverages for consumption afterwards is to head out to some of our area’s local liquor stores as they stock their shelves to the brim.
Liquor and Wine Warehouse in Lawrence is one of our area’s largest liquor retailers and houses a diverse selection of domestic and imported wines and liquors. When Passover time arrives though, owner Bob Merenstein makes sure to order a great deal – and even marks his shelves with pink dots on the bottles’ tags to signify that it is Kosher for Passover.
“We really like to make sure we have more than enough to go around,” he said.
One of the most popular traditional sweet wine brands is Manischewitz. With multiple flavors and a distinct taste, many Jews go for this name brand before most of the others. With that in mind, Merenstein said he made sure to order in even more this year. Manischewitz comes in multiple flavors from concord grape to blackberry or cherry and range from $5.49 to $9.99.
Another popular wine is Rashi Black Muscat which sells at Liquor and Wine Warehouse at a special two for $13.99 deal. Still popular is the inexpensive Rashi concord light wine can be bought here at a three for $9.99 deal, allowing for many families to stock up at an inexpensive rate. Merenstein also sells many other brands including Israeli imports Zmora ($7.99), Yogev (three for $35.99) and even features some high-end imported wines such as Isaac’s Ram ($24.99), Jerusalem Heights ($24.99) or the expensive La Flor, which sells for $79.99 a bottle.
Other liquor stores are also stocking up. Moshe Fink, owner of Chateau de Vin in Cedarhurst, has been busy restocking the shelves to make sure the Kosher for Passover wines were right up front for incoming customers to find. Fink’s store sells many of the same wines as others, but there were a few he suggested that would be hard to find – or match.
Bartenura, which features six percent alcohol and several flavors, sells for between $9.99 and $10.99. The store also features Zion wines, imported directly from Israel, and their Kalil 4 percent low-alcohol wine is $6.99 for a 750 ML bottle. What has really been popular at Chateau de Vin, though, is a special Psagot Cabernet Franc from the Judean Hills outside of Jerusalem.
“It’s really flying off of the shelves here as we approach Passover,” he said. “It’s high quality and very, very limited.” A bottle of this wine will set you back $32.99, but was said to be very worth it.
Cedarhurst Wine and Liquors is also fully stocked for the holidays with popular wines that are guaranteed to be Kosher for Passover. While bottle sizes remain the same throughout, the popular Manischewitz wine starts at $4.74 for blackberry. Rashi pink concord is only $4.59 while a higher end wine like a 2009 Baron Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon costs about $11.99 per bottle.
While many of the choices have not changed, most of the sellers agreed that many observing the holiday will stick to what they know and love.
“People are really set in their choices usually,” said Merenstein. “It’s about providing what they already know… and then some.”
Wine is not the only alcoholic beverage that is sure to be consumed during Passover – liquors ranging from cognacs, vodkas and even tequilas are also fully stocked on our local retailers’ shelves, ready to be enjoyed for the eight-day holiday.
Liquor and Wine Warehouse is stockpiled with various types of alcohol, including multiple vodkas from Zachlawi, including their Russian vodka on sale at two for $47.99, and the popular Moses brand, which is made from pure sugar cane to provide some extra flavor, for $26.99. High-end L’chaim vodkas can also be found here in Lawrence and at a rather affordable $19.99 per bottle.
“We try to keep the prices low for the customers,” said Merenstein.
Other popular spirits include cognac and gin. Chataeu de Vin features various flavors of Dupuy cognac ranging between $36.00 and $74.99. No. 209 Kosher for Passover gin can also be found at both Chateau and the Warehouse.
Fink also suggested Slivowitz plum brandy for those looking for something different, running $24.99 per bottle, or the highly alcoholic arak from Zachlawi, which costs $19.99. Merenstein said he carries Givon traditional brandy, a popular drink amongst the men of the household and can be bought for only $14.99.
Another liqueur that was suggested by Merenstein was one of his store’s high-end cognacs – Louis Royer. A bottle of the delicious beverage costs $124.99, but was said to be entirely worth it.
“No one will stay sober during Passover,” kidded Merenstein. “Especially if they come here.”
Liquor and Wine Warehouse is located at 343 Rockaway Turnpike in Lawrence. It can be reached at (516) 371-1133 or visit them online at www.getwineonline.com.
Chateau de Vin is located at 544 Central Avenue in Cedarhurst. It can be reached at (516) 374-WINE (9463) or visit them online at www.onlykosherwine.com. Chateau delivers and will also be open extended hours throughout the next few weeks.
Cedarhurst Wine and Liquor is located at 218 Rockaway Turnpike in Cedarhurst. It can be reached at (516) 239-0318.
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