Wine Recommendations For Your Post-Yom Kippur Meal | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

Wine Recommendations For Your Post-Yom Kippur Meal

Wine Recommendations For Your Post-Yom Kippur Meal

Talisker 10 year old Single Malt Scotch Whisky makes for a great post-fast toast. Flickr CC/Alex Avriette

You deserve a L‘chaim after that 25 hour fast!

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Every family seems to have its own traditions when it comes time to breaking the fast after Yom Kippur. Since the meal occurs at the end of a very long day, the foods are often some variation of a milchik (dairy) or pareve (neutral) breakfast or brunch. While there are typically loads of desserts and other sweets, such as honey or jams—serving as both reminder and ardent wish of life’s sweetness and the promise of the New Year—at least one (and often many) of the dishes will contain eggs, perhaps recalling the cycle of life.

Sparkling wines, especially dry ones, are an ideal match to egg dishes. For those who doubt, scramble some and pour yourself a glass of dry bubbly, and note the way the wine’s acidity and bubbles compliment the richness and flavors of the eggs. Use butter and cream in your eggs, and the meal will seem even better and grander.

Champagne and other sparkling wines also add to the festiveness of the occasion. This year I plan to pop open the Golan Heights Winery, Yarden Blanc de Blancs Brut Chardonnay, 2009 ($30.99). With delicate but enticing aromas and flavors of toasted brioche, baked apple, citrus zest, and tropical fruits, this is crisp, brisk, effervescent, balanced, and refreshing. It should make for a fun and flavorful way to break the fast and to raise a toast to friends and family for a happy and healthy year ahead.

Spirits-wise, eggy or breakfast-type foods don’t exactly scream for any booze in particular — or rather if it does, your problems are far weightier than the matter of which particular spirits to consider. But this is not breakfast as such, merely breakfast-like foods with which to break one’s fast. Further, bagels, lox, herrings and the like are all common ‘anytime’ Jewish foods. What’s more, this will be late evening already, they’ll be oily fish, and the breaking of bread with one’s friends and family—of course, a little alcoholic libation is in order. Indeed, I was thinking—as I nearly always do when it comes to breaking the fast, of one of the quintessential classic single malt Scotch whiskies: Talisker.

The mighty Talisker is one of my—admittedly very many—favorites. It is also one of Scotland’s greatest contributions to the world of whisky.

Talisker has always held a place of honor. It is the only distillery on the Scottish Isle of Skye. It was also the favorite whisky of author Robert Louis Stevenson, who enshrined this in his poem “The Scotsman’s Return from Abroad.” He wrote: “The king o’ drinks, as I conceive it, Talisker, Islay, or Glenlivet.” (At this time Glenlivet was the popular name for a part of Speyside, so this reference was likely to the region, like Islay, rather than to the distillery.) Talisker whisky, for at least the last 80 years or so, has also been a major component of the Johnnie Walker family of blends. Need I say more?

Talisker 10 year old Single Malt Scotch Whisky (45.8 percent abv; $50-$65, so shop around): This is an energetic, vigorous, thunderous whisky, with billows of peat smoke, brine, iodine, mothballs and sweet citrus fruits on the nose, followed by oak-softened, though still edgy, black pepper, rich dried fruits, malted barley, toffee, another waft of peat smoke, and traces of licorice and honey, all of which powers through towards the balanced, warming, mildly smoky, slightly spicy and absorbingly unvanquished finish. Bold, vibrant, unique and complex with a little undertone of sweetness — this may very well be the essence of Scotland in a bottle.

For those whose custom demands that Jewish festive meals be fleishik (meaty) to stay ‘legit’, fret not! For Yarden bubbly and Talisker whisky work a treat with light or hearty meat dishes too! L’Chaim!

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