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TODAY   |  April 09, 2014

6 wines to sip at your Easter, Passover meals

Ray Isle from Food & Wine magazine shows off his picks for red and white wines you can pair with your Easter and Passover meals for less than $40 a bottle.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> two major holidays are right around the corner. monday at sunday, jews will mark the start of passover while christians mark easter the next sunday.

>> whether you're hosting dinner or sunday brunch, we want you to have delicious wines to pair with your feast. editor for " food & wine " magazine, ray isle.

>> hello to you. i'm glad to be back.

>> we're glad you're back. starting with passover .

>> the first couple are passover wines. the first one, sparkling for passover has always been a problem. you've seen the black bottle you see everywhere. they finally released a kosher wine for passover . it's affordable, about $15. crisp, very champagnelike. you know, beautiful kind of acidy fruit.

>> hoda will be the judge of that.

>> i like that.

>> that's pretty tasty.

>> sweeter.

>> it's got a little bit of sweetness.

>> i like that.

>> and then we get to israeli wine , actually.

>> they're making some lovely wines now.

>> this is the fusion. it's merlo plus cabernet. again, about $15, very affordable. you know, not -- you know, people associate with passover the big sweet reds.

>> yeah.

>> this is a real wine. this is a really -- you know, delicious.

>> i like that.

>> that's not my favorite.

>> too sweet ?

>> too acidic for you?

>> this is your thing, i think.

>> well, not really, but i can't talk about it.

>> this is kind of cool. this is called the tribe. it is a california chardonnay from lodi made by jeff morgan who's making some terrific napa cabernets that are kosher.

>> this is kosher, too.

>> kosher for passover . it's a bit of a splurge, $30. those are 15 and 15. affordable enough.

>> there's a range.

>> always with wines, if you go to the wine store and ask for a case, 12 bottles, you tend to get a discount which cuts the price down. for big entertaining holidays, that's a great tip. easter to me is reverse and spring and rose. that's where i go, you no he, know, to start with.

>> that doesn't even look like the color of rose.

>> it's a big, juicy rose with a lot of kind of bright cherry fruit to it. again, this is about 13 bucks. just a lovely, juicy line that i think is wonderful. you guys are skeptical about it.

>> how does this compare to a regular, a rose that we're used to?

>> that's going to be a little richer, a little darker, sort of sweeter twut. rose fruit. it's typically provence.

>> what would you serve that with?

>> with hors d'oeuvres. that's the start of the meal kind of thing. and also, because it's suddenly nice weather. you could drink it outside on the porch.

>> how much did you say?

>> and that is about $13. and then barbara, a california version of an italian wine variety. easter is always ham or lamb basically, one of of the two. you want a wine that's not too tannic but has some oomph to it. that's affordable so you can serve it to a lot of people. $10, $12. and to me, i mean, it's a little acidic without food. acidity in wine, you need that food to counteract the acidity.

>> i just used my imagination and just had a lamb chop . is this a port?

>> 10-year-old tawny port. a splurge for dessert. it's $36, but you can find it for less than $30.

>> you don't drink a lot.

>> take a sip and it's great with chocolate eggs , which is key for easter.

>> thanks so much, ray. great