In Praise of Manischewitz

Adam Rapoport

Credit: Erik S. PetersonCredit: Erik S. Peterson
Pretty much every Seder I've been to, someone shows up with a bottle of wine that's kosher for Passover and he or she lets everyone else know how good it is. Like, not just good-for-Passover good, but good, period!

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Thing is, I've got all year to drink good wine. Passover is the one night when I can ignore taste and can reach again and again (and again) for the Manischewitz.

Yes, I get that it basically tastes like Welch's grape juice. But you know what? I like grape juice. And I like grape juice that's got 11 percent alcohol--makes the Seder just breeze on by. Plus, my mom still breaks out the same silver biblical-looking Passover chalices that we've had since the '70s, so no one can ever tell how much wine is (or isn't) in them. She pours the rectangular bottle of Manischewitz into a cut-crystal decanter, too, which gives the whole evening a Dean Martin sort of feel.

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So, you know how the Haggadah tells you explicitly when to refill your cup? Ignore that. Do it as often as you want. This is the only chance you've got all year.

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