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For those of you who celebrate Hanukkah, Happy Hanukkah! For those of you don’t celebrate, Happy Hanukkah to you as well. Hanukkah is known as the Festival of Lights. The holiday commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem in 164 B.C.E. after three years of war. When it came time for the rededication, only one day’s worth of pure oil was found to use in the temple’s menorah—which was meant to burn all night every night—but miraculously the oil burned for eight days. Hanukkah means “dedication.” So, the big question is why are Hannukah and wine oh so fine? Let’s find out here.


Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights
Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights


Oil-Rich Hanukkah Dishes

On Hanukkah, we eat two yummy foods:

  • Latkes (potato pancakes)
  • Sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts)

The common theme of these two foods is oil, which ties closely to the Hanukkah miracle of having a vat of oil that was only supposed to last a day last eight days, enough time for more oil to be found to light the synagogue.

Hanukkah and Wine Pairings for Latkes


Latkes and Sparkling Wine
Latkes and Sparkling Wine


Thank you to VinePair, Israel21c and a few other sites for their help with this article.

VinePair quotes Katie Morton, wine director of Manhattan’s Vini e Fritti, Marta, and Caffe Marchio as saying, “Fried foods are rich, so it’s nice to drink something refreshing while you’re chowing down on something like a crispy fried sandwich. Not to mention Champagnes normally have a good amount of acidity to them, which makes your mouth water for another bite.”

JustWineApp offers a few more suggestions, based on what you put on top of your latkes. I typically alternate between sour cream and applesauce, but I know that a lot of people go much more gourmet. Here are a few of their suggestions:

  • Latkes with sour cream = Chardonnay
  • Latkes with apple sauce = Muscat
  • Latkes with smoke salmon – Riesling

Israel21C touts Gewürztraminer for latkes with sour cream and Sauvignon Blanc for latkes with applesauce.

Hanukkah and Wine Pairings for Sufganiyot




Sufganiyot has an element of sweeness from the jelly and sugar and an element of savory from the frying. Several sites recommend Rosé has a good amount of acidity that can cut through both the sugar and the oil, making for a scrumptious combination. Several sites also recommended Muscats.

Israel21C recommends Moscato (same as Muscat) as the perfect pairing.

Other sites recommend an off-dry Rosé, either still or sparkling. They say that a Rosé has a good amount of acidity that can cut through both the sugar and the oil, making for a mouthwatering combination.

I hope this article reconfirmed your belief that Hanukkah and wine are oh so fine. I’d love to hear what you do for Hanukkah wine pairings.

As an independent wine consultant with WineShop At Home, I absolutely enjoy bringing a taste of the Napa wine country home to you one sip at a time. Whether you simply love to drink wine, seek a special personalized wine gift, or are in search of a new wine jobs opportunity as a wine consultant, feel free to contact me for a truly unique wine tasting experience!

Cheers, Betty Kaufman
WineShop At Home

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