Cut that latke oil with bubbly, kid-friendly and spicy variations on the grape

Wine may not be the centerpiece of a typical Chanukah meal, but with today’s increased selection of high quality kosher and nonkosher wines to bring to the table, it’s easier to incorporate a range of wine pairings into your favorite Chanukah traditions.

Fried foods make up a great deal of traditional Chanukah meals, in symbolic tribute to the Maccabean defeat of the Seleucid empire, and to the oil in the temple that miraculously burned for eight days.

Oily foods call for wines with higher acidity to cut through the fat and balance the palette. Light white wines are a good start, like Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand ($15.99) or Hagafen Sauvignon Blanc from California ($12.99). Pair these wines with variations of potato latkes: salmon, sweet potato, zucchini or carrot.

Bubbles are also an excellent complement to fried foods because most sparkling wines have high acidity and the bubbles help cleanse the palette of oils. Start your Chanukah meal by sharing a festive bottle of Bartenura Prosecco, a lovely, crisp Italian sparkling wine ($12.99). Most sparkling wines also pair nicely with fruit, so don’t spare the bubbles on homemade applesauce or sufganiyot.

Appease red wine drinkers with a hearty zinfandel paired with beef brisket. Hagafen bottles a fruity, spicy version of the varietal from its Napa vineyards ($26.99), but you could opt for a less expensive and slightly more interesting Zinfandel-Petite Sirah blend from Israel by Recanati ($18.99).

Chanukah is a time of celebration and festivity with family and friends, including the tradition of engaging children with games, sweets and gelt. Why exclude them from the pairing fun? Allow children to enjoy the pleasure of pairing their food and beverages by serving Navarro’s Pinot Noir or Gerwürtztraminer grape juice, available only through the winery. Although not kosher, Navarro produces these nonalcoholic grape juices from the same grapes they use to produce their popular wines.

And they are wonderful, with the Pinot Noir grape exhibiting hints of cinnamon and the Gerwürtztraminer showing notes of lychee and other tropical fruit. Not just for young palettes, they make a great wine alternative for nondrinking adults too. But don’t stop at wine.

Cocktails can add to the festivity of Chanukah, particularly when they’re accompanied by a fascinating story. Stacie Parker Shonfeld’s 267 Infusions offers a line of kosher, fruit-infused spirits inspired by Shonfeld’s frequent family trips to Costa Rica and around the world. Not only are the hand-crafted contents tasty, the bottles are artful too: Shonfeld designed them after Latin American gourds used to preserve fresh fruit juices.

The spirits range from hot pepper-infused tequila to cranberry, mango or olive-infused vodkas. Make cocktails from the liquors alone or blend them with fresh fruit juices, and reserve some of the juice to make fruity nonalcoholic drinks and smoothies for the kids. Recipes are available on the 267 Infusions Web site,

Wines and spirits (in moderation, of course) can add new traditions to your Chanukah celebration. After lighting the menorah, try incorporating a tasting progression as part of your traditional meal. Start with mini mango-infused martinis and move

on to sparkling wine and latkes with applesauce. Follow that with a petite glass of sauvignon blanc with baked or fried chicken and a slice of rugelach with sips of a sweet late harvest wine.

Just make sure to keep the tastings small — or you could wind up belting out Adam Sandler’s Chanukah song with bubbe on the front lawn. Then again, that could end up being just another fun, new tradition to pass along to future generations.

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Valerie Ashe is a freelance wine writer and educator, certified with the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET).