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10 Things to Know About Kosher Wine

credit: Royal Wine Corp.

Last week I received an interesting and informative email about kosher wines.The following descriptive list about kosher wine is from the email with permission from Royal Wine Corp to reprint.

“What Makes Kosher Wine Kosher – Ten Things to Know About Kosher Wine

“People may be surprised to know that most kosher certified wines are kosher for year-round use as well as for Passover,” say Buchsbaum. Here are more facts to help you understand what makes wine kosher:

credit: Royal Wine Corp.

1) Kosher wine is made in precisely the same way as ‘regular’ wine. The only difference is that there is rabbinical oversight during the process and that the wine is handled by Sabbath-observant Jews.

2) Not all Israeli wines are kosher. Only about 30% of Israeli wine brands are certified kosher, but the kosher wineries produce over 90% of the Israel wine industry’s output.

3) In the 1980s, there were very few kosher wines. Buchsbaum says that Royal Wine only imported three kosher wines from Bordeaux back then.

4) The number of producers of kosher wines has dramatically increased in the past 10 to 20 years.  To date, Royal Wine Corp. represents more than 60 kosher wine producers. This is due to an increase in interest from consumers who are adding to their kosher wine portfolios, and in some cases building actual kosher wine cellars in their homes, a rare sight just two decades ago.

5) While a number of well-known wineries in countries from all over the world including France, Spain, Italy, and Argentina are crafting special runs of kosher wine, California is not. With the exception of Marciano Estate, which produces a kosher run of their Terra Gratia, a high-end Napa Valley Blend, all kosher California wine is made by fully kosher wineries such as Herzog Wine Cellars, Covenant and Hagafen.

6) The reason many Passover dinners feature red wine is because there’s a rabbinic opinion that red wine is preferable since it’s the same variety that Jews used during their Seders after they escaped Egypt.

7) Kosher wines can range in price from $5.00 a bottle to $500. The average price for a bottle of good kosher wine is $25.

8) The most popular Moscato in the U.S. happens to be kosher. Bartenura produces the largest selling imported Italian Moscato in the U.S. The Moscato in the famous blue bottle sells over 5,000,000 bottles annually, only a fraction of which goes to the kosher market.

9) Currently there is a steady increase in total wine consumption and great interest specifically in high-end Israeli wines, as well as the better French wines.

10) Drinking wine can be a Mitzvah (good deed). Kosher wine is prescribed for use in many Jewish rituals: Bris Milah (circumcision), the wedding chuppa (canopy), and the Kiddush that starts all Sabbath and holiday meals. While most occasions call for just one cup, on the holiday of Purim, wine (in abundance) is the beverage of choice for the festive meal. On Passover, Jews are required to drink four cups of wine at the Seder.”

During our wine travels Terry and I have encountered a small number of kosher wines. However, the Royal Wine Corp. offers kosher wines from around the world including in the following countries, Israel, France, California, Italy, Australia, Spain, Chile and Argentina.


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