I have heard Jewish friends mention kosher delicacies they enjoy, although some don’t sound all that delightful to this girl, during their feasts and wondered why it is that I only hear jokes about Manischewitz when wine is mentioned. Is there no other kosher wine? #GirlsGoneWine want to know! I sent my fingers flying across the keyboard in search of two questions:
- What makes a wine kosher; and
- Is there more than just Manischewitz to choose from?
The first thing I learned is that “kosher” isn’t a style of wine. Jeff Morgan from Covenant Wines with locations in both Napa Valley and Israel, explains that, “‘Kosher is a religious designation. What makes it kosher is simply who touches it during wine making.’ Those who come in contact with the wine, from crush to bottling, must be Sabbath-observant Jews.” #YouLearnSomethingNewEveryDay!
There are more than 300 wineries in Israel that ship their wines worldwide. In addition to Covenant, other top Israeli producers include Domaine du Castel, Flam, and Matar. French Châteaus like Smith Haut Lafitte, Château Giscours Margaux and Léoville Poyferré are producing and exporting kosher cuvées, and Spain & California wineries are producing Capçanes.
With the upcoming Jewish Holidays quickly approaching,
- Rosh Hashana September 10-11
- Yom Kippur September 19
- Sukkot September 24 – 30
- Chanukah December 3 – 10
it is the time to start thinking about the wines you might want to serve at your celebration feasts to make them even more memorable than in years before.
Top kosher wines range in price from $19 – $75 or more, but some good choices for this year’s celebrations are:
- 2015 Covenant Israel Syrah
- 2014 Domaine du Castel Petit Castel, Judean Hills, Israel
- 2016 Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc Kosher, South Island, New Zealand
- 2016 Dalton Reserve Wild Yeast Viognier, Galilee, Israel
- 2015 Celler Capcanes Peraj Petita Tinto, Montsant, Spain
- NV Herzog Wine Cellars Selection Blanc de Blanc, France
- 2014 Flam Winery Classico, Judean Hills, Israel
- 2016 Carmel Single Vineyard Sha’Al Late Harvest Gewurztraminer, Galilee, Israel
- 2014 Herzog Wine Cellars Variations Five Cabernet Sauvignon, California