hand pouring kosher wine into glass
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Everything to Know About Kosher Wine and Which Brands to Try


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The Jewish holiday of Passover is next month, meaning that many families are starting to think about the menu. Although there are a number of traditional foods eaten for this holiday, one factor left up for discussion is which wine to drink. It definitely needs to be kosher, but which kosher wine brands are best? More importantly, what is kosher wine in the first place?

What is Kosher Wine?

The word "kosher" comes from the Hebrew word pronounced "kashér," which basically translates to "suitable" under the rules of the "kashrut," which is the Jewish dietary law. For a food or beverage to be kosher, it needs to be prepared a certain way and follow certain guidelines.

Wine with kosher four glasses a of matzah a Passover Haggadah on a wood background

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When it comes to kosher wine, it needs to be made with all kosher ingredients, from the yeast to the additive to the fining agent. It also can only be handled by Sabbath-observant Jews, which is the Jewish day of religious observance from Friday evening to Saturday evening. Throughout the entire winemaking process, from crushing to bottling in the cellar, only Jewish workers can touch it.

It's not always necessary for the wine to be blessed by a rabbi, but some interpretations of kosher require this as well. Any wine from Shiraz to Riesling to Moscato can be Kosher, as long as it follows these requirements. To figure out if a wine is kosher, check for a 'U' in a circle, a 'K' in a circle, a 'K' in a star or the letters 'cRc.'

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What Does Kosher Wine Taste Like?

Challah and wine

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Most Kosher wines taste basically the same as non-Kosher wines, and can be enjoyed by anyone regardless of their religion. However, one type of Kosher wine that has a distinctly different taste is Mevushal, which which translates to "cooked."

Mevushal kosher wine has typically been heated for a short time to a high temperature, and this type of wine can be handled by anyone and still remain Kosher. Because of this, it's used often in restaurants or big events like weddings where lots of people might need to handle the wine.

Because of the process of making manischewitz (the most common mevushal) and other mevushal wines, these wines often taste like sugary water. They're typically made for religious certification ceremonies and are cheap, rather than being made for high quality. Because of this, most Jewish families prefer other Kosher wine brands.

Kosher wine is made all over the world, from Spain to New York to Bordeaux. Although Israel is the Jewish nation-state, all wine produced in Israel isn't Kosher. To see a wide variety of kosher wines, check out www.kosherwine.com. Or, try one of these 5 best Kosher wine brands.

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Kosher Wine Brands

Dalton Canaan Red

This red-blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Shiraz from Israel has a rich, dark flavor. This medium-bodied blend has notes of pepper and an aroma of rich fruitiness.

Baron Herzog Old Vine Zinfandel

Another tasty red, this full-bodied Zinfandel is full of bold fruity flavors with a touch of spiciness. You'll taste blackberry, raspberry and black pepper, making it the perfect drink for a hearty, flavorful meal.

Tzora Judean Hills Blanc 2017

For a lighter option, this white wine is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. With hints of citrusy flavors like lemon and grapefruit, this fruity, complex blend is light and tropical.

Barkan Cabernet Sauvignon

You can never go wrong with a hearty Cabernet Sauvignon. This red wine has notes of blackberry, strawberry and cocoa, making it perfect for a meat dishes or chocolatey desserts.

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Hagafen Chardonnay 2017

This Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California is another light option to enjoy with your salmon or matzo ball soup. It has notes of apple, pear, butterscotch and green tea, along with its delicious and subtle oakiness.

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