Kosher wine – what are your options for passover?
With a recent explosion in the number of varieties of Kosher wine, people might be wondering why kosher wine is not ranked among the best wines globally when Americans and other non-Jews attest to its sweet taste and flavorful bouquet. Unfortunately, for most, the only experience people outside the Jewish community have is occasionally sipping Manischewitz and very little experience with the rest of the variety of Kosher wine available.
Kosher wine is made from ripened grapes under the supervision of a Rabbi – with the process of fermenting and processing grapes until this wine is produced being done strictly in accordance to the Jewish dietary law.
So when people slap the kosher wine with all sorts of negatives, they are usually talking about the low-grade Mevushal wine. We’d like to take a moment here to point out that frequently the relevant Jewish kosher winemaking authorities do not certify Mevushal wine process. It partly involves boiling to remove some impurities, which in turn destroies the flavors and complexities of the wine during this time as the process is rarely overseen by experts.
The contrast with the non-Mevushal wine, however, explains why Kosher wine is often associated with the flavorful sweet tastes. It follows the same process just like any other red or white wine, but Rabbi goes an extra mile to ensure that they follow the Jewish dietary laws, with the Rabbi ensuring that all requirements are followed and that no additives, preservatives or artificial flavors added.
The vast majority of wines therefore could be made Kosher, but very few are.
Israel is dominated by three very large wineries: Carmel, Barkan and Yarden, but it is the newer, smaller wineries that are taking Israeli wine forward. These include Castel, Clos de Gat, Flam, Margalit, Recanati, Tzora and Yatir. The quality regions are the higher altitude, cooler-climate Upper Galilee, Golan Heights and Judean Hills. The emphasis is moving from Bordeaux to Mediterranean varieties. Worth seeking out are Carmel Shiraz, Clos du Gat Syrah, Chateau Golan Mourvedre, Montefiore Petite Sirah, Recanati Carignan, the Shvo Red blend, Tabor Roussanne and Yatir Viognier. Israel has never been known for white wines, but there is a big improvement – they are being made fresher, with some minerality. Best examples are Tzora Sauvignon Blanc, Lewinsohn Garage de Papa Chardonnay, Flam White (Sauvignon-Chardonnay) and Sphera’s two white blends.
The word kosher means ‘pure’, and kosher wines are necessary for observant Jews. These are the oldest wine laws, some of which come from the Bible. In fact, winemaking is the same for kosher or non-kosher wine, but the winery workers touching the wine have to be religious Jews and materials have to be certified as kosher. Kosher wines may be world-class: they are not necessarily sweet and sickly. Arguably the finest kosher wines are produced by Castel, Yarden and Yatir in Israel.
Kosher wine has been experiencing a tremendous rise in popularity for a few decades now. This is partly because of its expanding selections found in online stores and various retail outlets. History and culture also contribute to its reputation – people are curious to find out what exactly is in this wines that a Rabbi must supervise its production. The history of kosher wine dates back to the Passover feast thousands of years ago, and this is alluring to many with an eye for history.
Top Types of Kosher Wine
Even despite the history, they are loved for their flavor and taste. We have put down a list of five popular brands you have to enjoy immediately or alongside your passover feast.
Barkan Chardonnay Classic
This classic Chardonnay is a longstanding and masterful wine that your guests will love every sip. It has a mixed taste of white peaches and citrus fruit. When you buy it, be ready to welcome its “scentphony” fragrance. You can find Barkan Chardonnay in many online and physical wine retailers.
The Jeunesse cabernet sauvignon is the best kosher wine from California. It is produced by Baron Herzog winery using non-aged vines. Richer in flavor than many other kosher wines, it is frequently voted America’s best.
Classic Kosher Barkan Pinot Noir
As the name suggests, this wine is made by Israel based premier wine manufacturer Barkan. The red wine was born in the 19th century and has been refined since then. Barkan is indebted to producing quality wines like this classic kosher, and they place a great deal of focus on the overall quality of their wine.
The Ramon Cardova Rioja
Rioja wine is a reflection of Spanish treatment and passion fitted its nutmeg, dark berry, and oak flavors. This kosher will leave you drooling for more with its spicy notes. If you’re looking to pair a kosher wine with Asian food or elements of spice, you’ve found your matchless dinner partner.
Bartenura Sparkling Moscato
If you happen to have a large appetite, this refreshing, sweet and sparkling Moscato will lighten up your day. It has aged graciously since 2011 and hangs around in shelves ready to match fresh fruits and desserts with its crispy fruit flavors.
The best thing about kosher wines it that the options to choose from are consistently growing (we have just mentioned a few here). This growth in variety is fuelling easy pairing with a variety of foods almost from every culture – Asian, Spanish, American, and of course the Jewish cuisines.
The best thing to do before you munch your favorite kosher meal is to choose the options that pairs perfectly, whether you’re enjoying a glass in the evening or selecting one for your passover feast.