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What Makes Kosher Wine Different Than Other Wines?

Renee Eder on Tuesday, August 14, 2018

My husband follows kosher dietary laws. When he eats meat, which is rare to never, it has to be kosher and he cannot have dairy until six hours later. On Passover, he only drinks kosher wine, and to be honest it's not at all like Manischewitz (sweet and syrupy). It's typically quite good. Some kosher wines I have seen in the store are even highly rated (over 90)! 

Many people, including myself, wonder what makes kosher wine different. Let's take a look at how it's made, and then you'll see why some wines are kosher, while others are not. 

It might surprise you to know that kosher wines are NOT blessed by a Rabbi. To make kosher wines, there are two basic requirements:

1. It must only be handled by religious Jews in the winery: For a wine to be considered kosher, only religious Jews may handle the wine and touch the equipment from the time the grapes arrive at the winery. Even a Jewish winemaker who is not orthodox is not allowed to draw samples from the barrels. This may be frustrating for a hands-on winemaker, but kosher producers are used to it…and it is not a restriction that affects quality.

2. There are stricter wine additive rules: Yeasts, fining, and cleaning materials have to be certified as kosher and must not be derived from animal by-products. For example, fining agents that are not permitted include gelatin (animal derivative), casein (dairy derivative), and isinglass (because it comes from a non-Kosher fish.) Many Kosher wines are perfectly suitable for vegetarians – and vegans too (if egg white is not used).

In Israel, Kosher Wine Has Even More Conditions

In Israel, Kosher wine producers also must observe agricultural laws in the vineyard that date back to Biblical times. 

 - For the first three years, fruit from the vine may not be used for winemaking. Only in the fourth year is the winery permitted to use the grapes for wine.

 - Growing other fruits between the vines is prohibited. This was something done in domestic vineyards in Spain and Italy in the past – but the practice has mostly been abandoned due to wine quality issues.

 - Every seventh year, the fields are left fallow and allowed to rest.

Currently, the Kosher wine market is vibrant and quality driven, with tasting groups, collectors, and trends, just like in the general market. Kosher wines today look and taste like regular wines. If there is a perceived problem, it is that many onlookers still assume Kosher wine = Manischewitz. As I said earlier in this article, it doesn't. These days, the quality and variety of Kosher wines is greater than it has ever been.

Come Enjoy Kosher Wine and Fun at our Chill Fest Event

Come chill on the hills of Molon Lave on Sunday, September 16, 2018 from 12:30 pm-3:30 pm. 

Join us to enjoy: 

- Swinging Live Music: Seth Kibel Music and his trio will entertain. Seth is one of the Mid-Atlantic’s premier woodwind specialists, wowing audiences on saxophone, clarinet, and flute. He is a 29­­­­­­­­­­­ time Washington Area Music Award (Wammies) winner. 

- A glass of wine or try a wine tasting (available for purchase). Molon Lave has kosher wines!

- Lunch and Noshes (available for purchase)

- Fabulous Raffle Prizes including...

• New bicycle of your choice from The Bike Lane ($1,500 value)

• Wine tasting and glass of wine for 8 guests at Molon Lave ($160 value)

• Handmade steel kitchen knife forged by a veteran participating in IMPart ($350 value)

• Pottery piece crafted by a veteran participating in IMPart (priceless)

Raffle tickets available only at the event. Drawing at 2:15 pm. Must be present to win.

We’ll be "chilling" rain or shine! Bring a lawn chair or picnic blanket if the weather looks promising.  If not, we’ll be indoors. Dogs welcome on the property, but they must be leashed and outdoors at all times. Water and organic dog biscuits available upon request.

The event benefits veterans and their families through support of IMPart (Injured Military Personnel +art), a visual arts education program which connects returning wounded veterans with transformative art experiences in ceramics and metals. A program of local, non-profit The Art League, IMPart is part of CREATIVE FORCES - NEA Military Healing Arts Network. 

Learn more at https://bit.ly/2B7HFgg

 

 

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