Noshin': Kosher Wine 101

Noshin’ columnist Sara Rice is in Israel for the month of January. This week’s Noshin’ column is a guest post by Beau Farrell, Director of Internet Sales at Haskell’s.
The days of Mogan David Concord & Manischewitz Kosher Wine as your only kosher wine options are over.
Many great wine producing regions all over the world are now making Kosher Wine. The United States, Australia, Spain, France, Israel and Italy all produce Kosher wines and spirits. The quality has gotten much better over the years and the wines have become quite palatable. Believe it or not, here is even a Kosher (& Organic) Vodka made right here in Minnesota.
Kosher wine is wine made under strict Jewish dietary laws (kashrut).
It all begins in the vineyard. Grapes from “new” vines may NOT be used. After the 4th year of growth you may start using the grapes. Every 7 seven years the vineyards must be left fallow and nothing else may grow. All equipment, tools and storage vessels and facilities must be Kosher too. The barrels must be cleansed 3 times.
Only Sabbath observant male Jews are allowed to work on the production of the wine. No animal products may be used during the process as well. Wineries sometimes use egg white to clarify the wine, while kosher wine makers use a clay material, called bentonite, which pulls suspended particles to the bottom of the barrel. Also, 1% of the wine must be discarded as a symbolic tribute to the 10% tithe, paid to the Temple in Jerusalem.
There are basically two types, traditional kosher and mevushal. Traditional Kosher wine is made under the strictest of circumstances and follows all traditional methods and customs in its preparation. Mevushal goes through an etra step. Mevushal wine is “cooked” or “lightly boiled”, aka pasteurized. By going through this process the wine remains Kosher even if handled by a non-Jew. For instance, if a non-Jewish waiter were to open a bottle and pour for your guests, the wine would still be considered kosher.
The great news for Kosher wine drinkers is the selection.
The days of Mogan David Concord & Manischewitz Kosher Wine as your only kosher wine options are over. The following list contains about a dozen different examples of Kosher or Mevushal wines available at Haskell’s from all over the World, including an Organic and Kosher Vodka made right here in Minnesota. Haskell’s has had a long standing presence in the Jewish community over our many years and we look forward to serving your Kosher beverage needs for many years to come. Zay gezunt!

Kosher Wines available at Haskell’s:

Altoona Hills (Australia)

  • Chardonnay ONLY $9.99
  • Shiraz/Cabernet ONLY $9.99

Baron Herzog (USA)

  • Chardonnay ONLY $13.99
  • Chenin Blanc ONLY $8.99
  • White Zinfandel ONLY $8.99
  • Cabernet Sauvignon ONLY $13.99

Ramon Cardova (Spain)

  • Rioja ONLY $18.99

Bartenura (Italy)

  • Moscato ONLY $15.99
  • Pinot Gigio ONLY $15.99

Covenant (Napa, USA)

  • Cabernet Sauvignon (USA) ONLY $84.99

Barkan (Israel)

  • Chardonnay ONLY $12.99
  • Merlot ONLY $12.99

Prairie Organic Vodka (Minnesota, USA) ONLY $22.99
Recanati (Israel)

  • Cabernet Sauvignon Only $17.99
  • Chardonnay Only $17.99
  • Merlot Only $17.99

You can buy Kosher wine at the Haskell’s locations in Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Excelsior, Bloomington, Saint Paul, Plymouth, Port of Excelsior, White Bear Lake, Woodbury, Stillwater and (if you’re flying South) Naples, Florida.