First of all let’s throw the notion that kosher wines are not an enjoyable quaff right out the window!
History has proven that these wines were not something to be savored, but a necessity at the holiday table. Let’s face it, they lacked the balance and in many cases the ‘fruit factor’ drinking astringent and “dried out.” However through the years, with winemaking techniques becoming modernized and more attention being paid to the quality of the wines produced, they have slowly come into their own. Now internationally produced, they’re getting better all the time!
So, what makes a wine kosher, and is it kosher for all occasions?
The word “kosher” means “fit.” Kosher food is “fit to eat” because it has passed certain technical requirements. Unlike other kosher products wine has special rules and regulations. First, it is produced using kosher yeasts in the fermentation process and aged in barrels which have not been previously used for aging non-Kosher wines. And in order to be considered “Kosher for Passover” the wines must be created and handled by only people of the Jewish faith. Therefore, because at any given time wines are handled by many people, they must go through a process where they become ‘mevushal’. This means that in its production, the wine is flash-heated to near boiling, and then may be handled by people of any faith.
Although there are many letters symbolizing that products are kosher, many wines that are Kosher will have the letter “K” symbol on the label. Kosher for Passover wines with have an “UP” symbol on the label and/or labeled that they are “mevushal.” The good news here, is that we have arrived at a time where we are drinking great wines at the holiday table that just happen to be kosher! Enjoy!