Moreno's Article On
Kosher Wine

What makes a wine kosher?..

Traditional Kosher Sweet Sweet Wine

Traditional kosher sweet sweet wine
Some kosher wines drip with sugar, others do not.

Kosher Wines
Author: Michal Moreno

Many believe that if a wine is made in Israel, it has to be Kosher. Well, that is not always so, and in fact there’s a complete set of rules that make a wine kosher. In this article I will try and answer the question “What is a Kosher wine?”.

Traditional kosher wine store
Traditional kosher wine store, Lower East Side, Manhattan.

Generally speaking, a kosher wine is a wine that was produced according to the “halacha” - the rules of the Jewish religion. Those rules apply to every stage of the wine making process, and make sure that all steps have been carefully conducted.

The rules of the “halacha” state that the production process must be handled by an Orthodox Jewish person, and he must make sure that all stages are done properly without neglecting any of the orders. For example, the grapes must not be picked before the vineyard is 3 years of age, other kinds of fruits and vegetables must not be growing in the same field etc.

A kosher wine is called “kosher”, or “kosher lemehadrin”, while an unkosher wine is called “nesech”, and that means a wine that has been produced by non-Jewish workers. According to the “halacha”, even the pouring of the wine into glasses must be done by a Jewish person. The only exception to that is for cooked wines – those become kosher as soon as the wine temperature is greater than 75 degrees (Celsius), even if a non-Jewish person handled it.

When shopping for a kosher wine for the Passover, one must pay special attention to the kind of the “hechsher” and see that the product is also kosher for Passover (pesach), meaning that there are no “hametz” materials involved in the process, that is – materials such as wheat flour and dough.

In past years it has been quite difficult to find kosher wines, especially in countries other than Israel, but today, there are many Israeli and non Israeli wines that are kosher, and the selection is quite large worldwide. Lechayim! (Cheers)

About the Author: Michal Moreno is the content editor for biodynamic wines all written by a native Israeli from the insider's point of view.

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