Jew York Social

Here’s to Next Year in Jerusalem—A Toast—With What?

By Marlena Hoffman

Many of us are under the misconception that every Israeli wine is Kosher and, consequently, every Kosher wine is Israeli. This is, in fact, not the case. So what constitutes as a “Kosher” wine? As you’re shopping for your Passover table, keep these little tidbits in mind.

  1. Kosher wine can come from any country—they do not need the Israeli terroir (despite how interesting it may be.)
  2. What’s your favorite type of wine? There is probably a kosher version—despite many of us gravitating to our dear, old pal Manischewitz (no one else, just me?!) this sweet, delectable, almost-dessert wine is not typical of kosher wines. In fact, find a nice bottle of Carignan from Israel, and I’m sure it won’t disappoint…
  3. Are ingredients different in a kosher wine? Not really, there may be different types of yeasts used but most of the ingredients are the same, just kosher.
  4. So what’s the big difference? Only Jews who observe the Sabbath are permitted to handle the wine from the beginning stages (crushing) to the final stages (bottling).

Now, I know it’s overwhelming, you thought it would be easy—a nice bottle of Israeli wine or that sweet, sweet Manischewitz; but this Passover try something new—go to a wine tasting at your local liquor store and see what French kosher wines they have, or try a new grape planted in Israel, or a label with a story you can share when you finish your reading of the Haggadah.  Just remember, to take a big gulp for “Next Year in Jerusalem.”