4/09/2009

Boil Your Wine for Passover

Posted by The Wine Whore |

Wine Whore Review:


How many different kosher wines can you name?

If you are like most people, the first (and only) name that comes to mind is Manischewitz. Although this is arguably the most recognizable name of kosher wine, there are many others today that share this category of distinction.

What makes wine kosher?

The following strict rules must be followed for wine to be considered kosher and remain such once opened:

  • Grapes or wine must not come into contact with anything that is not kosher such as isinglass, gelatin, and casein which are used as fining agents for most non-kosher wine.

  • The entire winemaking process must be done under rabbinical supervision.

  • Wines must be created, bottled, opened, handled, and poured only by Sabbath-observing Jews.


    You may be wondering how kosher wine could ever be handled and distributed on a large scale given the last rule. Like every good rule, there is an exception: the wine must be classified as a mevushal kosher wine.

    By treating mevushal wines under high heat, they are allowed to be handled by non-Jews. The old method of performing this treatment actually involved boiling the wine. This method was affective but altered the tannins and flavors of the wine. Obviously this was an undesirable result. Today, flash pasteurization is used instead so that wine can meet these criteria without altering its taste.

    The traditional belief that kosher wines are only low quality, sweet wines, is no longer true thanks to the many options available today. A great example of this modern kosher wine is produced by the Skalli Family Wines Americas (SFWA). Since the 1980s, they have worked closely in its own vineyards and with growers in the South of France to ensure that top quality and the strictest kosher standards are met at every stage of production from vine to bottle while also remaining committed to following a rigorous charter of ecological sustainability in the vineyard.

    Skalli Family Wines Americas produces three high-quality mevushal kosher wines from selected soils in the South of France. Thanks to their generosity, I will be tasting and reviewing the following two brand new wine selections from Skalli Wines:

    Fortant Skalli Family France Merlot Kosher 2005
    Fortant Skalli Family France Chardonnay Kosher 2005


    Check back for winery and wine reviews of these selections!

    Also, very special thank you to Tia and the folks from Skalli Wines for their kindness, support, and willingness to share a glass of their wine for the rest of the world to enjoy.


    (Read more wine reviews and info at The Wine Whore)

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  • 7 comments:

    brian tannebaum said...

    My take on Kosher wines, it's a battle of which wine "isn't that bad."

    Prove me wrong, no one else has.

    Shelly said...

    I'm very curious to hear what you think of these. You're right that Manischewitz is the only wine that came to my mind. Who knew there were more?...Oh yeah, the wine whore.

    (like that little rhyme I did for you?)

    Jared said...

    I tend to agree with Brian although Baron Herzog isn't terrible. Thanks for writing about this topic.

    Leftcoast said...

    Wine is very sensitive to heat, its hard to imagine pasteurized wines would not have some "cooked" character.

    I don't think there are too many wine barrels made by Sabbath-observing Jews, is that overlooked?

    Wineocerous said...

    Covenant Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa has gotten some very nice reviews ...

    AudreyO said...

    We live not too far from the Herzog winery. I've been there a few times. I've enjoyed both the wine and also the food in their restaurant.

    Steven Kuhr said...

    Check out "Covenant" by Jeff Morgan, A Napa Cabernet Sauvignon ... non-Mevushal, this is a Napa cab in every sense.. the 2004 and 2005 are both big, bold and ageable... www.ewinebrief.com

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