Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Kosher wines for Passover

Posted By on Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 10:17 AM

There's good news for the approaching Jewish high holies. In the last 20 or so years, new kosher producers have emerged to take on the granddaddy of disgusting, syrupy kosher wine, Manischewitz, by expanding varietal choices and delivering juice even the nonreligious might deign to consume ... even enjoy.

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Contrary to some beliefs, kosher wines are created the same way as all others, only with a few stringent rules. According to the folks at Royal Wines, America's leading kosher wine producer, there are two rules when making kosher wines: 1) Animal-derived material, such as gelatin, is forbidden in the wine-making process. One exception is the use of egg whites (from eggs containing no blood) in the "fining" or "clarifying" stage, a voluntary step that removes sediment left over from fermentation; 2) From beginning to end, all equipment must be kosher; for example, the fermentation tanks must be "koshered" (sanitized with a special hot-water spray process), and Orthodox Jewish workers must handle all wine-making duties. This rule continues through the bottling stage, until the cork and seal are in place.

With better wines to choose from, kosher diners can now kick up their heels and explore the dry side, and perhaps it's time non-Jews venture out and explore the kosher plains. Besides, kosher cab pairs just as well with gefilte fish as with pot roast. Shalom.

Here are some wine suggestions for this year's Passover Seder, in all price ranges:

Golan Heights 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon ($16)

Baron Herzog 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon ($14)

Yarden 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon ($25)

Covenant "Red C " 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon ($40)

Covenant 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon ($76)

For more wine recommendations, check out Kosher Wine Guy.

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